Hesham’s Story

Missionary Hesham Shehab grew up in Beirut, a world of bitter animosity between Muslims and Christians, which he experienced personally in a physical attack when 7 years old.  By age 13 he was recruited by the Muslim Brotherhood (Lebanese Chapter) and later fought against Christians in the 1975 war in Lebanon.  

In 1980, while Missionary Hesham was going to an American college in Beirut, Lebanon, his brother was killed by a Christian militia. Missionary Hesham’s response was to study by day, and by night seek to take revenge in attacks on Christian members if the militia that killed his brother.   

However, hearing the Sermon on the Mount, in a course of cultural studies (at that college), brought him to faith. He heard the words “love our enemies and pray for those who persecute you.”  These words stunned and surprised him. In order to know more about Jesus, Missionary Hesham checked out a copy of the Bible from the college library and began reading it on his own.  The more he read the Bible, the more he felt peace and forgiveness.  Missionary Hesham found a way of forgiveness and reconciliation instead of hatred and revenge. 

Later, Hesham did graduate studies on Islamic History and religion, and taught and lectured on Middle Eastern studies and human rights in Lebanon, Europe, and the United States. 

 In 2001, while he was working as a journalist and adjunct professor at the American University of Beirut, he met a retired Lutheran pastor, Rev. Dr. Bernie Lutz.  Pastor Lutz was working with the Lutheran Hour Ministry in Beirut.  Dr. Lutz introduced Missionary Hesham into the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod.  

Divine intervention through a series of events brought him to the United States in 2004. He established a Chicagoland ministry in 2007.  He has, finished his pastoral education at Concordia, Fort Wayne, IN, was ordained in 2010 and called to serve as a Missionary to Salam Christian Fellowship.  

Missionary Hesham assists people with social service issues, helping them with translation, paper work and transition in the American culture, all the while sharing Jesus.  In 2008, with the support of local LCMS churches, Missionary Hesham planted Salam Christian Fellowship, a mission to Muslims in the western suburbs of Chicago, and has so far baptized 40 people from the Middle East.   

Salam Christian Fellowship is a faith ministry that depends on the donations of God’s people and their zeal to fulfill the Great Commission.  Salam reaches out to refugees and new immigrants from eight Middle Eastern countries, and shares the Gospel with Muslims in three languages.  Salam converts and seekers meet for worship and Bible Study through the western suburbs of Chicago. Missionary Hesham speaks nationwide on Islam and evangelism.  His goal is to ignite the love of Christ towards Muslims by Christians.  

Missionary Hesham was an adjunct professor at Concordia, Ann Arbor, MI, where he taught Islam.  Currently he is an adjunct instructor of Islam at College of DuPage. Missionary Hesham hopes to be a bridge of reconciliation between the Muslim and Christian communities since he understands both belief systems. 

He is married to Mona and has four children.