“Who Would have Thought that Individuals in the Church Buying a Tank Of Gas Would Have Put a Good Name for the Church of Christ?”


Source of Photograph of Mukhtar Raja:



Source of Photograph of Pastor David Jones and Family:


In September 2013 in Shawnee, Kansas, Mukhtar Raja worried that he would have to file for bankruptcy after construction closed some roads that brought customers to his business: Snack Shack Phillip 66. Employee Edgar Kempf said, “When they started, they cut off our roads. This whole neighborhood can’t even get to us. Man, it just clobbered [us] as far as business. I don’t know exactly how much but it hurt.” Mr. Raja, who estimates that sales fell by $100,000, said, “The point came it was hard to pay the bills. It was really hard to pay the bills.” He added, “I was seriously, seriously considering filing Chapter 7.” Fortunately, a local pastor and church came to the rescue. David Jones, the pastor at Cross Points Church, asked his congregation on 8 September 2013 to support Mr. Raja’s business by buying at least one tank of gas from it. Mr. Kempf said, “The first time they did, apparently they must have announced it right in church too, because church got out about 11:30 a.m. I never have a rush on Sunday, but I had people out here waiting in line to get gas.” Mr. Raja said, “I’m very thankful to them. They basically woke me up … that good people exist out there. They don’t care what race you are … what religion you are, and that is unforgettable.” Mr. Raja visited the church to thank the congregants for supporting his business. Pastor Jones said, “He came up on the platform and expressed his thanks. The church gave to him a standing ovation, and he said in 54 years he’s never experienced this kind of love before.” Pastor Jones added, “I asked them on Sunday, with Mukhtar on the platform, and I said, ‘How many of you have purchased a tank of gas?’ Ninety percent of the hands went up.” The congregation tries to act as a group to make the community better. Pastor Jones said, “They are thinking outside the walls of the church, which obviously as followers of Jesus, we want to be about them, having our eyes of the city and how can we be a blessing to those around us regardless of whether they are believers or not.” He added, “Don’t underestimate the small things that you can do as a local church that can have large ramifications for the body of Christ. Who would have thought that individuals in the church buying a tank of gas would have put a good name for the church of Christ?”

For Further Information: Morgan Lee, “Muslim-Born Man Testifies: ‘I’ve Never Seen This Type of Love Before’ After Church Unites to Save His Local Business.” Christian Post. 2 October 2013


For Further Information: Chris Oberholtz and Emily Rittman, “Strangers step up after business drops off for Shawnee owner.” KCTV (Kansas City, Missouri). 30 September 2013


For Further Information: Cross Points Church.” Accessed 4 October 2013


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