What a crazy week! These days are seriously flying by! Wednesday was an eventful day as we visited the Al-Farooq mosque in downtown Atlanta. Upon our arrival at the mosque we were instructed to remove our shoes before entering, as is the custom as to keep the mosque and its floor clean. We met the “director of community outreach” and he gave a tour of the mosque. The first thing the director showed us was the washroom. This was a first time experience for most of us on this trip and it was a confusing one. We learned that muslims believe they have to wash themselves in a very specific way before every single prayer in order to be “perfectly clean” in order to be presentable to their god. Another thing about the muslim belief is that they pray five times every single day, at the exact same time every day, praying five different prayers that are repeated every day. It is so great to know that we can pray to God wherever and whenever we want to! We don’t have to wash ourselves before we come before God in prayer!
After the washroom we went to the main prayer room and we learned about the five pillars of Islam which are the five core concepts of their belief that they must live by. Once the director was finished, we had a Q&A session where we could ask any question we had about Islam or the lives of muslims. We learned that those who follow Islam have no assurance that they will go to heaven. They work their entire lives living for the five pillars of Islam, hoping that can do enough good works that god might show them mercy. Wow…it is so awesome to KNOW that we can go to heaven and spend eternity with God. What’s amazing about God is that his love is endless . The Bible says “For God SO loved the world…” He doesn’t just like us or put up with us, He sent his Son to die for all of us. And I forget who said this but for me it really opened my eyes to God’s love for the whole world. They said, “Does God love the lost? Does God love those who hate Him? Does God loves the Muslim as he is praying to allah?” God loves every person all the time. My heart goes to the muslims who put so much dedication into their religion.
On a positive note, tonight is our last night at our kid’s camp! The last three days don’t seem like nearly enough time and every night we’re as sad to leave the kids as the kids are sad that we are leaving. Tonight we are presenting the gospel and I’m so excited! The Haitian church has been such a blessing and making friends with the kids is so amazing! God is definitely doing wonders with our team and I can’t wait to see how God moves in the lives of the kids tonight! Thank you everyone for all of your prayers! We’re feeling the love!
Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch (Mark Wengerd)