Jun 23, 2008

A Sense of Grace

This past week has brought some interesting turns of events. Gearing up for the Arabic Street Festival in Dearborn has proved to be more exhausting than I had imagined. There were many ministries in town for the occasion, several different conferences going on, and a few hundred Arab-Americans (many Muslim) all concentrated in one central area. At first glance, I would say I feel that I spent more time being confused than actually laboring this weekend. However, seeds were planted, some were sown, and some were harvested. We'll see how that all pans out in light of eternity hopefully.

With the different conferences going on, it's always interesting to see how few of those who come out to "train" for Muslim evangelism ever actually evangelise a Muslim. That said in the sense that many people spend hundreds of dollars on planes, hotels, and food while visiting a city they'll never return too until it's conference time again. Now, this is not an empirical statement. There are many laborers among us who do this faithfully alongside of ministering the Gospel of Jesus Christ to Muslims at the same time, everywhere they go. Amen!

I will take a moment hear to rejoice in seeing old faces from last year's outreach. I will also rejoice at seeing and talking with friends from out of state that I never thought I would see again. One of which I have had the pleasure of ministering in three different states with. Taking it to the streets and learning from each other has proven to be beneficial in many ways.

I wish I could emphasize to you the many DVD's, different tracts, and 1-2-1 conversations that occurred and how wonderful the large number of these would make it sound, but I can't. It would be futile. What's important is that it was done, there were people to do it, and the parallel was illustrated once again. The American Church in Metro-Detroit has shown her face once again, and it wasn't in the streets of Dearborn. Christ's church showed up though, and His followers laborered long hours, underwent verbal persecutions, and even faced physcial threat in a variety of ways. All this for the sake of His words.

I personally didn't get many chances to dialogue with Muslims, but was able to piggy back on a freinds conversation in a barber shop. Pray for my friend as I hope a relationship and dialogue is established that we can continue to talk about Jesus the Messiah and the hope He can give to a Muslim who is lost without any assurance of forgiveness in Islam.

Now that I have said all that, I'm going to make my point. The sense of grace in all of this is knowing the firm foundation of the Rock of Christ. Seeing His mercy in so many other believers and the Grace given them providing the motivation to go and stake everything on a single opportunity to preach Christ crucified. A sense of grace that has also laid a burden on my heart to continue learning about Muslim/Arab culture and reaching out to them in whatever fashion I can. I've also inherited an urgency to complete my very insufficient Arabic speaking skills through vocabulary training that will advance it. This will however be no easy task with the many things I already have before me. The tools needed are not cheap and the cost of training is within reach, but not something I can easily afford. Please pray for the Father's will in this manner and I will be working dilligently to accomplish the tasks necessary to pay the price of the program needed to learn Arabic.

In closing the blessing of the whole experience and the sense of grace felt were the strongest when we said goodbyes. The love for brethren we less often see is greatest when we are departing from each other's presence. The grace felt in the heart felts hugs were overwhelming and renewed in me a joy that reminded me that I soon will see these brothers and sisters again someday. If not here, at home in heaven. What a blessing to have fellowship sweet with those who are separated by large distances.


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