J Ron Byler
MCC U.S. Executive Director
RonByler@mcc.org

Love the Lord your God with all your heart . . . and your neighbor as yourself. (Luke 10:25-27)

I am a Christian, a follower of Jesus. I believe that Jesus is the way to everlasting life.

As I write this, it is early morning in Iran and I am hearing the Muslim call to prayer waft across the city of Qom.

An MCC delegation is being hosted here by the International Institute of Islamic Studies. Since coming to Iran in 1990 to respond to an earthquake, MCC has enabled a number of student exchanges and academic dialogues between Christians and Muslims.

Jesus calls us to reconciliation and peace. Christians in my country, because of the challenges between the nations of the United States and Iran, are called to work toward friendship, understanding and peace with our Muslim brothers and sisters in Iran.

In this issue, you’ll read about MCC-supported peace workshops in Chad that are bringing together Muslims and Christians to build relationships that will help communities resist division and violence.

Pastor Abel Djekourboua says God is blessing these relationships. Leaders are no longer afraid of each other, and they have learned to find community solutions together and to give their hearts to each other.

In the Gaza Strip, there is conflict between Israeli Jews and Palestinian Christians and Muslims. An MCC-supported agricultural project highlighted in this issue helps Palestinian farmers know there is a larger community that cares about them.

As Christians, our desire for reconciliation is rooted in our commitment to the Prince of Peace. As we love God with our whole heart, we are able to help others open their hearts to their neighbors, breaking down divisions.

I am grateful for your support of MCC that helps make this work possible around the world.