On Saturday, July 23, Apex Mosque (Apex, NC) graciously hosted Mark and Nancy Siljander and built an event around them. Although my friends at the mosque expressed disappointment that there were not more Muslims present, I thought a nice crowd (maybe 80?) of Muslims and Christians turned out to here Mark's message. Mark spoke for about 90 minutes formally, and then after the Muslims' evening prayer (Maghrib) he answered questions informally for another 75 minutes (until 10pm).
Unfortunately, there is no recording of Mark's talk at the mosque. The good news, however, is that Mark and Nancy delivered the sermon at our church (Fellowship of Christ) the following morning, and we did manage to capture that message.
Mark covers most of the sermon, but Nancy comes in quite powerfully for the last seven or so minutes. I believe you'll be significantly challenged and encouraged by their story, which includes a stint as a US Congressman, traveling the world to share peacemaking ways of Jesus in the most troubled of locales, and a year as an inmate in a maximum-security US federal prison (in which Mark brought Jesus' love and peace to violent gangs).
At our church, the response to the Siljanders' message was overwhelmingly positive. For example, one older man came to me in tears after the service and said that he was being set free by Mark and Nancy's words. A younger man confided that God used their message to convict him of a harsh attitude toward those with whom he has differences, and he already had a list of people he would approach to seek forgiveness. Very good stuff!
Carrie and I have love and gratitude in our hearts for each of you! And thanks to all of you who prayed for this event at the mosque. It was a success, and we ask you to join us in praying that this gathering will lead directly to more and deeper friendships between Muslims and Christians.
Trying to follow Jesus and wage peace,
PS: Here are a few images from the Apex Mosque gathering with the Siljanders.