Almost a year ago I traveled with people from my church on a two-week trip to the Middle East. I was both stretched and impacted.
The first challenge was dealing with fear about security. Corrie ten Boom once said, “The safest place to be is in God’s will.” This truth of God’s sovereignty was a packing item more important than my airplane pillow or protein bars. Encouragement was also found in hugs and whispered promises, “We’ll be praying for you.” God doesn’t leave us at the border of a new country. As I set foot on the other side of the ocean, I would be as far from alone as I would be from my home.
The second challenge was figuring out how to navigate the experiences and then what to do with them when I returned back to my passport-country.
I wish I could show the beautiful faces of those we served with sometimes just our presence and a smile. My team didn’t solve anything big, like the refugee problem, but I can give firsthand testimony that God is at work over there. I know because Bibles were opened while the call to prayer echoed from the dusty streets. I know because even though Arabic is an insurmountable barrier on a short-term trip, prayer is the strongest weapon, and it’s completely undetectable by intelligence officers.
As soon as I hugged little bodies, sat on bright cushions (some that reeked), saw tears about rent money, tasted Turkish coffee that stripped my tongue, delighted in delicious flavors and sceneries. . . this nation felt real and raw and I’m compelled to beg God to have mercy on them. Will you pray with me for this land?