July, 2014 – Rev. Jim Buckman, a U.S. military chaplain stationed in Qatar, writes:
There is no LCMS-affiliated church in Qatar. The government of Qatar has allowed the building of “Church City”- a huge site with half a dozen church buildings on it, used by over 90 different congregations each week. The Christian community has outgrown Church City, which has raised the ticklish question for the Islamic government about allowing the construction of an additional Church City in Qatar.
U.S. military chaplains are often requested to come and preach in Church City. When I received my invitation, I asked which congregation might have Lutherans in it and was directed to one of the fellowships which did have a couple of LCMS members. I asked if it would be all right for me to bring two boxes of Luther’s Small Catechism for the children and was encouraged to do so.
After worship, I met Ibrahim. I shared with him that I am an LCMS missionary and that I help plant house churches.
I simply asked Ibrahim if it would be possible to gather in his home for food, fellowship, prayer and Bible study with him and some of his friends. Ibrahim was delighted.
So on Monday night, I drove with my chaplain assistant to a stranger’s home for Bible study, in a Muslim country, during Ramadan!
There, Ibrahim invited me to teach for as long as I wanted. So I taught about prayer and explained how Luther’s Small Catechism was very beneficial for their faith. Everyone in the group was happy to get copies of Luther’s Small Catechism.
When we were done, Ibrahim asked me to come back to his home and teach again before I return to the States. Lord willing, I will do this. The Christians in Qatar are looking to be fed from God’s Word. Please pray for our fellow Christians and for us to be bold and effective in reaching out to them and supporting their efforts in a difficult situation.
At Rev. Buckman’s request, LHF has now shipped a case of Arabic-language Small Catechisms to Qatar for the chaplain to distribute. To subscribe to Rev. Buckman’s updates, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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