Mahabba in the media

Mahabba on Cross Rhythms: Building relationships with Muslims

Image: Harist Refian,  Unsplash

Image: Harist Refian, Unsplash

Mahabba on Cross Rhythms: Building relationships with Muslims

Mahabba recently featured on Cross Rhythms' Breakthrough! Nights radio show. National director, Gordon Hickson, was talking about the charity and its work in helping Christians to engage positively with Muslims through prayer and action.

Cross Rhythms has just released the transcript of the interview in an article, and we are excited to reproduce a part of it. You can find the full article via the link below.


What does the work of Mahabba look like? What sort of things are you doing as a network?

Mahabba mobilises ordinary Christians across the country. For generations it's been a domain of specialists who understand Islam and have probably worked abroad, but we felt that the problem is the ordinary Christians. So Mahabba mobilises thousands of ordinary believers from ordinary churches to get out of their trenches of fear and begin to learn how to relate to Muslims in the community.

We are first of all a prayer movement and so we gather people together in prayer, mainly on a weekly basis across the churches. We find that unity with prayer is very important, because it's so important for Christians to know that they are one, but also for Muslims to know that we're one family and that when they approach us, they're not approaching a divided group of people. So we gather in unity on a weekly basis.

Those people that come, we then take them through our first course, which is called 'Friendship First'. It speaks for itself. It's trying to show people how to connect to Muslims in their community. It's about understanding the culture and simple care and friendship, to be able to reach out and connect to local Muslim people.

We have other courses as well, but that's the basic thing, that we're mobilising Christians across the country to connect to Muslims in their community.

It really helps with community cohesion and it breaks up the awful divide between the communities. It helps a journey of understanding on both sides.

Breakthrough! Nights focusses on the people, issues and initiatives of the Stoke on Trent area and occasionally national and global topics.

It offers a chance for people, Christian or not, to engage spiritually through contemporary worship, prayer, the prophetic and sharing amazing life changing stories.

Gordon was speaking to Heather Bellamy, and if you want to tune into Cross Rhythms, Breakthrough! Nights is on every Tuesday evening, and available on FM or online.

40acts: Against the Tide

Image:  40acts

Image: 40acts

40acts: Against the Tide

40acts has just featured a post from one of our local Mahabba prayer groups on day 35 of its campaign.

40acts is an annual campaign run by Stewardship during Lent, encouraging acts of generosity, and was the inspiration for Mahabba's Lovefast Ramadan campaign.

Today's theme is all about bucking the trends of society, and here's a snippet, which is to do with how we out work that in faith communitieis, including Muslim ones.

You can find a link to the full article below.

In a culture which seems to thrive on negative perceptions and suspicion of difference, building friendships with people from other faith communities is one way we can do things differently. How will you swim against the tide of mistrust and fear? In which ways will you live out the message of reconciliation with which we have been entrusted?

SINCE YOU'RE HERE...

... we have recently reached a total of 40 local Mahabba prayer groups in the UK - awesome news!

With your help, though, we would like to continue to sow, plant and support Mahabba groups.

Our work involves a small team of regional reps and central hub personnel investing in local coordinators and groups, as well as spreading the word.

To continue this vital mission to Muslims, we need to increase our regular monthly income.

Our initial target is to raise up 100 individual regular donors, giving an average of £10 to £15 per month.

Could you be one of the 100?

Joel News: Christians reach out to Muslims in 40 cities

Image: Austcare, Flickr

Image: Austcare, Flickr

Joel News: Christians reach out to Muslims in 40 cities

Joel News International has just featured an interview from Mahabba Network's director, Gordon Hickson, on our work of helping Christians engage with Muslims.

Joel News offers a weekly high-quality selection of the most inspiring stories on the advance of God's Kingdom in six continents.



We are currently presented with one of the greatest opportunities of our time: to unveil Jesus to Muslim people in the Western world and bring them to Christ.

The number of people identifying themselves as Muslim in the UK has grown by almost 70% in ten years, from 1.6 million in 2001 to 2.7 million in 2011. It is estimated to grow to 5.5 million by 2020. Across Europe, there are already 47 million Muslims. By the year 2030, there will be 58 million Muslims in Europe, 8% of the population. Islam has found a home in Europe.

