Christians Connecting with Muslims
Debbie Popielarczyk and her husband John serve on the Core Team at All Saints East Dallas where Debbie serves with the Little Saints team and John heads the Ushers. Debbie has a heart to connect Christians and Muslims.
I have had the privilege to teach a class, Bridges: Christians connecting with Muslims, for the last 4 years. All Saints Dallas have had 35+ participants in the 5 classes that have been taught. The Holy Spirit is hard at work on my heart, the class participant’s hearts and those who have yet to hear. The fruit of the spirit that has been seen this past year includes:
Randy Spence & Mary Middleton joining me as facilitators of the course along with Ben & Esther Luna, Dave Larlee, and Mindy Rayer. We had Pastor Russell Jonas join us first as a participant and then recently as a facilitator. The church he pastors, Canyon Creek, has adopted a Muslim Refugee family and partners with the Dallas refugee agency, Gateway of Grace. This Muslim family now attends Canyon Creek! Canyon Creek hosted the annual Easter Egg Hunt for over 350 refugee guests who heard the resurrection story.
ASD now has 20 people ministering to families who have been persecuted and displaced; 40% of those ministering have taken the Bridges class. Two ASD ministry teams have been formed representing 3 Pastorates who partner with the agency, Gateway of Grace, to assist two Afghan families and one family from Somalia. We provide household goods, food, transportation, cultural advice, driving lessons, assistance with resume writing, purchasing insurance, friendship and the many other tasks necessary to survive in Dallas. ASD has participated in the annual Gateway of Grace Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter celebrations for displaced families.
In February, Mary and I asked for local and national prayer regarding what God wanted with the “Bridges” ministry. We felt a strong call for a Muslim refugee church plant here in Dallas. But what exactly would that look like? We had no idea, but graciously God has started to reveal many things.
We ask once again for prayers as we begin on June 8th a small group, much like a Pastorate, of Muslims and Christians to study the Bible with our partner organization, Gateway of Grace. God has been busy laying the ground work for this small group Bible study for years. I look forward to watching God work during this next step in the Bridges ministry! Thank you for praying with us. The prayer requests for this next step are:
1. Provide community for non-believers and fellowship for believers. Community is a safe space where refugees and immigrants can experience Christian hospitality and the unconditional love of Christ that softens hearts and allows the Holy Spirit to work in different ways.
2. Provide emotional and spiritual support for refugees and immigrants through sharing and prayer.
3. Cultivate the healing process in the lives of refugees and immigrants by helping them encounter the living Christ through ancient prayer methods such as Lectio Divina and the Examin.
4. Study the Gospels; introduce non-believers to Christianity and disciple new believers.
5. Cultivate worship and praise of God using hymns, songs and the Psalms.