An amazing trip to the Middle East. This is worth a read. Here are some snapshots:
We were with the Hezbollah #2 (who we always see). He’s functionally the top guy as the #1 guy has been in hiding for 4 years. We are in his office in Tyre, southern Lebanon. We’ve had three and a half hours of great discussion. The President of Iran, Ahmadinejad, has just landed in Lebanon hours earlier (more on that in a bit). As usual, I ask the Sheikh if we can pray for him before we go and he says “Of course.” I asked one of my pastor friends to pray. He is overcome by the Holy Spirit, falls to his knees in front of the Sheikh, and through tears, prays. We lay hands on the Hezbollah leader and sense the presence of God in the room. An amazing moment etched in my mind.
My first thought (after “Oh my goodness, my friend looks like he’s kissing the guy’s feet”) was, “We are in the presence of The King. Jesus is here. How cool….”
The next snapshot was later that same day as we were hosted by an extremely wealthy Muslim background businessman who has seen visions of Jesus. Our friend Brad broke out into song on the guitar, and while they thought he was doing a mini-concert, he led in prayer through worship. Again, we physically experienced the presence of God in that house (which backed up against the Prime Minister’s house). I asked if the host and his wife would stand in the middle so we could gather around and pray for them. I gave them a bit of instruction: “Don’t pray, just be still. We will pray for you.”
They did, and we did – tears all around.
It was personally sweet as that night, two of the men I’ve poured myself into both confessed to everyone, through tears, how much I’ve helped them find Jesus. That was worth the whole trip for me.
So…back to Ahmadinejad of Iran. He arrived a few hours after we did and left Lebanon a couple hours before we did. Here’s what happened…. (Actually, I’ll come back to this. Sorry.)
In Jordan we had gathering after gathering of young leaders, university students and just good old friends. We prayed. Worshipped. Laughed. Cried. Read the scriptures. Great times of being with men and women who are wanting to love and follow Jesus with all their heart. Our friends are doing amazing work. People giving their lives for the gospel. We are honored to be their friends.
We then drove across the border past Mount Nebo and the baptism site of Jesus into the Holy Land. We stayed in Bethlehem, visited people in Hebron, Jerusalem, Jericho, and then went up north to Nazareth and Galilee. Then we finished it off with a night in Tel Aviv. Lots to tell about that. I think I might do that in the next blog – just too much. And what God did in all the men who came was very cool to see.
We were also in a Jewish Kibbutz where the Jordan river comes out of the Sea of Galilee in the North. The leader of this Kibbutz (the first and most prominent in all of Israel) has become a friend. He’s a secular socialist Zionist Jewish Labor Party leader. (How’s that?). We prayed for him and his wife and kids before we left and Brad led in a song of worship. He emailed me the next day and said, “We have never experienced anything like that. What was that?” THAT, my friends, is the power of love in and through the lives of some humble folks submitted to the King. Pretty cool stuff….
Okay, a lot more to share – the Ahmadinejad story and more stuff in the West Bank and Israel. You’re gonna hate me, but I need to stop. I’m off to do a conference in San Francisco this weekend, so I’ll write more on Monday!
Love you and thank you for your love and prayer.