As we listen to Raed and Manar Awabdeh’s story, we cannot help but think of Esther and her story-
For such a time as this
One of the desires we have as Christians is for God to use us, to use our gifts, our talents, and our resources to make an impact for the Kingdom. This was Esther’s desire and, so it is the desire and passion of our brother and sister in Sacramento.
Raed and Manar Awabdeh, leaders of the Arab American Learning Center in the Central Pacific District, are in the midst of “such a time” in our current world events…they clearly have been prepared and placed exactly in the position God has intended. And now events across the world are placing Arab Muslim refugee families right into their midst- their community of Sacramento, CA.
When the Awabdehs first started out in Sacramento there was not one Arabic family in the area. But now, there are over 1,500 families in the immediate area.
With the refugee crisis in the Middle East and Europe, they are experiencing the hand of God setting over 12,000 Arab Muslims in Sacramento! Right into the very community Raed and Manar have been pouring into and building bridges for the last 20 years.
The perfect property of 3.38 acres has become available with a school building including all the proper permits ready for them to move in with their already established Arabic American Learning Center! A property like this is not easy to find in a community, and if it is available, it is usually attached to a shopping mall.
Urgent Request with a Mid-January Deadline!
God is giving all of us the opportunity and privilege to join them in such a time as this. Please watch this video:
We need to act now!
This property is in a community with lots of room to grow. It will allow the AALC to launch the Living Water Preschool Academy quickly and allow the Community Outreach Center and the Arabic Church of Sacramento to have a location of their own where they will have the freedom to serve these families in need. What a gift from the Lord!
With funds needed to secure this property by the mid-January deadline, please partner with the Arabic Church of Sacramento and send your support to:
Arabic American Learning Center
1433 Fulton Ave Suite H
Sacramento, CA 95825
Central Pacific District
715 Lincoln Ave.
Woodland, CA 95695
Our goal is to present Christ to the refugees and the Muslim and the Arabic community in the Sacramento area. There are a big number of refugees moving to America, and this is very interesting and very delicate situation. They're in need. They are broken. They're confused, and they're searching for help and to belong to a group for encouragement. ~Raed
These families are seeking “Living Water” and that is the reason for the name “Living Water Preschool Academy.”
The Full Story…
In 1997, Raed and Manar Awabdeh started a small bible study in their home in Sacramento. There wasn’t even ONE Arabic family in their community.
But they remained faithful to listening to what the Lord wanted them to do.
Over the years Manar has pursued and attained her Early Childhood Education AA degree, as well as studies in Counseling and Bible Theology. Wow, has God been preparing her for this time!
Manar describes the journey God has taken her on:
I have my associates in children's education. And I did that because I knew He wants to love the children. And then I finish in counseling in mission counseling, psychology and Bible theology, just knowing that he has a plan for us to care for the children. And really the refugees were not present at that time and we did not know that would be the community He wants us to reach for. But then he put us and shaped us, educated us, and brought them to us. Right now it sounds like it's our plan, but it has been His plan and we're saying “yes” to his plan. It's a seed the Lord planted and he wants it expanded and we're saying “YES” to it.
He knows we have the favor. He gave us the favor. He gave us the favor and built that bridge, He built that strong bridge among the families who have been connected with in the last 30 years.
So, we're opening a preschool and it's a Christian preschool and we're going to teach about Jesus. And the families will say yes. They will say yes and they are bringing their kids and they will bring their kids. So we have changed in that favor. We have built that bridge to build a consistent way of teaching and educating children, raising a happy generation. Not just only spiritually but physically, and emotionally, and socially.
I mean the parents are doing a good job, but they are deprived of so many things, so many things. And being five hours in front of the TV, it may be an educational environment, but we are able to bring the Spirit, the Joy, the Love, the Peace. ~Manar
In 2007, Raed and Manar started the Arabic American Learning Center to support local families in the Sacramento area. Each day they support 20-30 families in their community. They provide support in the form of transportation, phone appointments, filing paperwork, medical and educational support, and emotional support as well.
The Arab American Learning Center...God put us in a way that we proclaim the Gospel and share Christ and bring glory to our Father who is in Heaven. Every day we see 20 to 30 families that walk into our center. We have different outreaches throughout the year. One example is that the Saturday before Christmas we do an outreach to more than 500 refugees who come and we give away Bless Your Neighbor shoe boxes to each child with the New Testament and a movie DVD. ~Raed
The time has never been so perfect to reach these people with the Good News and Hope found in our Lord Jesus Christ. These people are coming broken, confused, searching for help and longing to belong. They are seeking “living water.”
