Arabic Language Ministry
Please note: This ministry is currently suspended, awaiting word from the Solimans about their return from Egypt. Future plans are uncertain.
In Arabic: Zacchaeus the Tax Collector
The population of Arabic-speaking people in northern Virginia continues to grow and is estimated at 1 million. The vast majority of these are Muslim, but not all. Even among those who are Muslim, many have questions about who Jesus is. Although there is little if any familiarity with Lutheranism in the Arab world, a tremendous mission opportunity is before us to bring the good news of Jesus to Arabic-speaking people in our community. At present, there is no worship service available to Arabic-speaking believers in our area of southern Fairfax County. The word of the Lord to the prophet Isaiah still calls out to us today: “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” (Isaiah 6:8). Mr. Ibrahim Soliman, a member of St. John’s and native of Cairo, Egypt, is answering the Lord’s call to begin Arabic-language ministry at St. John’s.
Earlier in 2011, St. John’s Church Council endorsed a proposal to begin Arabic language outreach ministry. At its June 12 congregational meeting, St. John’s voters unanimously approved the start-up of this ministry. Mr. Ibrahim Soliman, who has had some theological training in Egypt and hosted a house church in his home there, will serve as the leader of this new ministry, under the supervision of Pastor Meehan.
The first weekly Arabic language prayer and praise worship service was held Sunday, August 28, 2011. in St. John’s Fellowship Hall. We are in process of developing a support/prayer team for this new start-up mission. In addition, we are extending an invitation to sister Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod (LCMS) congregations in the Circuit to support and assist in this mission.
Ibrahim Soliman has indicated a willingness on his part to go through church worker certification process within the LCMS. Some possibilities here might include the Specific Ministry Pastor (SMP) program, or the Ethnic Immigrant Institute of Theology (EIIT). People of the Book Lutheran Outreach (POBLO), a Lutheran outreach ministry to Muslims, is a potential ministry partner also. We ask for your prayers that this undertaking would draw many hearts and minds to Christ.
If you’d like to find out more information about St. John’s Arabic Mission or would like to help, please contact Kent Schescke, St. John’s Minister of Outreach (email@example.com), Greg Miller (firstname.lastname@example.org), or Pastor Meehan (email@example.com).