Tag Archives: Dearborn

Tools, Tea, and Talking – The Dearborn Trip Report

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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.

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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.)

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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.

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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.

Team Heading to Dearborn, Michigan

Dearborn sign

A six-member team from Timberline Church will be leaving for Dearborn, Michigan on May 17, 2014. Over the next seven days, they will be helping the Dearborn Assembly of God with a construction project in the church as well as with outreach to the local Muslim community. The church there purchased a former flower shop and is transforming the greenhouse portion of the building into an internet café as place to interact with the Dearborn population, which is almost 50% Muslim.

Team members will also help with ESL classes for the women, visit several local mosques, stores, museums and shops in order to learn about the Islam in America as well as be able to dialogue with Muslims about the Gospel.

While they are gone, please pray for

  • favor during contacts with local Muslims
  • great team rapport with each other as well as the Dearborn church members
  • wonderful learning opportunities for understanding Islam in America
  • encouragement in their own understanding that God is reaching Muslims for Christ.

Spreading God’s Love in Dearborn Michigan

Dearborn mosque

What do you think of when you hear Dearborn, Michigan? You may think of Henry Ford’s hometown and the location of the famous Henry Ford Museum. Most people don’t realize, however, that Dearborn is also home to approximately 40,000 Iraqis, Yemenis and Lebanese, making it the largest concentration of Arab Muslims in the United States. For the Church in America, this is a God-sized opportunity to bring them the light of the Gospel. (Read more about “Impacting the Middle East in the Middle of the United States.”)

The Dearborn Assemblies of God planted a church in the heart of Dearborn, allowing Muslims to hear about God’s love. Timberline Church partnered with the team in Dearborn and worked with Pastor Trey Hancock and Missionary John Koski to help the new church finish construction projects.

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As a team returns to Dearborn, May 17-24, their goal is to first help the Dearborn Assemblies of God re-purpose a greenhouse into a community internet cafe. Team members will also have the opportunity to immerse themselves in the culture of Dearborn and experience the unique sights, smells and tastes of the Middle East and most importantly, they will have opportunities to share about Jesus. The team will also have fun visiting the beautiful museum, sponsored by the Ford Foundation, Greenfield Village, and of course, indulge in rich Middle Eastern cuisine. (To read more about last year’s trip to Dearborn, see “Five Guys Without Burgers and Fries.”)

At the upcoming Missions Celebration interactive experience on March 12th, prepare for tasty smells, foods, sights, and sounds, true to the Middle East. The streets of Dearborn, Michigan will be re-created to show what a Muslim city feels like, complete with a representation of a mosque. Prepare to listen to the call to prayer and learn about the Muslim faith.

(Courtesy of Storyteller Nicole Sutton)

Impacting the Middle East in the Middle of the United States

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Dearborn, Michigan? Why go to Dearborn? Isn’t that Henry Ford’s hometown and the world headquarters for the Ford Motor Company? That’s right, and you get a blue ribbon for answering correctly!

What most Americans don’t realize is that Dearborn is also home to the largest concentration of Arab Muslims in the United States. Some 40,000 Iraqis, Yemenis and Lebanese live within the city limits and to visit there is like visiting a Middle Eastern country. Signs on shops put Arabic first above English. Men and women are seen in the streets wearing traditional Muslim clothing. Even the Muslim call to prayer at the several local mosques is allowed to be broadcast in Arabic five times daily over loudspeakers throughout the city. These Arabic speaking Muslims have gravitated to Dearborn looking for work, economic opportunity and to escape the harsh and often dangerous living conditions back home.

What does this mean for the Church in America? Fear? Anger? Even hate? No. What this means is opportunity. Historically, the Church has largely ignored the Muslim world, thinking it too difficult or costly to reach them, so little has been done to bring them the light of the Gospel. Maybe God, with a wink and a sense of humor, has brought them to our doorstep where our excuses for not telling them about Jesus have quickly run out!

The Dearborn Assemblies of God has planted a church in the heart of Dearborn in order for Muslims to finally hear the Word of God. Timberline Church is partnering with the team in Dearborn to help that church finish a few remaining construction projects. But more than that, the mission team that Timberline will send May 17-24 will have many chances to immerse themselves in the culture of Dearborn, meet many Muslims, experience new sights, smells and tastes of the Middle East, and as God leads, have opportunities to share about Jesus.

