“My heart changed when the Muslims I was praying for became a name rather than a statistic.” This quote comes from a speaker at a conference I attended this weekend, and it hit home for me. I have heard all sorts of statistics about the unreached, and the numbers truly are astounding. According to Joshua Project, 85% of the unreached throughout the world are Muslim. In NYC alone, there are 913,000 Muslims that we are rubbing shoulders with daily. But what do these numbers really mean? My attitude changed when I stopped viewing Muslims as a statistic or a project to fix, but rather as people who have names and families and goals and dreams – a person who is my friend. What my team and I are on the lookout for are people of peace — a phrase taken from Luke 10 when Jesus sends out the 72 and states, “If someone who promotes peace is there, your peace will rest on them; if not, it will return to you.” Who is a person of peace? There are three main components: 1. someone who listens to the message 2. someone who is hospitable 3. someone who is open to spiritual things, opens their community, and is open to sharing These are the people who Jesus sent out His followers to engage with, and these are the people we are seeking in our community here in New York City.
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