We’d like to introduce you to C.F.*, a participant in our Missionary Development Program! This summer, she will be moving to the Detroit suburb of Dearborn, Michigan, to learn Arabic in the city with the highest concentration of Arab Americans in the United States.
In 2018, World Missions identified Dearborn as a strategic location for ministry among Muslims.
Congregation: Cedar Grove BIC Church
Hometown: Mifflin, PA
Q: Tell us why you’re moving to Dearborn. What will you be doing in the Detroit suburb?
Since I was a young teen, I have had a desire to serve among Arab Muslims. In Dearborn, there’s a good opportunity to learn Arabic, as well as teach English.
Q: I hear you’re a nurse. Will you continue pursuing nursing while in Dearborn?
Yes, I’m an operating room (OR) nurse and am very much hoping to use my profession to minister as well.
Working in the hospital [while studying Arabic] will put me in contact with people who might otherwise avoid ministries.
Q: Is Dearborn a final destination or a starting point for your ministry among Muslims?
God may lead me to stay there long term since many ministry opportunities exist in Dearborn, both in healthcare and evangelistic ministries. But Dearborn would also prepare me for other places, through my study in Arabic.
I have dual citizenship in the U.S. and Germany, so that may land me in Europe for work with refugees, or I’d be open to moving to an Arab-speaking country.
Q: You have a great story of how you first heard about Dearborn. Can you tell us about it?
Last year, World Missions sent me to Thailand for a cross-cultural, international conference on ministry among Muslims. An older gentleman who works in an organization helping connect people to ministry among Muslims felt led to sit with me at lunch. As we spoke, he heard me mention my interest in working among Yemenis. It dawned on him to suggest Dearborn — considered “Little Yemen” because of the large population of Yemenis there.
This suggestion connected with me.
When I came home, I mentioned Dearborn to the World Mission leaders. And they said they were already looking into Dearborn as a location for BIC U.S. ministry among Muslims!
Q: Can you tell me a time when you saw God clearly at work in your life?
Finishing my bachelor’s in nursing one August, I took two weeks to fast and pray about what was next for me. The clear direction I received was to wait until January and then apply for a job in the operating room at my current hospital and move into a house with three friends.
The OR nursing job didn’t get posted until the last week in January. If it hadn’t been for God’s clear direction, I would’ve applied for an OR position an hour away, preventing me from making the church connections that have led to my move to Dearborn. After I was invited for an interview, everything moved quickly.
My friends and I had been looking for a house that would enable me to commute to the hospital in under 30 minutes. The only house that we viewed that fit this description was one where the landlords, who lived in the house, were facing difficulties moving out.
The evening I set up the interview for the OR job, I prayed telling God, “If you want me to have that job, I have to be able to move into that house.”
Early the next morning, I received a message from my landlady saying they were signing a lease for a place that afternoon. And I ended up with the job, too — despite there being more qualified applicants. This job has given me the opportunity to serve with Mercy Ships, providing surgical care to people living in West Africa.
*Individual’s name withheld to protect relations within their communities.