Monday, September 30, 2013

A Money Changer Story

    Today I went to exchange money.  I gave the lady, Lativa; $600 US.  She was really in a hurry and copied my passport, gave me the Omani money inside the folded receipt.  I looked at the rials and then double checked to make sure that the amounts matched and then we left.  I then folded it up and put it in my pocket.  When we were at lunch I pulled it out and started thinking, this doesn't make sense...why only 62 rials, when it should have been more like 230.  I asked my contact if he thought it was right because it didn't seem right to me.  His reply was NO.  So I got the receipt and we looked at it and she had put UAE driums exchange rate not USD.  So it was right for that but not of USD.  So what do we do..They could easily say you counted it and that is that. If they said that, bang I am now $440 short. 

    Well all I could do was pray about it and turn it over to the Lord, kinda like we have done with our house.  So really I had this incredible peace about it.  I just thought that this was a great opportunity for meto show how a Believer would handle the situation and I wanted to be an example.  I was upset with myself, but either way I was going to be a light to this world, I had decided.  Of course, everything closes down from 1 to 5 so we had to wait about 4 hours to solve it.  So a little after 5 we headed into the place. As the afternoon break was happening I was remembering another story of money changers in the Bible and smiled as I thought about the stories and then my situation.

    Immediately upon greeting her, David and I both in Arabic.  She looked up and said, with a HUGE smile; "I am so happy you came back.  I found my mistake right after you left and I was very upset. I told my manager (mudaire) about my mistake and he was very angry with me.  I just hoped you would come back, and here you are."  She immediately got the manager and the situation was made right.  We thanked her for honesty and for her hope we would return.  And of course I told her "Allamik (which means God with you)" as I was leaving and then said a prayer for her.  But she just smiled the whole time.

    After we left I was reminded why these people are so special and so needing the love and truth of Jesus Christ.  And why I love this culture so much.  In America, I would have been told, too bad so sad.  But here honor means so much.  If these people gave their hearts to Jesus what would happen!

Views of Salalah, Oman

Sunday, September 29, 2013

A Contrast in Oman


                                       Assalam a' laykum from Salalah!
    Salalah is  contrast of cities.  You have the traditional look of what you would expect (or what I would expect in Oman), a desert country with beauty and lots of sand and heat.  And then you have the banana groves and coconut groves outside of the city. 
    Yesterday was kind of a blur for me here.  I arrived safely however I think the overnight flight, and as always is the case on these trips jetlag got the best of me.  Since these trips are usually very busy, with flying, then getting off the plane and then right to working and planning.  I believe that the flight really intensified the fatigue that I fight.  So the day was a blur. 
    But through the grace of God, still there was much completed and excitement on both of our parts about what the future will hold and how we can partner together.
    Today we are headed towards the country that is the east of here, to visit some villages and to begin to understand exactly what and how the work could look like when we get here. I am so excited to hear that God is working here and that His glory we can join in.
    Please pray for the following for me if you have a chance:
          1.  That through this time that God will continue to demonstrate His glory and that we will be able to plan a wonderful time.
          2.  That I will get the rest that I need to go.  I am not asking for sleep but His power to feel me and sustain me and for my physical condition.  My back is flaring up again.
          3.  For the work here and the people I am meeting with.
          4.  For Jerry and Linda Yates and their team that is headed to Paraguay in a few days to do God's work.
     Thank you for everything.  

Saturday, September 28, 2013

New Location

    So I made to Salalah, Oman about 30 minutes ago.  It was a very long night.  Started out in Kuwait City, Kuwait at 7 pm (flight was at 10:30pm), they want you at the airport at least 3 hours early.  Then went to Dubai, UAE for connection, arrived at midnight, almost a 2 hour layover and the off to Muscat, Oman for a 1 hour, arrived at 4am.  I got my visa and luggage, then headed back up to departures to take the flight here to Salalah.  This flight was only an hour and a half, of course it didn't leave until almost 9:30, we were delayed on the runway due to some type of military action.  Basically they were flying their planes over the airport.  Now believe this or not, the airplane stats said it was a 138.2 degrees F.   Not sure they were accurate, but I will say it is very, very hot and humid here. 
    In about 2 hours, we are off to start discussing future projects and how the city is open for the work.  It should be a great time.  Just praying for God's Will.

