Whenever I travel I tend to visit people. Whether it has been to see local projects among the poor and afflicted, churches and their leaders, or artists working their trade, I have really valued spending time with people and learning from their experiences and perspective. I’m heading off now on a short trip to Jordan, Lebanon and Egypt with an Aussie team. We will be visiting Bible colleges and their different projects (including among refugees), all the while seeing the sights in these fascinating countries with long histories. We are going with the organisation Overseas Council Australia, and it’s director, Stuart Brooking.
Among all the visits, my main desire is to hear from the remarkable people who are serving the church, despite the many challenges. I feel I will be coming as a student to learn and be challenged by others’ wisdom and knowledge. I hope to encourage them in all they are doing. I want to let them know that the church at home will benefit from their stories and faithfulness. My hope is that in the weeks, months and years after this trip I will share many a story to bless and inform western Christians. I am especially looking forward to meeting students I have sponsored to study in Jordan.
Last year I fund-raised for work among Syrian and Iraqi refugees in Lebanon. I traveled there with Open Doors to visit a local church and to participate in a “Challenge Event”. I walked 63km in less than a day and raised $10,400 for the work being done there! I had a moving and worthwhile time. I have many a story from my time there that I haven’t yet shared and am eager to bring them to completion to share with you.
This current trip to the Middle East was because of that positive experience. The people I met were like me in their profession of faith in Christ but also were wonderfully obedient to God and effective in ministry, while suffering many a trial to remain where they were. I am grateful for their witness of God’s work through them. I certainly was encouraged to be more faithful in prayer and obedience. No doubt this trip will have its own personal challenges and I hope to seek God in all of them. May all we experience be for God’s glory and not ours.
Featured pic: A selfie, with a view over Northern Beirut in Lebanon.
I have been supporting Bible students through Overseas Council Australia, whom I am going with. They provide counsel and financial support to strategic and worthy Bible colleges around the world, including the Middle East. Make sure you check them out here: Overseas Council.