Pastors Tim Gould, Huber Maxwell, Mounuir Soliman leading prayer.
By Carl Stagner
While race, language, culture, and politics are just a few of the things that often keep people apart, at 14400 Northwest Freeway just off US Highway 290 in Houston, Texas, Jesus Christ brings people together under one roof. Houston First Church of God, Houston Primera Iglesia de Dios, and Arabic Christian Church offer weekly ministries separately in English, Spanish, and Arabic, but each of these Church of God congregations come together for different purposes throughout the year. One recent example of such unity took place in early October when the three churches gathered at the table for their annual “International Feast.” Continue reading
Posted in All Church of God, Central, Give Life
Tagged Arabic, Arabic Christian Church, bilingual, community, cross-cultural, culture, David Rivera, Don Bergstrom, eat, eating, Egypt, Egyptian, English, ethnicity, food, Houston, Houston First Church of God, Huber Maxwell, hurricane, International Feast, Jesus Is the Subject, language, languages, Middle-Eastern, Mounuir Soliman, multi-ethnic, multicultural, partnership, potluck, Primera Iglesia de Dios, race, Sarah Mathewes, Spanish, Texas, Tim Gould, translate, translation, TX, unity, WY, Wyoming
Anne Nelson (far left) and Samir Salibi (second from left) in Orlando.
By Carl Stagner
All she wanted to do was feel closer to her Lebanese family. Anne’s great grandfather was Lebanese and used to write letters to her as a child. The more Anne learned, and the older she got, the more she desired to uncover her Middle-Eastern roots. What if she could communicate with her Lebanese relatives in their language? she wondered, especially after her grandfather passed away. Learning the Arabic language wasn’t in high demand among the public schools in her area, though, presenting a short-lived challenge. Since France had colonized Lebanon in the early to mid-1900s, Anne knew French would be an alternative option. It was Anne’s love for the language that led her to leave her hometown behind in 2000 for a journey that would ultimately bring together the stories of Convention 2019, Samir Salibi, and the financial controller for Servant Solutions: Anne Nelson. Continue reading
Posted in All Church of God, Church of God Convention, Global Strategy
Tagged Anne Nelson, Arabic, AtHome, Church of God Convention, Convention 2019 and General Assembly, education, FL, Florida, France, French, international, language, learning, Lebanese, Lebanon, linguistics, Middle East, Middle-Eastern, Orlando, Paris, reconnect, refugee crisis, refugees, reunion, Samir Salibi, Servant Solutions, travel
By Nabil F. Safi
Every now and then I like to look closer at a popular worship song, and today I’m checking out “Mighty to Save,” performed by Hillsong, written by Reuben Morgan and Ben Fielding. You might know this song as “Everyone needs compassion” if, like me, you tend to call songs by their first line. Continue reading
By Jill Carroll
One of the benefits of being a freelance writer for a major daily newspaper is that I get to meet ordinary people doing extraordinary things. This is true in nearly every area about which I write for the Houston Chronicle, which so far includes food, health, science, and religion. This past month I got an assignment from my editor to check out an interesting situation at an established Church of God community in northwest Houston. I had only the basic sketch of the story: that a church had taken in a group of Arabic-speaking Christians, who were now running their own services at the church. I contacted the pastor, Rev. Don Bergstrom, and made arrangements to pay a visit to the First Church of God campus and to meet with him and a representative of the Arabic-speaking community. Continue reading