Ray De Lange prays to see the gospel shared neighbor-to-neighbor among Muslims throughout North America. And he has seen it happen.
Ray is a Resonate partner missionary who recently transitioned from his work with Muslims in Seattle to pastoring Nejat Church in Vancouver. “Nejat” means “salvation” or “rescue.”
“People from a Muslim background are a lot more willing to talk of matters of faith [even with strangers],” says Ray. “They don’t have this belief you see in the Western world that faith is not for public places. Muslims are more than willing to talk.”
This opportunity to reach out to Muslim neighbors across Canada is also the purpose of Salaam 2.0. Through the initiative, Resonate’s Greg Sinclair organizes the efforts of a growing network of Canadian ministries to Muslims, including churches like Nejat. Greg’s goal is a “respectful and sensitive witness.” As Christians, he says, “love of God and love of your neighbor is your driving force.”
Ray knows what kind of transformation is possible when neighbors share the love of God. While in Seattle, Ray shared the gospel with a man who, in turn, started an international online church that now has about 35 members logging on from the US, Europe, and the Middle East. He has seen about 20 people come to faith.
“You left Seattle, but we’ve continued doing evangelism,” the man told Ray. He hopes this kind of transformation will continue in Vancouver.
Ray shared a positive conversation that happened recently: “I saw one guy sitting on his break from Walmart. I shared the gospel in a very simple way. I shared the stories of sacrifice through the Old Testament because that is something our traditions share. I said, ‘So if God wanted to give you a gift would you take it?’ and he said, ‘yes.’ He listened. He was open, and that matters.”
Ray explains that this story isn’t about conversion. “Transformation takes many exposures and then the Holy Spirit prompts their heart.”
In a time of fear and conflict between Christians and Muslims, Ray and Greg hope to see Muslims dialogue about Christianity, share common stories and seek truth. “We let the conflict be at the heart level,” says Ray. “It should happen in people’s hearts where they can struggle and think about, where Christ can transform.”
Your support enables pastors and missionaries like Ray to continue to reach out in friendship and dialogue with their Muslim neighbors throughout Canada.