The Friendship of Jesus and Muslims Conference
April 3-6, 2008
In the December BOD meeting, I was given permission to attend the FRIENDSHIP of Jesus and Muslims Conference, in Detroit. I left SD as a representative of our “beloved” South Dakota District and by the aid of Mission Board of LCMS. On Thursday afternoon (4-3), I arrived in Detroit and registered for the conference.
What a day that was. There were over 188 people registered for this conference. There were many synodical representatives, along with the Mission Board, and the POBLO (People Of the Book Lutheran Outreach) servants of Detroit.
As the evening waned I felt I was experiencing heaven on earth and the fulfillment of Revelation 7, which states: “After this I saw a large number of people that no one could count, from all nations, and tribes, and peoples, and tongues standing before the throne and the Lamb, dressed in white garments and holding in their hands palm branches.” (Rev. 7:9). This day to me was a mini Pentecost, a moment in time when I literally saw a glimpse of heaven before my very own eyes. At the evening banquet there were Muslim converts to the Christian faith, from these different nations—Morocco, Iraq, Lebanon, Palestine, Indonesia, Pakistan, Kosovo. Tears ran down my cheeks, as I sat at the conference and heard of the power of the Gospel in the lives of these people who have come to KNOW Jesus as the FRIEND of sinners. They spoke of the freedom of being burdened to earn God’s favor, or not certain of their salvation. They rejoiced when they came to know that their friends introduced them to the True Friend, Jesus Christ who won their freedom by the shedding of His blood on the cross. They spoke of the joy that filled their hearts because they knew this love that they have never experienced in the Muslim religion.
By the end of the Conference, I learned much about how to reach out to Muslims in the name of Jesus Christ and as His servant in many different forms. It was clearly presented that there are three main reasons why Muslims become followers of Jesus—the friend of sinners. They are:
- I saw a vision/dream of Jesus coming to me in one form or another i.e. walking towards me in the rice field.
- I had a friend who told me about Jesus.
- I read the New Testament.
We were reminded at the Conference that 90% of all who come to church, come because of a friend who has invited them or told them about Jesus. Many of the Muslim converts spoke of the friend who cared and spoke about this Jesus who loved them by dying their death and rose again to give them life and salvation. One friend cared. One friend shared, and one friend told the truth that apart from Jesus Christ there is no salvation (Acts 4:12).
I further learned that in the last year, there were 350.000 Muslims who have gone through the on-line course provided by The Lutheran Hour Ministries about Christianity. What a blessing to witness and to behold how our Church body is reaching out in the name of the Friend of sinners to others, especially to the Muslims.
I like to inform you that there were 23 nations represented at the Conference. Here are the nations: Jordan, Syria, Togo, Egypt, Lebanon, Israel, Palestine, Morocco, Iraq, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Pakistan, Kosovo, Bosnia, Ireland/Scotland, Russia, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Canada, Germany, India, Philippines, Malaysia, and USA.
What a blessing to have attended this conference. What a blessing to have heard former enemies of the Cross speaks of their FRIEND Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. What a blessing to know that our church body is reaching out to others in the name of Jesus Christ.
I like to thank the BOD and the Synod for making it possible for me to attend this workshop and the opportunity to continue to serve the church at large.
To all in our “Beloved” District, let be known to you if you need any help in how to minister to our Muslim neighbor to please call upon me to help and aid you.
I also pray that our “Beloved” District would lead the way in the Upper Midwest in reaching out to those who have not met the FRIEND of sinners Jesus Christ. I would like to see our District begin to reach out to the Muslims in Sioux Falls. I have read there are over a 1000 Muslim and many different Ethnic groups in that great city. Let us not forget them, but reach out to them in the name of the Greatest FRIEND, Jesus Christ.
In Christ’s love and in His service,