To seize this opportunity a new network called ‘Mahabba' (‘love’ in Arabic) is developing in the UK, networking both agencies and churches, and proving to be a catalyst to unity and prayer. Its emphasis is on motivating and mobilizing ‘ordinary’ Christians rather than just ‘specialists’ to reach their Muslim neighbours and help them grow in Christ.

A Turkish imam’s daughter has inspired many by personally leading over 100 Muslims to Christ.

Director Gordon Hickson on the Mahabba Network reports the first fruits. “In Oxford, it took two years to break through in prayer, but then about 40 Muslim people came to Christ over the next five years, especially among the Iranian fellowship. They were joined by an imam sheikh from Uganda who was an expert in Sharia law: he had a radical conversion experience, and now spends hours witnessing to Arabic speaking Muslims studying in Oxford. A Turkish imam’s daughter came to Christ outside of Oxford and has inspired many by personally leading over 100 Muslims to Christ.”

Most of the networks are witnessing Muslims coming to Christ. In Manchester, in just a few days, a young man from Pakistan walked into the cathedral asking to convert; a Saudi woman walked into a church and asked to become a Christian; and a Somali man shared with his Christian friend that he wanted to become a Christian.

The goal is to have 75 Mahabba networks across the UK in 2019.

Local Mahabba prayer groups have now been launched in over 40 cities across the UK, as well as spreading across to France, Belgium, Norway, Austria, and even South Africa. They have been asked to help establish groups in India and Korea. One couple has moved across to Chicago (home to over 400,000 Muslims) and another to help set up in Australia. The goal over the next two years is to have 75 Mahabba groups across the UK, with strong relational networks with others across Europe and other Western nations.

Charisma Magazine: I see many people of the Islamic faith coming to Christ

Image: Beth Rankin,  Flickr

Image: Beth Rankin, Flickr

Charisma Magazine: I see many people of the Islamic faith coming to Christ

Charisma Magazine, which featured Mahabba in two articles, has just published a prophetic word from Cindy Jacobs about God moving among Muslims.

This is in light of the Westminster bombing, which we blogged about recently.

Mahabba has been aware of God moving among Muslims for some time - the wind in the House of Islam - so this is an encouraging word.

This is part 3 in a series of 3 from Charisma Magazine. Read part 1 and part 2.

We've reproduced part of the prophetic word here, but you can find a link to the full article at the bottom.

I feel that as the Christians in England and the broader of the U.K. and Europe pray for the Muslims, there's going to be great visitations come.
I see signs and wonders and miracles. I see many people of the Islamic faith coming to Christ—God visiting them in unique ways with angelic hosts and things like this and sending more laborers.
I believe that all of these terrible things that Satan meant, even the people who have died, which is so awful, we can't even imagine how awful that is. And we are grieving with you here in the United States—God is going to release such evangelism, such great things are going to impact the Muslim people in a great way.
It's not time for hating. It's time for praying. Let's not be haters; let's be prayers. 

Charisma Magazine: Mahabba empowers Christians to Reach Muslims for Jesus

Image: Hellmy,  Flickr

Image: Hellmy, Flickr

Charisma Magazine: Mahabba empowers Christians to Reach Muslims for Jesus

Charisma Magazine featured Mahabba in a second article, focusing on our work of presenting the opportunity to share Jesus with Muslims in turbulent times.

This is part 2 in a series of 3 from Charisma Magazine. Read part 1 and part 3.

Here's a short excerpt, and you can find a link to the full article at the bottom.

This network was started as a partnership of many churches and agencies in Oxford seeking opportunities to introduce local Muslims to the Good News about Jesus. Mahabba, as a movement, seeks to be a catalyst in networking together 'ordinary Christians', resourced by agency 'specialists' and championed by church leaders, to love their Muslim neighbours.
So Mahabba is not seen as an agency which are often seen negatively by pastors: their model is a prayer-based relational network which equips local churches with mentoring and training materials, which help church leaders to train ordinary members of churches to relate to Muslims in love and be able to explain the Gospel clearly (for example, 'Friendship First', 'Come Follow Me' and 'Joining the Family.' See kitab.org.uk).

