Buildng Walls or Punching Holes

A few weeks ago, Rev. Samira Page of Gateway of Grace spoke about her life journey as a Christian in Iran and a refugee in America. Raised in a different religion, she came to know the Lord through a series of circumstances. When I was a young lawyer, anything connected with Iran was troublesome. They had just taken scores of our protected citizens in the US Embassy as hostages. Her story of faith and outreach to refugees from the Middle East is compelling and I believe a cautionary tale for us.

In our own backyard of the city of Dallas, there are thousands of refugees from countries where it is against the law to be a Christian with severe consequences, sometimes even death. So, that is why I support well-founded and culturally appropriate ways to share the gospel with our refugee community in Dallas. This is not a political statement about sanctuary cities or illegal immigration or building walls. This is about punching holes through cultural walls by ministering to those that God has brought to our city for whatever reason. He is sovereign, after all. Therefore, I want to remind you of the Bridges class we're hosting this weekend.

This weekend, Christians have an opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of the similarities and fundamental differences between Christianity and Islam. Christians have responded to Muslims in many ways, but all too often, without the compassion that characterizes Jesus. Christianity and Islam are not the same, but they do have some similarities. We will be offering a course that seeks to highlight ways that replace fear and intimidation with love and gentle boldness, reshaping the way Christians view and respond to their Muslim neighbors. REGISTER HERE

On another note, I recently had lunch with some ASD folks and a leading developer of downtown Dallas in an area near our new location. He shared his strong belief how this area of downtown is becoming a vibrant and populated neighborhood. 15,000 new people have moved into this area in the last 15 years. In addition, new development is rising up all around the Farmer’s Market area and much of the empty space is under development contract. To the south of I–30, across the highway from our building, more development is on the books.

All of this is simply pointing out how we are joining God on mission. With the Bridges Class and growing relationship with Gateway of Grace's ministry to refugees in Dallas, continued confirmation of our move downtown, and the addition of Rev. Mark Walz on staff for ASD and church planting in north Dallas sometime in 2018, God continues to show us how to follow Him in mission and ministry.

On mission with you,

+Philip