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STORIES: “People of the Book”

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Missionary/Islamicist David Mowen creatively reaches out to Muslims in Christian love

In these days of Muslim-bashing, one Christian leader, David Mowen, founder of People of the Book, is “turning the other cheek” in an effort to bring the Gospel message to Muslims in the United States.

People of the Book founder David Mowen suggests using an Arabic-English Bible so the non-Arabic speaker can share Bible verses—such as the Roman Road—with a Muslim in his own language.

“The Christian visitor doesn’t need to feel the lack of the Arabic, Persian or Urdu language, but can merely point to the verse adjacent to the English verse, for instance Romans 3:23, and the Muslim can read for himself exactly what the Bible says in his own language,” Mowen said.

“One’s own language is always the best communicator for the Bible,” he continued.

Mowen assists local churches in developing a viable evangelistic training program, to reach Muslims in its neighborhood and around the world.

The Friday evening and all day Saturday seminar consists of history and beliefs of Islam, cultural cues, outreach tools and hands-on training in finding the Muslims in the neighborhood as well how to start up conversations and direct the Gospel into the conversation.

The Saturday session concludes with Muslim visits near the church.

Mowen became interested in Muslims while stationed in the Middle East on a small island in the Persian Gulf—Bahrain.

After completing his tour of Navy duty, Mowen entered seminary in Jacksonville, Florida, but transferred to the William Carey International University campus in Pasadena, California, in order to take advantage of Middle Eastern and Islamics training.

While there, he joined the staff of the Samuel Zwemer Institute of Muslim Studies, an organization formed to train missionaries for work in Muslim fields. Samuel Zwemer—called the “Apostle to Islam”—was a missionary-physician in the Middle East and many of his publications and books are still used in Muslim evangelism today, more than 100 years later.

Mowen initiated the Muslim Awareness Seminars at the Zwemer Institute and assisted another Muslim outreach organization, Fellowship of Isa in writing Muslim-targeted tracts and spearheaded its visitation ministry. “Isa” is the Arabic name for “Jesus”.

Q & A our site for MuslimsSee: Isa al Masih ( Christian Answers’ seeker site for Muslims

In addition to his seminary training, Mowen worked on a Master of Ministry degree at Talbot Seminary and has completed graduate level studies in missions, cross-cultural communication and church planting. He has assisted church missions committees and churches develop missions and evangelism programs.

In the early 1980s Mowen began his own ministry, People of the Book Ministries. People of the Book is the Qur’anic name for Christians. People of the Book merged with Frontiers, a Muslim-world church planting team ministry to train outgoing missionaries.

During that time, Frontiers grew from a handful of missionaries to more than 300 missionaries on 23 teams in Muslim locales stretching from Mauritania in northwest Africa to Indonesia.

As Frontiers’ Director of Training, Mowen instituted several front-line training tools and tasks: missionaries were required to reach out to Muslims in the U.S. before transferring overseas.

Author: Dan Wooding. Used with permission from ASSIST News Service.