Voices from the Field

BY michaelclesceri | 25 October 2013 |

Andrea and Hala StephanousReverend Andrea Zaki Stephanous, Ph.D., is serving on the front lines in Egypt, in the face of persecution and political unrest. Part of his vision and Langham’s: to see how a maturing church in the Middle East can confront the current political situation there, and thereby transform a region. Andrea credits his doctoral studies in religion and politics, supported by a Langham Scholar grant, for equipping him with the skills necessary to take on his role as a leader of the oldest and most respected indigenous Christian NGO in Egypt, the Coptic Evangelical Organization for Social Services.

Andrea has been an active voice in nurturing moral and spiritual awareness in an Egyptian context. He sees Egypt’s current political environment as an opportunity to further God’s Kingdom by advancing social justice for individuals regardless of their gender, race, religion or political beliefs.

Recently, Mark Hunt, executive director for Langham Partnership, sat down with Rev. Stephanous to talk about how some of his Langham-sponsored projects are impacting Christian and Muslim relations–and to capture one of the important voices from the field.

Below is an excerpt from their conversation:

MH: How does Langham’s mission and what we do on the ground help improve the relationships between the Christian and the Islamic world?

RS: I think one important and critical project we have right now is the Arabic Contemporary Commentary, and for the first time in the region, theologians from Catholic backgrounds, Orthodox backgrounds, and Protestant backgrounds all came together . . . developing a commentary that [considers] the culture and background of the Arab world, as well as the language used. It is not only written for Christians, but it is [also] written for the Muslims of the Arab world to understand how Arab theologians understand the Bible and apply the Bible to the current three religions . . . It is going to build a bridge between Christians and Muslims. Another thing that we do, with Langham, is Arabic Contemporary Theology. We did volume one and we tackled difficult questions. We are hoping to develop the second volume, which will include Arab Springs and the issues that came out of these struggles. The third important element is the Christian Global Library. And some of the books that we translated from this Christian Global Library . . . go beyond traditional Christian publishing to unique topics. I think this was very helpful to have on the Arabic market because it gives a new insight for how Christians recognize others and accept others. So these are things that we do on the ground that empower the Christian community, but also build a bridge.

Photo of the Week

JaniceMaina

“I have learned that I must learn the Word of God…to preach the Word rather than preach my feelings.”

Janice Maina is one of many at her church that receives training on how to teach the Scriptures effectively, reaching out to many in surrounding communities in and outside of Nairobi, Kenya.

Quotable Stott

“To encounter Christ is to touch reality and experience transcendence. He gives us a sense of self-worth or personal significance, because He assures us of God’s love for us. He sets us free from guilt because He died for us and from paralyzing fear because He reigns. He gives meaning to marriage and home, work and leisure, personhood and citizenship.”
John Stott, Between Two Worlds

Remembering One of our Scholars, Timothy Myambo

TimothyMyamboIt is with great sadness that we share the news of the death of one of our current Langham Scholars, Timothy Myambo, who bravely fought through two rounds of chemotherapy before the Lord called him home on the morning of October 19. While we mourn at the passing of such a leader with great potential, we rejoice in remembering his life and legacy. Prior to starting his Ph.D. at Northwest University in South Africa, Timothy was principal of Rusitu Bible College in Zimbabwe. He leaves behind his wife, Violet, and his two sons, Theo and Victor.

 

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