How do you share the love of Jesus with Muslims in Dearborn, Michigan? As the recent team from Timberline Church discovered, talking about life and faith often happens around tea.
The men of the team spent several days doing construction work in a portion of an old flower shop that is being converted into an internet café. Toward the end of their time, they were joined by a team from Alabama and were able to make great progress. Once completed, the facility will be a place for members of the Dearborn Assembly of God to interact with the Dearborn population, which is almost 50% Muslim. Members of the team also spent time pulling weeds and spreading mulch at the Angel House. (Read more about the Angel House ministry in last year’s trip report.)
While the men wielded their tools, the ladies of the group spent time talking with Muslim women through English as a second language classes at the host church and at Angel House. After a multitude of smiles, laughter, and talk about children, the ladies continued to build relationships over tea and typical Yemen or Lebanese breakfast foods. While some of the women were fully covered and veiled, all discovered that women around the world can come together over talk about recipes, food, and cooking for their families. And once talking, Bible stories were used to help teach the English language while the teachers simply showed the love of God in action.
The team also spent time listening and learning as they toured the city, browsed the exhibits at the Arab American Museum, and visited the largest mosque in the United States. Over dinner at private homes or at Lebanese, Iraqi, or Yemenite restaurants, they were able to enjoy the cultural flavors including tea while engaging in conversation with waitresses, chefs, and hosting families. One evening, the team was able to dialogue with a gentleman at a mosque about Islam and the differences between their faiths.
One highlight of the trip was attending an Arabic speaking Christian church service and hearing worship being sung by a variety of Arabic believers in their native tongue. The team was also privileged to spend time with Abe, a Lebanese man who gave his life to Christ four months ago, and interact with his as-yet-unsaved family. Abe served as a tour guide, translator, and fellow construction worker and the team enjoyed his excitement for Jesus. As they wrapped up their time in Dearborn, the team’s heart was stirred to continue to pray for all Arab Christians who are evangelizing as well as for visions and dreams so hearts are open to see Christ.