Tag Archives: Muslim

Refugees Find Community through the Church of God in Germany

Ken & Keli with extended family of John & Rhonda in their home.

Over the last couple years, the Church of God Disaster Relief fund has provided matching funds to the German national church to support strategic refugee initiatives launched by local German congregations in response to the refugee crisis there. At the invitation and hospitality of the German Church of God, Ken and Keli Oldham (Global Strategy) were able to follow up with a few of these ministries this summer. They witnessed the German church developing significant relationships with refugees as they have sought not just to serve their needs, but to include them into their fellowships. Continue reading

When Teachers Become Learners: Barefoot and Humbled in Bangladesh

Photo: Cross-cultural footwashing in Bangladesh.

By Carl Stagner

If you’ve ever been on a mission trip, you know it’s a mistake to think you’re going to another country only to teach and bless someone else. More often than not, you end up learning more than you could offer. Instead of leaving feeling impressed by all the good you did, you feel humbled by the good people you met. When a group from Church at the Crossing in Indianapolis, Indiana; First Church of God in Marion, South Dakota; and Church of God Ministries in Anderson, Indiana, came together for a missions trip to Bangladesh this year, the teachers once again became the learners. Continue reading

IYC Students Underwrite Christian Camp Costs for Muslim Refugees

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Photo: Refugee teen having a blast at camp.

By Carl Stagner

“You accepted us like family. Here we weren’t the foreigners—the refugees. We were part of the group. Thank you.” When the Church of God is willing to work together to advance the kingdom, people notice. Lives are touched. Hearts are softened. Seeds are planted. History tells us many of these seeds not only germinate, but bear fruit and spread more seeds. This summer, moved by the refugee crisis in our world today, Church of God leaders in Germany committed to invest in six refugees from Afghanistan. Each one separated from family and friends after fleeing dangerous living conditions, these refugee youth with a background in Islam would not only hear the gospel, but feel sincere love and grace from peers who humbly bear the name of Christ. IYC students helped make it all possible. Continue reading

Plovdiv Perspectives: Devout Muslim Accepts Jesus

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By Kathy Rankin Simpson

Dave and Kenneth met with the “Pernovo” congregation to discuss plans for the August youth camp. They were pleased to learn that seven youth and one adult will participate, but another blessing awaited them. Dave and Kenneth were introduced to “Ali” who shared his fascinating testimony. Born and raised in a Muslim family in Pernovo, Ali had no contact with the Christian church. At fifteen years old, the Islamic age of maturity, he devoted himself to the study of the Qur’an. Ali’s level of literacy and desire to read is quite unusual in his community. Although Muhammad recommended that Muslims also read the five books of Moses, the Psalms of David and the four Gospels, Ali concentrated only on the words of the Qur’an. Continue reading

New Book from Warner Press Explains Events in the Middle East

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At Church of God Convention later this month, Warner Press will release a timely new book by cross-cultural missionary Patrick Nachtigall. Titled Facing Islam without Fear, the book covers the dramatic changes occurring in the Middle East and argues that Christians cannot live in fear of the upheaval occurring in the Islamic world.

The news media has become a very poor source for understanding the complexity of the Islamic world. “Most of us who have traveled, worked, or lived extensively in the Islamic world are struck by the friendliness of the people, their knowledge of politics and history, and the intellectual sophistication of many of the people we meet,” Nachtigall writes. The book breaks through the misinformation and simplistic analysis found in the media, but also forcefully argues in-depth that the rise of Islamic extremism indicates that Islam itself is in upheaval. Continue reading