There are 3 main ministries they plan to house on the new property for the Arab American Learning Center. Raed and Manar share more about these 3 crucial ministries to the Arab community in Sacramento:
Arabic Church of Sacramento
The church had been planted in Sacramento. It started as a Bible study in our home in 1997. And we've been in ministry for 20 years, since the Bible study in our house.
We don't have a permanent home. Through the 20 years, we used two different churches. We used Neighborhood Church for about 12 to 13 years. And now we have been using a Baptist church for the last five years. And now this location will allow us to have a home, a church home. This will also include an activity center for our youth. ~Raed
Community Outreach Center/Arabic American Learning Center
You know the center that we are working with right now for the last ten years is going be moved to the new property. We are already paying a lease of $1,800 dollars a month for the current location of our community center, so right away, when we get this property we'll move the center and provide the services at this new location. And the center by itself is a huge ministry where we are meeting needs every day... we meet with 15 to 30 families each day: meeting their needs, making phone calls, appointments, transportation, interpretation, helping with school communication. ~Manar
Even right now when we want to do any activities, we have to connect with another local church, so we can use their function hall. And we are very limited because we don't have facility. The new property will give us freedom to minister and to offer more programs that invite the community to us, so they can hear the good news. ~Raed
The Preschool and Kindergarten “Living Water Preschool Academy”:
The preschool is going to be called the Living Water Preschool Academy. The name was chosen because this is where the children are hearing about our Lord Jesus Christ. Something that they will never get opportunity to be introduced to unless God's people stand tall, and proclaim the Gospel to them and to love them.
And when you hear them sing Bible songs and memorize Bible verses, we do that at our school ... when they go off to their homes and communities, they take Jesus with them. I mean it's just awesome. It's awesome to share truth and obey what Jesus has commanded us to do. Bring the children to me. He loves all of them. I don't know if it's because I'm an Arabic speaker that the ‘Lord Jesus’ in Arabic is so beautiful.
This is an opportunity and it's just not coming out of nowhere. And it's a niche that God has given us many years ago. And we did not know at the time. ~Manar
There are three different ministries planned for the new property to house. The first one is the church and discipleship training center. The second is the community outreach and third one is the preschool and kindergarten academy.
The Harvest is great, but the workers are few:
Since we started we haven't got any smaller. We just only get bigger. Every event we're doing is getting bigger. The families we're serving a day used to be fewer families now it's more families. So when we first started the center in 2007, there was not even one Muslim or Arabic family around this area but right now, around our area, just around our outreach center, we have more than 1,500 families. So talk about how many! It's not hundreds-- we are talking about thousands of refugee Muslim individuals. And mosques have been open around the area and grocery stores. So the area is becoming more populated and has a lot of Arab Muslim presence. And we need to have a presence. The center has been a lighthouse. But this needs to be expanded. ~Manar
Well, according to settlement agencies, Sacramento has more than 12,000 Arabic refugees and is going be the home of about 40,000 Afghani Muslim refugees. Sacramento will be the second largest Afghani refugee population in America, after Fremont, CA which is number one. Sacramento will be number two in Afghani Muslim refugees.
We are already very well established with the local government. The school district would like to work with us because of our connections as well as the human assistant office. So we are very well established even among the structure of the government so we can partner with them reaching the refugees. ~Raed
And that's why we're so confident that's God’s work. You know, sometimes as children of God, and as believers, as Christians, we use the phrase, “Oh it's God's will” and we're used to it. But believe me when we say it is God's Word and it's His Seed, it's His Plan, it's His Work!
You know we're not just saying it because it sounds good. We see it. We have experienced it. It's like He leads us in His way. We want to serve him. We wanted to serve him when we started in Sacramento, but at the time we were thinking of serving in a different way. But the way God directs and the way he allows situations to happen, disasters to happen, has brought the people directly to us. And He has prepared us and is calling us to serve them and to love them.
Praise God for this opportunity. ~Manar
Please consider how you or your church can partner with the Arabic Church of Sacramento to build God’s Kingdom and serve those who are the least of these.