Tuesday, June 07, 2005
Big Dog Day
Yesterday was, I believe, the first time since the sixth grade that I have spent from 8 am to 3 pm in one single class. My June class began. We pondered such questions as "What is the meaning of 'meaning'?" By noon my brain was full. But I loved it.

I also learned how King Henry VIII read books. When someone presented him with a book he had written, the king then handed it off to one of his hired smart guys. When they finished it, he gave it to another smart guy who held the opposite views of the first smart guy. Then the two smart guys would each present their view to the king of what they read. And then the king would decide what he thought about the book.

I wish I had a setup like that for my seminary reading.

My brother Jason and his wife Kelly are presently in Beirut, Lebanon along with some friends at Norman Community Church. They are working with the local church there evangelizing and passing out Bibles this month. Last week he sent me this email:

Wow! What an adventure this has been. Jesus has met and gone far beyond our expectations already. The harvest is truly plentiful. We have been meeting so many people that are hungry; we have encountered more contacts yearning to know Jesus in our 4 or 5 days so far than we expected to see in our 6 week stay. We are mystified by the power of Jesus.

Our first few days we just wandered around the "Cornesh" (the trail running the length of the Mediterranean), and the downtown "Solidaire" area meeting people and being bold with the love of Jesus. People are so much more open to speaking about their beliefs here than in our culture. It is much easier to approach a stranger, and more common for a stranger to approach you. Many friendships are developing here. As in the US everyone is obsessed with their cell phones here. Our team has two to share for the 14 of us and we get their numbers to set up future appointments with them to get to know them and continue sharing the love of God with them. For the most part our evenings are spent with those people.

In the days now we go into a neighborhood passing out copies of the New Testament to families who will answer the door. We are in what the world sees as one of the most dangerous neighborhoods in the world, but are receiving generosity and peace from nearly everyone we meet. This is much more difficult and discouraging at times, but seeds are being planted. Today Kelly, Kopke, and I were in a building riding the elevator to the top. At our arrival the largest dog, with the loudest, meanest bark met us scratching and roaring at the elevator door. We frantically pressed the button to go to the next floor down. "The beast" followed us though, and had made his way down the stairs meeting us in the same way. The next floor showed the same result. We decided that maybe we should skip this building for now and went to the bottom hoping to beat the dog down. We hurried to the door. All of the doors have crazy latches here and we couldn't figure it out. It was straight out of a horror film. We conquered the puzzle though and found ourselves safely back out in the street.

There is a very heavy presence in many of the buildings. Please pray that the Lord will pave the way for us to tell the truth of Jesus that 4 out of 5 people that we speak to have never heard. We will do this Monday through Thursday with our rest day on Friday and creative days on Saturday and Sunday to meet with contacts do whatever the Lord leads.

Our team of ragamuffins is bringing me much pride. Jesus is using us as his broken vessels and showing his goodness and power. I have never seen the body and all of the giftings as well as with our team. We are falling in love with the city and people as we believe Jesus loves them.

Nothing is more fun and adventurous than taking taxis to places you've never been with a driver who cannot speak English through a city without traffic laws. It is a puzzle, game, and ride unparallel to any experience what any amusement park or extreme sport can offer. And it only costs 66 cents to get anywhere in the city.

We are already seeing fruits here and the indigenous church is growing. We get so many comments with our friends, "You have friends to love Jesus with and help you, but I have no one." We smile and reply that we have more friends here to introduce them to and that everyday we meet more. They are eager. Yesterday one said, "I don't care who they are as long as they love Jesus, I will love Jesus with them."

Pray for more healing, and more dreams of Jesus, and that those we have met will continue to take steps in loving Jesus. Pray for the girls as they are feeling the strongholds against women here. There are few women on the streets to meet and make contact with. Kelly is definitely feeling as if she is not being used as much as the guys are. Pray against the chains on women in the Middle East and that doors will open for our girls to be used. (Tonight they are going to get makeovers, as we were told that it is the best way to meet women). Kelly also is showing symptoms of a lower respiratory tract infection and needs prayers. She is doing wonderfully though and making me proud.

I was told by a man today that I was beautiful.

I think you're beautiful. Jason

posted by Peter at 11:38 PM
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