"Witnessing the work of the Holy Spirit in the hearts and lives of Muslim people...the transformation of people from darkness to light."
From time to time we'll be highlighting members of our CPD family to get to know them better. The questions and answers below are from an interview with Pastor Raed Awabdeh at The Arabic Church of Sacramento, in Sacramento, CA.
Please give us a brief introduction.
The Arabic Church Of Sacramento C&MA is committed to reach every Arabic speaking and every Arabic Household in Sacramento, welcome the new believers to our Church family and teach them the Word of God and encourage them to obey the Bible.
What drew you into full time ministry?
God called me to ministry at a young age. When we moved to Sacramento and noticed there was no Arabic ministry. While we visited homes and friends, we found ourselves answering many questions related to the Bible. There was an amazing hunger and thirst for the TRUTH. In 1997 the CPD encouraged me to become licensed and plant an Arabic Church in the greater Sacramento Area. In 2007 there were waves of refugees settling in our neighborhoods. The Lord opened an amazing door for ministry which no one could shut.
What are you most passionate about in your ministry?
Witnessing the work of the Holy Spirit in the hearts and lives of Muslim people. Baptism service is the most amazing experience for Muslim people who are not ashamed of Christ and are making a public declaration of their faith in Jesus Christ. The transformation of people from darkness to light. Witnessing oppressed people experience healing and see visions and dreams. They walk in and share with us how Our Lord is revealing Himself to them in the time of desperation.
Tell us a little about the church you are in, or about the ministry you are involved with.
Our church ministers to the Arabic community in the Greater Sacramento area. We have weekly cell group meetings in Roseville, Folsom and Arden area. God has blessed us with three full-time people who joined our team last summer.
Our Church launched an outreach center called Arab-American Learning Center. Through the Center we are able to connect with hundreds of refugees and the Arabic community. Every year we do five major community outreaches. Spring break outreach, Refugees’ Family Camp, Back to School Outreach, Thanksgiving Outreach and Christmas Outreaches. Through the outreaches we are giving away hundreds of New Testaments and DVDs about Jesus.
Back to School Night Refugee's Ministry
What are you dreaming about for the future?
This year we are adding the Preschool and Kindergarten Academy. The preschool will be reaching the Refugees’ community. We want to have the Refugees’ children at our facility so we can provide excellent education and plant the Gospel in their hearts while they are young. We dream to raise leaders and equip them to plant hundreds of centers all over the world. We began Sunday afternoon service for the Muslim background believers, and Sunday evening training to teach how to proclaim the gospel to the Muslim community.
Please share with us a faith story about what God is doing.
Last year, our Lord commanded us to purchase a 1.4 million dollars campus, 3.4 acres with seven buildings. For the last year we’ve had a small 1,200 square foot center, but our Lord is expanding our ministry to 20,000 square feet. While we were questioning and praying, the Lord said: “When Peter walked on water, was there any logical answer for Peter to stand on water?” We answered: “NO.” The Lord said: “Money is not a decision maker, but faithfulness is important and essential and vital.” A few months later, on April 25, the property was recorded in the name of our church.
Last Sunday service we had to add more chairs, because God is drawing the broken, oppressed, sick and captives to his church to receive freedom.
7. And how can we pray for you?
In the next few months the county of Sacramento is reviewing our County Use permit. Please pray for easy process and favor. Pray for laborers. The harvest is overwhelmingly plenty, but the laborers are few. Please join us in prayers to the Lord of the Harvest to send more laborers to HIS harvest. This is a time to plant, but in the years to come there will be time to harvest what we are planting today.
Your servant in mission,