My wife Gloria and I always wanted to start a church. We dreamed about it even before we were married, just after we became Christians during our first year at university. It wasn’t until we visited Dubai that we actually began to consider starting a new church in that city. We saw Dubai’s rapid growth, all the people living there, and we observed the spiritual poverty. How could God use a multi-ethnic church in that city of over 150 nationalities? The idea of a new church in Dubai stuck and soon we made plans to start one right in the city center.
How could God use a multi-ethnic church in that city of over 150 nationalities?
City to City (CTC) was instrumental in 2010 as Gloria and I launched Redeemer Church of Dubai. When I first met Al Barth (CTC’s Director for Europe, Africa and the Middle East), I filled pages and pages of notes with all I learned from him. At Al’s invitation, I was able to attend the International Intensive training in New York City and loved it. It was a joy to learn new concepts, take a hard look at my plans for my church, rethink those plans, and envision the launch of a training center. Most of all we thought about how we can start other churches all throughout the Arabian Peninsula.
How could I possibly measure the impact of CTC on my life and ministry? Even now, four years into Redeemer Church of Dubai, I remember the principles from the International Intensive because God has indelibly written them in my mind. I love Dr. Keller’s love for New York and how it is his hobby to know and to love the city. I am always struck by Al Barth’s strategic thinking on starting new churches. But perhaps the most grounding and compelling experience for and God’s church worldwide.