Saturday, February 25, 2017

Coffee Cake and Islam

Today was an interesting day.
For the past two days I have been at a conference sponsored by the Missouri Baptist Convention that focused on the Great Commission  -- to go and make disciples.

Today, Chris and I joined a couple of our friends and about a hundred other non-Muslim members of our community visiting the Islamic Center of Springfield to participate in their Coffee Cake and Islam event. The event was to introduce members of our community to Islam and to answer questions that people might have.

The initial part was a type of social mixer with guests helping themselves to coffee, tea and a number of pastries and desserts, while visiting with each other and a few of the members of the Muslim community. I was a little disappointed that more members of the community were not there to participate and converse with the many guests that came. In fact, it appeared the the event was a far greater success than they expected it to be.

The second part was a brief description of Islam and a little bit about living in the Springfield area as a follower of Islam. The presentations were given by an M.D. and a PhD that live and work in the area. Their presentations were followed by a question and answer period.

I enjoyed the event, was encouraged by the attendance and hope to continue to find strength in the diversity of our community and our country.
I spoke with a young Muslim man that arrived in the US in the fall of 2001, from Afghanistan. He had spent many months in preparing to come here and was scheduled to arrive in September of that fateful year. After 9/11, everything was paused for a number of weeks before he was able to enter the USA. He is now a US citizen and considers this to be his country.
Another young man arrived with his family as a young child.
A third is from Pakistan and is a student at MSU.

Overall, I'd say that more events like this are needed.
One of the messages of the evangelism conference was to build relationships with our neighbors and the the people that we meet. Participating in today's Islamic event was a beginning of building those relationships. I would love to find a 50 something year old Muslim man to build a relationship with so that I can learn about him and his beliefs. While I would not hesitate to share my beliefs, I would not do so unless he asked. I don't want the motives of my relationship to be proselytizing in nature, but rather to learn about the faith of my fellow countryman.
Perhaps I will find such a person.

We ended the day by having dinner and dessert with our friends and a great time of visiting.
I hope that you also had a wonderful Saturday.

I managed a short ride this morning (at 27f, -2.7c) and baseball is under way.
Life is good!

John <><


Mike said...

Food is a great communicator.

Duckbutt said...

That sounds like a great event.

eViL pOp TaRt said...

I wish more people would hold that form of outreach activity.