Today in the Mission Yearbook
‘Language of Heaven’ for 1001 New Worshiping Community
Arabic Presbyterian Fellowship learning to reach out to Muslim neighbors
May 17, 2017
Five years ago, many Egyptians came to the U.S. during the time of the Arab Spring and Muslim Brotherhood rule. They harbored a desire to worship in the language of their heart, Arabic, which they describe as “the language of heaven.”
Hearing this, the Rev. Adel Malek, who is from Egypt but has lived in the U.S. for more than 30 years, helped begin the Arabic Presbyterian Fellowship near Los Angeles.
Now this former engineer turned theology teacher and pastor is helping them reach out to those who are different than them—including Muslims—to avoid repeating the discrimination they felt back home.
“It’s much easier to discriminate [against] others if you have been discriminated [against] by them. You are just paying back, taking revenge,” Malek said. “But did Jesus do that? I think not.”
One of the Arabic Fellowship leaders, Nader Hanna, has taken that message to heart. Recently he was invited by Sufi Muslim friends to come to their mosque to speak about Jesus. Hanna said that while none of them showed any interest in following Jesus, he loved being with them.
“My message is please, reach out to your Muslim neighbors,” he said. “Now more than ever they need American friends who will understand and know them for who they are.”
Malek says “going the extra mile to know other people” is very important and that he will continue to encourage Arabic Presbyterian Fellowship to “build bridges” with those who have different beliefs than them.
Pointing out that Jesus was accused of eating and drinking with others who were not like him, he says, “I’m doing what my master did.”
Video URL: https://vimeo.com/208717082
Paul Seebeck, mission communications strategist, video and digital asset management, Presbyterian Mission Agency
Today’s Focus: 1001 New Worshiping Community
Let us join in prayer for:
Presbytery of Los Ranchos
Tom Cramer, co-executive for Vision and Mission
Forrest Claassen, co-executive for Governance and Congregational Leadership
Bonita Carr, administrative coordinator and assistant to the leader for Vision and Mission\
Kathy Hill Long, administrator for Business and Accounting
Elvira Ortez, executive secretary
PC(USA) Agencies’ Staff
Let us pray:
Dear Lord, we seek your guidance to show compassion, justice and love to all people in this diverse world. Although we may not agree on all things, help us to focus on our similarities and work together for the common good. Amen.