About LES Tyre
Planting eternal seeds in young hearts and minds

The story of the work in the historic city of Tyre starts in 1867 when a young student of the school in Beirut spent her long vacation in her home-town. She had taken with her the Bible and her Bible-Study notes and so the work was born. Within two years the cry of the people of Tyre to have an "English" school for their daughters was heard in Beirut and in 1869 the Victoria Augusta school was opened, mainly due to the efforts of Mr. Mentor Mott, brother-in-law of the mission founder, Mrs. Elizabeth Bowen-Thompson.

Over the last 147 years the work has taken on many faces; a boys' school, a girls' school, a blind school, a dispensary and visiting families have been the main ministries. There was much opposition to the work at various times during its history and there were times when it seemed the ministry in this great city would have to cease. However, God's plans are bigger and better than ours and we look back on the past with much gratitude and praise.

In 1969 the school buildings that were situated on the very peak of the peninsula were forcibly procured by the government due to their lying on the continuation of the spectacular ruins of the old city. Under the excellent guidance of Mr. David Tleel (then General Secretary of the L.E.S.) a piece of land was purchased that some thought was "too far" from the city. Building began and soon the pupils of the Lebanese Evangelical School in Tyre had new premises to fill.

The school went from strength to strength with many foreign and Lebanese workers being fondly remembered for their service at the school. Miss Ballantyne, Miss Pole and Miss Stammers along with many others gave up much to pour out their lives in ministry to the people of Tyre as did many Lebanese. Most notable of all the principals of the school was Mrs. Abboud, a Tyrian herself who loved and served her Master faithfully and skillfully as she built the solid reputation on which the school now stands. Much building work has been done over the last 50 years on the new site and the school now holds 950 students aged between 3 and 18. It has a tremendous reputation not only for academic excellence but also for catering for the child as a whole running a myriad of sporting activities and other clubs. Student attends one assembly time a week and each full-time member of staff attends daily Staff Prayers.

We are looking to the future as we seek in which way to meet the growing demand for the school in this ever-expanding city. Land next to the present site as well as the possibility of a second site just outside the city are possibilities as we seek the will of the Father in what to do next.

In 1930 a book was released named "Sunrise in Syria", a history and report on the work of the mission by J.D. Maitland-Kirwan, the Honorary General Secretary of the mission. In this book he says, "The work in Tyre is very promising." How encouraging it is to think that the same God who called that student to take her Bible home with her for the vacation is the God who now calls us to carry on His work in this most beautiful of Lebanese cities. We hope and pray that as we seek to "plant the eternal seeds" we will do so in the sure knowledge that the Lord of the harvest is the One who calls and equips.

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