Strang report: Christians loving Muslims produces fruit

Image: Neil Moralee,  Flickr

Image: Neil Moralee, Flickr

Strang report: Christians loving Muslims produces fruit

The Strang Report from Charisma magazine featured Mahabba in an article leading up to Ramadan.

This is part 1 in a series of 3 from Charisma Magazine. Read part 2 and part 3.

Steve Strang interviewed Gordon Hickson, Director for the Mahabba Network, and here are some excerpts.

You can find a link to the full article at the bottom.

The bottom line: Christians should not be afraid of Muslims. As they share love (mahabba), Muslims are coming to Christ. His friendship network is being used successfully in various parts of the world. And after having a significant spiritual experience, he now has faith for 30 million Muslims to come to the Lord!

I was horrified at the lack of response by pastors and ministries when it came to trying to reach Muslims.

I have to admit I thought it was a demon and tried to rebuke it, but actually it was God and He, more and more, continued to make it known to me for 11 months that 'this is Me; you must start praying for and reaching Muslims

Mahabba on Cross Rhythms' Breakthrough! Nights

Image: Joanthan Velasquez,  Unsplash

Image: Joanthan Velasquez, Unsplash

Mahabba on Cross Rhythms' Breakthrough! Nights

Gordon, National Director for Mahabba Network, was on Cross Rhythms' Breakthrough! Nights radio show last night, speaking about the work of Mahabba.

Breakthrough! Nights focusses on the people, issues and initiatives of the Stoke on Trent area and occasionally national and global topics.

It offers a chance for people, Christian or not, to engage spiritually through contemporary worship, prayer, the prophetic and sharing amazing life changing stories.

Gordon answered a series of questions, including:

  • What response is the Network getting from the Muslim community?
     
  • If Islam is in the news, like most things, it's usually for bad news and in Islam's case it's usually terrorism. You don't often hear of people talking about loving Muslims in the media. So please tell me about your love for Muslims
     
  • What do Muslims experience from their families and faith community when they want to change their faith and become Christians?
     
  • How understanding is our Government and services, of the issues Muslim converts face?
     
  • The Government has recently ended the scheme bringing child refugees to Britain, having taken just 350 of the promised 3,000. What is your opinion of this?

The full interview will be available shortly as a Q&A article, so stay tuned, but you can listen again to the show here.

Gordon was speaking to Heather Bellamy, and if you want to tune into Cross Rhythms, Breakthrough! Nights is on every Tuesday evening, and available on FM or online.

Lausanne Feature on Mahabba in Missions Catalyst

The Lausanne article on Mahabba Network made it into the popular Missions Catalyst news brief e-mail compiled by Pat Noble.

Missions Catalyst is a free, weekly electronic digest of mission news and resources designed to inspire and equip Christians worldwide for global ministry.

Missions Catalyst have picked up on the article that Gordon Hickson wrote for Luasanne:

Prayer-based Relational Network Equips “Ordinary” Christians for Ministry to Muslims

Over the last year or so, Christians across the UK have been confronted with a sudden escalation of media accounts of the actions of extremist Muslims, with stories of terrible atrocities and bloodshed in Iraq and Syria.

What has shocked them even more is that British Muslims by the hundreds have gone out to these war zones to give their support to ISIS and other extremist groups.

Many Christians have focused on the effects of Islamization and on the persecuted church, responding with fear and alienating themselves from face-to-face interaction with their Muslim neighbors.

In this context, a new phenomenon networking both agencies and churches has proved to be a catalyst to unity and prayer.

This prayer-based relational network is called Mahabba ('love' in Arabic); and it has flourished over the last four years, mainly because of the unprecedented opportunity in the UK. Its emphasis is on motivating and mobilizing “ordinary” Christians rather than just “specialists” to reach their Muslim neighbors.

The model is a prayer-based relational network which equips local churches with mentoring and training materials, and which helps church leaders to train ordinary members of their churches to relate to Muslims in love and be able to explain the gospel clearly.