Salam Tenth Anniversary Celebration In Chicagoland

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While Chicagoans were celebrating the 180th Birthday of the City of Chicago, some Christians in the suburbs were attending the 10th Anniversary Celebration of Salam Christian Fellowship at the Community Center of Trinity Lutheran Church in Roselle, Illinois.
Approximately 80 people gathered on Saturday evening, March 4, to share a Middle Eastern meal (prepared by Salam’s ladies) and Christian fellowship, to celebrate the 10th Anniversary of a ministry which reaches out to refugees and immigrants from the Middle East, most of whom were raised, from the time they were children, to be Muslims.
The dinner was held in honor of those volunteers who helped Salam minister to new immigrants, and to thank Lutheran Church Charities (LCC) staff for their support in the social services that Salam offers to those Middle Easterners, and help them integrate in the American community.
Deaconess Dianna Bonfield represented LCC, while President Tim Hetzner was involved in rescue operation to help the victims of the tornado that hit Central Illinois last week.
Salam Christian Fellowship is a Word and Sacrament ministry that shares the Gospel of Jesus Christ with Muslim and Middle Eastern immigrants. Around forty people were baptized through the years.

Salam was founded 10 years ago by the Rev. Hesham Shehab, an LCMS Pastor originally from Beirut, Lebanon. Pastor Shehab immigrated to the United States in 2004 and then attended Concordia Seminary in Fort Wayne, Indiana. He was eventually Ordained by the Missouri Synod of the Lutheran Church.
At the dinner, a Syrian refugee, who came here about 16 months ago, told us how he came to the United States and prayed to find the truth about Allah and God. He shared his story about how he was led to Salam and Pastor Shehab and how he learned who Jesus really is. Today he works Uber full time, but gives many volunteer hours each week to help people who come to Salam, as a gratitude to the ministry that helped him first. He drives refugees to clinics and public departments and tells them about Jesus.

Art Ellingsen

Hicham Chehab

Hicham [pronounced HESHAAM] grew up in a world of bitter animosity between Muslims and Christians, which he experienced personally in a physical attack when only about 7. By age 13 he was recruited by an extremist Muslim group and later fought against Christians in the 1975 war in Lebanon. He was preparing to become a Muslim Preacher (Imam) when a car accident laid him up for a year. In 1980, in his first semester in college, his brother was killed by Christian militia. Hicham's response was to study by day, and by night take out his revenge in attacks on Christians. However, hearing the Sermon on the Mount, in a course of cultural studies (in college), brought him to faith. Later, Hicham earned an M.A. in the history of the Arabs and did Ph.D studies in the history of Islam. Hicham finished his pastoral education at Concordia, Fort Wayne, IN, and is currently in the Ph. D program there. Presently, Hicham, and ordained LCMS minister, pastors Salam Christian Fellowship and works as a missionary to the Muslims with the Lutheran Church in Illinois.