Our mission partners have been an important part of our history.
Our guest preacher, Missionary Hesham Shehab, grew up in Beirut, a world of bitter animosity between Muslims and Christians, which he experienced personally in a physical attack when 7 years old. By age 13 he was recruited by the Muslim Brotherhood and later fought against Christians in the 1975 war in Lebanon.
In 1980, while Hesham was going to an American college in Beirut, his brother was killed by a Christian militia. Hesham’s response was to study by day, and by night seek revenge in attacks on the Christians who had killed his brother.
However, hearing the Sermon on the Mount, in a course of cultural studies, brought him to faith. Jesus’ words “love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you” stunned and surprised him. In order to know more about Jesus, Hesham checked out a copy of the Bible from the college library and began reading it on his own. The more he read the Bible, the more he felt peace and forgiveness. Hesham found a way of forgiveness and reconciliation instead of hatred and revenge.
Later, Hesham did graduate studies on Islamic History and religion, and taught and lectured on Middle Eastern studies and human rights in Lebanon, Europe, and the United States.
In 2001, while he was working as a journalist and adjunct professor at the American University of Beirut, he met a retired Lutheran pastor, who was working with the Lutheran Hour Ministry in Beirut.
Divine intervention through a series of events brought Hesham to the United States in 2004. He established a Chicagoland ministry in 2007. He finished his pastoral education at Concordia Seminary in Fort Wayne, IN, was ordained in 2010 and called to serve as a Missionary to Salam Christian Fellowship.