Blessings and Gratitude from First Arabic

Feb 5, 2024

First Arabic’s adult choir sings during presbytery worship, November 2023

As the new year begins, First Arabic Presbyterian Church (FPC) and its Arabic Outreach Center (AOC) are deeply grateful for many blessings received over the past year.


First, a big thank you goes to all those individuals and churches in the presbytery who stepped up to provide generous financial gifts during the past year.  When needs were expressed, you were there, willing to help.  From the AOC’s informational gatherings in the summer to the fundraising requests in the fall, the FAPC leaders were deeply moved by the responses received from churches and individuals alike!


It was particularly pleasing when St. Paul Presbyterian Church (Johnston) invited the Arabic Outreach Center to be part of their Alternative Gift Mart just before Christmas. AOC volunteers at the event were deeply grateful when shoppers were moved to purchase AOC “gifts” to give to their loved ones. The funds raised at this special Christmas event will make a difference for those served by the AOC.


Through a desire to serve God and the church more fully, the FAPC elders began an educational focus on tithing with their congregation. (In their homeland, tithing to the church was not the norm, as churches were usually funded by foreign missionary organizations.) Through these educational efforts, congregational giving at FAPC has increased significantly.


FAPC’s gratitude also extends beyond the borders of the presbytery. More than a year ago, we learned that the Byron Lesch Memorial Mission Fund in Waterloo, Iowa, was seeking applications from Presbyterian churches interested in creating their own foundations to enhance their mission endeavors.  This amazing opportunity came about due to a bequest from a generous donor who wanted to support church mission efforts.  FAPC applied and was accepted!  The appropriate legal steps were taken, and board members were selected to serve: Louise Gately and Roxanne Neary from the presbytery’s Sudanese Support Team, John Edwards (Westminster, DSM), Jude Conway (Heartland, Clive), and Jeff Lorenzen (Central, DSM).  Now FAPC has its own foundation, known as the Liz Knott Memorial Fund. While the initial gift of $40,000 will not produce revenue for the church for at least two years, the interest from the principal will eventually provide stability and support for FAPC’s mission endeavors for years to come.

First Arabic church leaders gather with Foundation board members for their first meeting.

First Arabic Presbyterian Church and its Arabic Outreach Center are truly grateful for all these blessings!