Tuesday, November 22, 2016

A Dry and Desolate Land

I’m overcome with deep, internal peace and ineffable joy to be back in the heart of Central Asia during their holy month of Ramadan.  Earlier this week we left the capitol on a long, hot, multiday, circuitous drive down south visiting some of the small fellowships we helped establish a few years ago.  The first day we passed within a stone’s throw of Uzbekistan with only a small river designating the porous border.  Then we turned west skirting the northern edge of Afghanistan. 

Looking out over the arid landscape Psalm 63:1 came to mind:
God, You are my God; I eagerly seek You.
I thirst for You;
my body faints for You
in a land that is dry, desolate, and without water.

This is a physically and spiritually dry and desolate land.  These kind, eminently hospitable people live a harsh life scratching out a very meager existence from lands their families have inhabited for untold generations. We’re working with our national partners here who are helping many of these villages by working with them to drill water wells. 

Hand drilling these wells is a long, laborious process taking days, even weeks, to complete just one.  But this slow process allows our partners lots of time working, eating, and living with the families.  Time in which they share the truths of God not only with their words but with their actions–their very lives.  

We saw some of the fruit of their labors in the two house churches we visited.  These brothers and sisters in Christ openly displayed their thirst for God, their eagerness to seek him and know him more.  This road trip through these spiritually dark, troubled lands reminded me of Paul’s visits to follow-up and encourage the fellowships he previously planted.  Like Paul, we’ve come to bless and encourage, teach and share.  We’ve come to remind them they are not alone.  That we are all one in Christ.

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