Next Location

Today is the last day here and is ready to wrap up.  I will be headed out in about an hour to eat some dinner and then to the airport for an overnight flight to the Next Location and next adventure.  I would enjoy telling you that I will be able to get some sleep however, that is definitely not the situation.  Right in the middle I have to make 2 connections.  So sleep will not be happening a whole lot.  Thank you for your prayers on this part.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Day 2-Wonderful Day!

              As you know this trip is really about following the Lord, our God in searching out new places where we can come together and follow him in obedience, in Sharing The Truth to "Ends of the Earth."  So as you can see from the pictures this is where I went this morning. 
                 Friday here is the day when we come together for the Fellowship of Believers or as we say, Church.  It was a wonderful service.  During the service, I was able to learn that they have 4 services on Friday, 1 on Monday, Awanas and Youth groups during the week.  And here is the kicker, they are starting church plants throughout the country.  Now here is the kicker on today, each service today averages over 300 people and from the numbers that I was given from our conversation, the number of Believers is significantly more that estimated.  God is definitely working here!!!
           After the morning service, I met with the Pastor during his short break and we are going to start discussing how IC can become more involved with the Lighthouse Evangelical Church of  Kuwait.  Thank you for your prayers.  I am thrilled, excited, Praising Him and expectant at what the Lord is going to do as we progress into the future.   

Buildings in Kuwait City

These are just a few of the buildings that are around Kuwait City.  I wish I could show you all of the beautiful architecture here.  It would amaze you.  And of course the last picture is for all my coffee drinking friends and family, who can't go without their Starbuck's fix.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

First Complete Day

    It has been a very interesting day.  I was told today that it is the first day in a very long time that there was a breeze and it is cool.  Okay, 95 degrees is a cool day...okay I guess it all about perspective.  My perspective is that this is a very beautiful city and so ready for a great work to happen here , but it is still hot. I promise that tomorrow I will get some pictures of the city uploaded on this so you can see the city and the AMAZING buildings here.  This evening I spent time with a friend discussing Islam and Christianity, how they differ and how Islam came to be.  It was a great time of discussion.  I am so thankful that God has allowed me to understand this religion.  Although I am not perfect and am not a know it all, I am just blessed to be able to have the knowledge I have....Thank you Lord.
    Tomorrow I am headed to the largest Evangelical Church in the city.  It actually has different parts of the church that reach out to the multitude of Nationalities here.  I am praying that this will be the beginning of some more things to come in the future. 
    Here are few prayer request:
          1.  Praising God for today, and what has happened.
          2.  For the church service tomorrow and the meetings that are going to happen.  Divine wisdom and knowledge.
          3.  I mentioned this on Facebook and will hold off sharing it there yet.  I spoke about a new adventure that Jeannine and I started this last summer.  Please pray for us as we are going through the final processes of getting our very first home. And please pray for Jeannine as she is wrapping up the details that arise all my herself.  God has richly blessed us so far, but as we near the final pieces we could use all of your prayers.  I can't wait to share with you how God has worked this out for us.  Please again, join us in prayer but when the time is right we would like to share it on Facebook.
          4.   For rest for me.  I am up still and it is way after midnight here.
          5.   For my family at home.
     May each of you have a blessed rest of your day and I look forward to posting again tomorrow.

A Haunting Feeling


    As I have been exploring and meeting people, I have been overwhelmed with this incredible feeling of sadness as I have watched the women go by me.  Kuwait is a very conservative country by Islamic standards.  Upon entering the country last night, the passengers on my flight were reminded of the items that we could bring into the country.  That in itself should bring your attention to just how conservative this country is. 

