Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Hello Neighbor!

Hello Neighbor!

a missionary serving in the Middle East
The Call, July-September 2016

Hello Neighbor
Chinatown in San Francisco, Native American reservations in South Dakota, and the French-Canadian culture of Quebec – my childhood vacations spawned a love of travel and an appreciation for North America’s diversity. Over the years, I’ve had many opportunities to travel and learn about people and cultures outside North America, too. Most recently, I traveled to parts of the Middle East. There is so much to experience and learn! Food—I love falafel, tabbouleh, and karkede. Geography—what beauty watching a desert sunset and enjoying the bustle of a modern city. Biblical history—it certainly comes alive while walking through Ephesus and beside the Jordan River.  

Last year, more than a million people fled their homelands due to war and persecution. Many of these people came from the Middle East and are Muslims. I’ll admit, before I made my first trip to the Middle East over five years ago, I knew very little about the Middle East and even less about Islam.  

In the years since that first trip, I’ve tried to learn about this part of our world. Learning about people and places is easier than ever in this global and digital age.

I highly recommend the book Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus: A Devout Muslim Encounters Christianity by Dr. Nabeel Qureshi. This book is more than a book about religion; it’s about a religious man and his search for truth. I invite you to join Dr. Qureshi, an American-born Muslim, as he weighs Christianity against Islam. It’s a fascinating read!

Writer Os Guinness said, “Fresh, striking, highly illuminating, and sometimes heartbreaking, Qureshi’s story is worth a thousand textbooks. It should be read by Muslims and all who care deeply about our Muslim friends and fellow-citizens.”

It may not be possible for all of us to travel to the Middle East, but the world is coming to us. People from the Middle East and elsewhere are coming as university students, professionals, and refugees. This book will help you understand Muslims as you meet and interact in your own neighborhoods.

This month, begin developing your good neighbor skills by trying one of the actions on the right side of this page.

ACT: Get a little taste of the Middle East. Make tabbouleh for your family and share some with a family in your neighborhood. Here’s a great recipe.
GoGO: Sharing your faith can be intimidating. Attend a one-day training event this year and learn how to share your faith with Muslims. The Crescent Project holds a great event called Bridges. Learn more here.

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