Toward Arab Churches
TROY – Early in my childhood years, growing up in Egypt, I was impressed and fascinated by America. I saw it as the most unique of all the other countries in the World. This created in my heart a special attachment and desire to seek and to know more about America. I was especially thrilled when I watched the movies that were so popular in my growing up years. Movies with stars like the late John Wayne, Clint Eastwood, and others.
Watching those movies, and seeing the beautiful nature and cities created in the heart of this young boy, a dream and a desire to one day be there, but means made it nearly impossible.
Years went by, this young boy grew up and became a man, and went to school, learned about Christ and was miraculously saved.
After I was saved, I learned a fact about America I never knew before; I learned of the important influence of American missionaries in impacting the Middle East and the Church in general through translated Arabic Christian literatures and even the Arabic Bible I carried in my hand which was translated from the original Hebrew and Greek manuscripts by American scholars. Not to mention the college of theology where I studied and earned my graduate degrees was founded by American missionaries.
I graduated and started serving the Lord in Egypt and neighboring countries.
In 2005, the Lord brought me to America, the country of my childhood dream. Not to be charmed by it, but to preach the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ among my fellow Arabs living in the states. I was asked to preach in a conference of Arabic churches in the states.
My visit made me realize that Arabs living in the States need the Gospel of Christ just as much as those living in the Middle East. Nevertheless, I returned back to Egypt preaching and teaching where God called me.
Three years later, as I was serving the Lord in Egypt, I got a phone call from the States. A pastor friend of mine asked me if I would be interested in pastoring an Arabic church in the States, a church in Michigan. I had never been to Michigan, and all I knew was that it was the “car capital of the world,” where all three auto giants are headquartered. I did not know about the sub zero temperatures, where I grew up the temperatures hit between 100-120º F.
I agreed to check it out. The Lord brought me to Michigan in a miraculous way, and I started pastoring Evangel Baptist Church of Troy. A church that had almost closed. But Christ told us; "…I will build my Church and the gates of Hell shall not prevail against it." Mt 16:18
In a short period of time church attendance grew, and we had no room in the building. We built a larger sanctuary, and the Lord multiplied the ministry. In 2014, the church joined the Baptist State Convention of Michigan (BSCM), and the church outreach ministry multiplied.
Our live broadcasts reach the Arab World. Our youth are growing in the Lord and being trained to become future leaders. Evangel Arabic Baptist Church of Troy has become a fortress for proclaiming the Arabic Gospel worldwide on radio, TV, and internet.
The State of Michigan has the world’s largest Arabic speaking population outside the Middle East. Yet, it only has a few Arabic churches serving here. The Arabs living here are souls in need of the Gospel of Christ.
In the past, American missionaries burdened in reaching the Middle East had to spend years raising support, learning the language, adjusting to the culture and weather, and being away from their loved ones and families.
Today, however; God is raising His servants from their own people to reach them with the Gospel of Christ. We need to join hands in lifting up the ministry together and work side by side proclaiming the truth that sets ALL mankind Free! Believe me when I tell you from experience, not just talk, that the need for reaching Arabs in the States is just as vital as reaching them in the Middle East.
In Michigan, Middle Easterners are here with their many Arabic accents, backgrounds, beliefs, cultures, traditions, and needs. Our responsibility as partners in the BSCM is to reach those Arabic communities with the Gospel of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.
Please pray for me and the Evangel Arabic Baptist Church of Troy, as we seek to launch an Arabic Church planting ministry to serve the increasing need among the Middle Eastern community in Michigan. May the coming days bring about multiplied fruit as together we proclaim the salvation of Christ.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Amgad Beshai is pastor of the Evangel Church of Troy, Michigan. It is Arabic speaking. Amgad and wife, Eman, have 3 children, daughter Verine (20), son Kevin (17), and son Christopher (15).