Has it really been over two months since we got here? It has! And it has flown by with a few stories made along the way.
Days go by quickly here. My team members and I live within walking distance of each other—which is great! We are running an English club on Wednesday nights for university students and locals who want to learn English. It’s been great!
We also take turns as team members on Sunday evenings, leading a house church. We take turns leading the devotion, worship, or communion. And we have food, we have food at everything we do, like why not?
For myself, I’m hanging out with people almost every day who are interested in Jesus. And if I just came here to share about Jesus, and not build relationship, I wouldn’t see fruit. But everything here is so relational, they are super friendly, and I share every Jesus story I have.
The nations have come here to this island, hoping that being here would be a launching pad to other places in the world. This is a place of unfinished stories, people are stuck here, exiles. We are the privileged ones who share that Jesus is the one writing your story, that He is the one who is your hope and future. He wants to give you a new life!
I came here wanting to start a daily rhythm of prayer—the rule of life, structured time with Jesus. It has been a highlight of my time here, though I am tired in the mornings, I wake up excited to spend time in the Word and in prayer. It’s been so sweet.
One of the countries here in the Middle East, from the 18th century onward, has been the hardest place—impossible place to reach. One of the missionaries of the 18th century would write home saying, “I haven’t seen any converts or planted any seeds, but I believe I’m removing stones for seeds to be planted.”
Then in the 60s and 70s, a local Pastor (of that same nation) felt the need to pray. For four years his church met in his home, humbled themselves, and prayed every day, for their country to know Jesus, for their country to be a place of sending out the Gospel. When faithful people pray don’t you think God will move? Will those prayers not be answered?!
That prayerful faithfulness shows up in the following story…
I lived on the street, got involved in drugs and gang activity and a friend (from the same country as above) reached out to me because I was on his heart. Over the course of a couple of phone calls, he shared Jesus with me and I gave my life to Jesus, and I made my relationship with my Dad right.
A local friend and believer asked me if I’d like a Bible. “I’d love a Bible. Just drop it off somewhere and I’ll go and get it later. Text me a picture and I’ll pick it up.”
So my friend went out to the park and left the Bible under a wooden bench, took a picture, and texted me.
Upon receiving the text, I asked, “Why did you pick this bench?”
“I don’t know, it just stood out to me, so I left it there.”
“This is the bench, where I did drugs, this is the place of my brokenness and suffering. My life nearly ended there, I was at my lowest point, and this bench was once my home. And this is the place that Jesus would bring you to leave the Bible, only Jesus could have done this!”
God is moving here in the Middle East—when we think of this region, we believe that it’s one of the hardest, darkest places. But, God is speaking, through His people, even random guys like me. Thank you to everyone who has been supporting me, reaching out to me, and praying for me; I couldn’t do this without you!