    I looked up the word “haunting” because that is the feeling I was getting as the women, who were fully covered ; were walking by me.  The dictionary says haunting is “poignant and evocative, difficult to ignore or forget, continually recurring to the mind, and ominous.”  The women wear a “hijab,” it is the full covering that covers the head, the face and the body.  Though out my adventures in this region, I have been able to see the hijab in varying colors, however here all I have seen is black and the faces of the women are fully covered except for the slit that opens around the eyes. 

    Poignant, difficult to forget or ignore, and ominous seem to describe the women here so well. I am heartbroken at watching the women here.  The women start wearing the hijab, pretty much at the time of puberty.  It is typically stated that it is worn to maintain a certain standard of modesty, privacy and morality.  Some believe “that it not only refers to the physical body covering, but also embodies a metaphysical dimension, where al-hijab refers to the veil which separates man or the world from God.”  Maybe the idea of modesty, privacy and morality to some degree I can agree with however, the veil separating man or in this case women from God, I have problem with.  Did I mis-read the Bible? God’s Word; that says when Jesus died on the cross the veil of separation in the temple was torn apart.  Wasn’t it torn so there would not be any more separation from God. 

    In trying to allow you and assist you understanding in this journey I am on.  I would like to give you another vision that I hope will help you understand this feeling of “haunting” I have right now.  The men here and throughout this region wear a “dishdasha” (and yes I have one).  Typically the dishdasha is white and that really is the case here.  So here is your visual, men in white (which from our western viewpoint is purity) and women are in black.  I am sitting here drinking hot tea (yes, hot with lots of sugar) and watching a husband and wife interact, or more accurately not interact.  She is in the hijab, black and the slit across her eyes and he is wearing they traditional white dishdasha.  She has to lift her veil to drink her juice from a straw and he is smoking his cigarette and drinking his coffee.    

    The dictionary says haunting is “poignant and evocative, difficult to ignore or forget, continually recurring to the mind, and ominous.”  Please understand that I am not saying wearing the hijab is wrong, because I truly love this region of the world and the people of this wonderful part of the world.  What I am trying to do is to let you know about this region, the people and to enable each of you to really become a part of this work that God has called me to be part of.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

New Day In Kuwait

    So I arrived last night in Kuwait City, Kuwait.  I don't know what I expected when I arrived but I was mildly surprised, pleasantly surprised.  I was met by a lady who took me through the Visa process which is actually very well organized and it went very fast.  I had to wait for a while to be met, because my plane was about 45 minutes early (unlike America, here when everyone is on board we take off....very nice, no delays).  I made it to the place I am staying which is about an hour from the airport or so, not too bad...but a very nice place.
    Of course, I think I slept too much this time on the flight over (approximately 19 hours). So pretty much I have only slept for about 5 hours.  I can live with that. 
    I am excited with what this day will bring.  I am going to go out to the city and meet people.  Always thrilled to meet people, practice my Arabic (which I drastically need), and really try to engage in some meaningful conversations today.
    I will post some pictures tonight of the day.  Thank you for your prayers, love and support.  Please if you want to become personally involved in what God is having me do, please let me know and I would absolutely love to share with you how you can become involved, either through going, praying or giving.    

In His Name,

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Emirates Air

Today starts the adventure to the Arabian Peninsula.  Please join me on this adventure through your prayers and love.  If you want to know how to be personally involved, please let me know and I will let you know how to become involved.  Being involved will DEFINITELY change your life.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Beginning Pictures

Happy times in Jordan when we were all younger.

A small island in the Sea of Oman

Just a few of the pictures of places that God has led me to.

Beginning of a New Blog

Tomorrow starts another adventure to the Arabian Peninsula.  It will be a time of new friends, new places and new adventures.  Please continue to visit my blog as the adventure continues.