As our team last year discovered, Dearborn’s Muslim community is surprisingly open to hear about Jesus of the Bible. Please take up the challenge and prayerfully consider being part of Timberline’s mission team to Dearborn this May. We guarantee your horizon will be expanded and your heart opened and blessed by what you will discover there.

(Stop by the table in the mall this weekend for more information or visit www.lovereaches.org for trip application and payment links. Applications and deposits are due by March 17.)

(Courtesy of guest Storyteller Wes Tucker)

Five Guys Without Burgers And Fries – The Dearborn Trip Report

2013 Dearborn team
If one looked on the surface of their daily reports, one could think that the five-member team from Timberline Church spent their entire week in Dearborn, Michigan eating at a number of different ethnic restaurants. Detailed descriptions of the bountiful and uniquely Middle Eastern foods they ate included bread, dipping stew, lamb on rice and potatoes, chicken, baba ganoush, hummus, tabuleh, other salad and vegetables, Yemenese salsa, pastries, ice cream, pistachios, and clove and cardamon hot tea. Why did they eat so much? For the opportunity to meet the local people in their natural environments.

However, like Jesus, who said that His food and drink was to do the will of the One who sent Him (John 4), their mission included so much more than experiencing the flavors of a different culture. Over five days of ministry, they encountered multiple divine appointments in a community that is predominately Muslim. In fact, Dearborn is home to the largest concentration of Arab Muslims in the US. The largest groups are from Yemen, Iraq and Lebanon, both Shi’ite and Sunni with their respective mosques.

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The team spent their mornings doing construction and clean-up projects around a facility being transformed from a florist’s shop into a church and coffee shop. They started off working in the basement that had been flooded after a sewage backup and spent several hours hauling cement blocks, shoveling sewage mud, and sweeping with kitty litter. In the former greenhouse lean-to that will become the coffee shop, they leveled a support beam that will artfully hold storage and attached accent lighting over a bar-like area in addition to installing and finishing drywall. Other construction projects during the week included painting, installing a snow guard on the roof, sawing limbs, and cleaning carpets.

Once they had finished their physical work for the day, the team ventured out into the neighborhoods. One day, they attended a presentation on Islam at a mosque where they then engaged in two hours of questions and answers before giving their hosts an Arabic Bible and a translated Injeel (New Testament). Another day, they visited the Shiite mosque and, while a bit frustrated, were able to show the love of God to the men there. A trip to a third mosque resulted in conversations comparing Judaism, Christianity, and Islam including bold discussions about artwork comparing stories from the Bible to the teachings of Muhammad. Yet another day held a visit to the Arab-American Museum where the team learned about the far-reaching influence of Arab culture on the United States. On Friday, the team was able to speak one-on-one with two different men who listened intently and asked intelligent questions. Both men accepted what was said, yet seemed unsure what it would look like to let their lives be changed by the Gospel. As one team member described it, one man looked like a prisoner without the possibility for escape, but a prisoner with Hope.

2013 Dearborn Trip 3

In addition to these encounters, the team was able to see a house that is currently being renovated to eventually provide a safe place for women who have come out of Islam to accept Christ. The missionary family who owns the house hopes it will be the first of several throughout the community.

The team visited a thriving ministry at the Angel House where a different missionary teaches Yemenese men and women computer skills, sewing, gardening, and literacy training. Each lesson is taught using Scripture or in some way that relays the message of Hope to them. One room contains a mural of individual pictures depicting the entire Bible and the missionary teaches one story per week to a group of women during a Bible study.

Speaking of Bibles, everywhere they went throughout Dearborn–and yes, including over their many meals–the team had the opportunity to give away Arabic study Bibles and engage in open conversations with many individuals.

As one team member wrote: “The whole week was just incredible and the power of prayer from everyone back home was instrumental to our walks with the Spirit. Friday was an amazing day for the advancement of the Kingdom in Dearborn, MI. There is no doubt in our minds that divine appointments were brought forth for His glory.” They were thankful for the boldness and love that covered them through prayer and said they were “forever grateful for the opportunity to be used by our Creator in this way.”

That feeling far surpasses any delicious food they ate.