The Roman Catholic Church and the Protestant Church (EEAM) in Morocco, a partner of the Disciples and United Church of Christ through Global Ministries, are doing tremendous work for the betterment of human beings and Christians on this part of the world. On a daily basis, men and women, young and old are working to make this country a better place for everyone. A lot has been done for the unity of the Body of Christ on interfaith dialogue and manifesting a critical presence towards the least of these.
In Oujda particularly, where my wife and I are serving as mission co-workers, we have an important ecumenical project and movement in terms of work and presence in the local community. With the goodwill and collaborative spirit of the leaders from both the Catholic and Protestant churches, and with countless hours of work, we have put together the biggest and strongest mixed team in Morocco that includes Christian (Catholic and Protestant), Muslim, students, migrants, and professionals in different fields: teachers, doctors, a pastor and a priest.
We had the opportunity to do in Oujda what has never been done in the past. For the commemoration of the international migration day, we had many events including sport activities with students, migrants, and refugees all together. We hosted a show for the community where all the actors, poets, dancers, and singers were migrants and refugees. We had a worship service where the whole church had the opportunity to hear stories from the members of the mixed team. This was such a rich experience for all of us!
During the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity in Oujda, we chose to study the book of Ephesians and to have prayer meetings all the week long. The main subject was “United under the headship of Jesus Christ.” Students and migrants from the Catholic and the Protestant churches gathered every day in groups for one hour and half to study the Word of God and to share their thoughts. For many of them, it was their first time to experience something like this.
We had times of deep reflections and discussions on various things that can divide us – as we all come from every part of the world, with so many different backgrounds and perspectives on life. We also took time to appreciate the things that unite us. As the scriptures state, “There is one body and one Spirit, even as you also were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, the One above all and through all and in you all.”
We are the Body of Christ, those who are called to manifest His presence, His peace and His light in the troubled and darkened area of this world! We have seen that diversity can be a great opportunity to discover, learn, and grow from our differences instead of it being a source of division and exclusion. We had some difficult conversations too, but everything was done in love and in a spirit of unity. Each conversation helped us to deepen our understanding on every subject.
We completed the week of prayer with an event hosted by the youth ministry of the Catholic Church where I shared my former experience as a bi-vocational person and the shift into full-time ministry that led to serving as mission co-worker in Morocco. We talked about faith, gifts, talents, career, and calling. How all these things have major impacts on our lives and the lives of people around us. How our faith and beliefs shape our lives and dictate our decisions. How we are all equipped with gifts and talents to make a positive change and a difference in the world. How powerful your “yes” to God can be, and how answering the calling can lead you on uncharted territory and to your life purpose.
One gentleman asked me this question: Why do you choose to do this? He meant why did my wife and I choose to be in ministry and serve as mission co-workers? The answer was simply complex if I can say it like this. Because this is a calling and an assignment, I told him. We do this because we are Christians. We do this because we long and strive for a just world. We do it because we believe that unity still matters and together, united under the headship of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, we can be more and we can do more.
We can do it because of your prayers, your support, and your gifts. Because some people had the audacity to believe that they can make a difference in the world… and it’s already happening through you and I.
Fritz-Gerald Joseph serves with the Evangelical Church of Morocco. His appointment is made possible by your gifts to Disciples Mission Fund, Our Church’s Wider Mission, and your special gifts.