Throughout the month of November 2019 follow my blog as I reflect and write about my thoughts, impressions and experiences in the Middle East.
Day One – I Arrive in Muscat
After flying from Newark to Dubai on Monday, I continued my journey this morning. I arrived in Muscat, Oman at 9:20 am. The Rev. Josh Bode, pastor of the Protestant Church in Oman met me at the airport. Since I arrived sixteen hours ahead of the rest of the group, Josh and his spouse, Erica, were gracious enough to host me at their home, provide me some much needed gluten free nourishment, show me the Gulf of Oman and have coffee with a church leader from Nigeria.
More importantly it has been a time to talk with Josh about being the pastor of the Protestant Church in Oman (PCO). Listening to him I realize that, we, the western Church, have very little idea of Christian religious life outside our country. Here in Oman, the PCO oversees 70 sponsored congregations involving 45 different nationalities located on two different campuses. The linguistic, cultural and theological challenges are incredible to say the least. While some may consider this a nightmare, Josh sees it as the Church of Jesus Christ learning how to live together in all its complexities. It requires grace-filled conversations, a wide-spectrum of cultural awareness and humility.
There will be more to share as I will attend worship at the English service on Friday morning (Sabbath in the Muslim world). In blogs to come I will be sharing more about the work of Josh Bode, pastor of the PCO, and of the Al Amana Centre. Ponds Reformed Church supports Josh and Erica as well as Aaro Rytkönen, the Director of the Al Amana Centre. Until then good night from Oman.
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