February in Michigan...some of our non-Michigan CityFest staff are finding out what that is like. Though there are many adjectives to describe West Michigan winter, let’s focus on a positive one. Besides the exquisite beauty of freshly falling snow, we have more reading time. The long, dark, cold evenings are perfect time for cuddling under a comforter with a hot cup of tea and reading those books that were collecting dust on the shelves. What are you reading lately?
I recently finished reading a book by Nabeel Qureshi titled
Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus
. This New York Times Bestseller is a biography of a devout Muslim man seeking truth. His quest for truth, God, and to prove his faith in Islam, leads him to a direct encounter with the Lord Jesus Christ.
This book was an important read during this season of CityFest West Michigan for several reasons. Nabeel’s research is very informative about Islam, and gives a peek into a devout Muslim family. As we seek to be a light in our community to persons of differing faiths, I found this to be very insightful. Nabeel also takes the reader right into the research and the questioning of his faith in Islam and the Quran, and of Christianity and the Bible as he explores these two faiths side by side.
Interestingly, as he grew up being taught rigorously how to defend his faith in Islam, he could not find a Christian who could defend their faith in Christ or answer his hard questions. That is until he met David Wood, his very best friend in college. It was because of their deep friendship and love for each other that they were able to ask the difficult questions of each other, and to search out the truth of each other’s beliefs.
Through CityFest we are going to have opportunity to be trained in the defense of the Christian faith, and to receive training in Friendship evangelism. This will be on April 17-18 by Mark Mittelberg author and trainer of the course
Becoming a Contagious Christian.
Mark writes an expert contribution “East meets West” in Nabeel’s book. He writes, “Thankfully, more and more Muslims are willing to face the inherent dangers and discomforts in order to seek not only the truth but ultimately the one who said He is the truth (John 14:6). Nabeel is an inspiring example, one I trust many others will emulate.” (
Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus
, p. 303).
On March 1 during the CityFest RE:NEW event, we will be challenged to fill out prayer cards naming five persons whom God is calling us to pray for to come to know the Lord Jesus Christ.
In preparation for these two upcoming events, I challenge us to ask the Lord to place even more persons in our lives who are not yet Christians, and to open our eyes to see those around us who still do not yet know Jesus. Let’s pray for creative ways to engage in each other’s lives. Let’s pray the Lord will break our hearts for those who have not yet received the free gift of salvation in Christ. Let’s pray for the spirit of unbelief to be blown right of town by the strong wind of the Holy Spirit blowing through West Michigan.
CityFest Prayer Chairs,
Randy Hekman and Mary Sterenberg