If you have been following my blog for a while you know God has brought some very wonderful Baghdad Christians into my life. I treasure my relationship with them.
The very first Baghdad Christian I met was Rammiz. Rammiz grew up in Baghdad, Iraq. His family left the country because of religious persecution. Through God’s sovereignty, Rammiz found himself as a student in one of my sociology classes. He is now a student at a local university studying to become a dentist.
Recently, Rammiz had to write a short paper, explaining three different experiences he has had in churches in the United States. He uses my church as one of the examples. I can think of no greater compliment than for a person who has experienced religious persecution, and has witnessed the reality of Acts 2 churches, to say that our church is an Acts 2 church and his “ideal church experience.”
Here is what he writes about FCC:
Finally, the third church experience I have is with Franklin Community Church (FCC). The service in this church is also different from the past two experiences. As the name implies, it is a church that is focused on the community. Even the set up of the church is different from any other church. Instead of rows of chairs facing the center of the church, the set up is multiple round tables where the members sit together around the tables and interact with each other.
When I look at FCC I see the church in Act 2. The church comes together all the time with prayers and thanksgiving. The members are all one community where everyone knows each other and they help each other when one of the members in need. Every time the church meets they gather around the table and they are dedicated for the breaking of the bread and having communion together. Once a month, or at least two months, the church meets together for a meal where every one shares a meal and interacts with each other building better relationships with each other.
Also the church is very involved in the community in the area surrounding the church. Even though the church is in a rich area of Franklin the church is surrounded with small areas that have people suffering from poverty and the church helps as much as they can the community in that area, with donations and food drives and many other things. Even though FCC is a very small church, and it doesn’t have the big building like St. Edward’s, or the music and worship team that Grace Chapel has, FCC has always been my ideal church experience. Because I believe that the church should be a mixture of both the relationship with God and the relationship with other members of the body of Christ. Creating a Christian community that will support each other in times of suffering and celebrating with each other in times of happiness.
Thanks for your kind words, Rammiz. You are always welcome at FCC and I look forward to the day you become a dentist and travel with me to Honduras.