Dr Riad Kassis, Director of the Langham Scholars programme, joined us on Zoom last week for Langham Live while relying on solar energy. Power cuts are extremely frequent in Beirut, Lebanon, where Riad lives.
As he shared with us, his home country is facing many political and economic challenges – and yet Syrian and Iraqi refugees are welcomed in. Riad’s wife is the director of an organisation that serves refugees called ‘Together for the Family’.
Highest number of Scholars
Meanwhile, Riad directs the Langham Scholars programme: he shared that this year, Langham is supporting 98 current Scholars in many countries and contexts. It’s the highest number of current Scholars since the programme was started by John Stott decades ago.
Riad emphasised that Langham’s support of these students is not just financial. Langham provides vital pastoral care for them and their families. He even pointed out that Rev Geoff Gardner, his own pastoral care coordinator (when he was studying for his PhD at Nottingham University in the 90s), was on the call!
Langham also endeavours to provide Scholars with further professional development once they have gained their PhDs. This includes study residencies, writers’ grants and opportunities to present papers at academic conferences.
Points for prayer
For example, on the call was a Langham Graduate from Mexico, who is taking up a residency at a college in Bristol, UK to work on a book.
Over 50 people were on the call, eager to hear Riad’s points for prayer. He asked us to pray for safety as he speaks this week to university students at a conference in Syria. People there are in a very distressed situation following 11 years of war.
Riad also expressed his gratitude to God for the many prayerful and financial supporters he has all over the UK.
Supporters from Scotland, England and France
It was a privilege to break into smaller groups and bring before the Lord these matters for prayer. In my small group, supporters from Scotland, England and France approached the throne of grace in earnest.
Please do join us for the next Langham Live calls at the end of October, when we will focus our time on praying for Ukraine.
By Victoria Marsay, Digital Content Producer, LPUKI.