Back from the Middle East

Carol and I recently had a chance to visit an unnamed country in the Middle East.  If I’m honest, there was a little fear about going to a country that has always seemed quite hostile to me toward Christians and the cause of Christ.  Though it is not illegal to visit there, it is certainly illegal for people born in the country to convert to Christianity.

As a short-term visitor on such trips, I am always hit by three ideas whenever I come back.  The first, is that I am very grateful to be an American citizen.  It is nothing I have earned…it was a gift to me, given by virtue of where I was born, and I don’t ever want to take it for granted.  There is something about seeing those guys at passport control that just gives me a great swell of pride in my country and of gratitude toward all the men and women to serve to keep us safe.

Second, I am struck by how very easy it is for me to share my faith HERE!  No fear of religious police, no persecution, no language struggle, just whether I have the willingness to share a little bit of the reason for the HOPE that I have with the person who might be standing next to me in line at Starbucks, Togo’s, or the DMV.

Third, I am struck by how many people I care about here and how many care about me.  Though we often visit friends and family when we go overseas, it still feels a bit lonely.  Here, there are so MANY people willing to watch over my children, to cover things at work, to take us to the airport or bring us back, and who check in with us while we’re gone, to make sure everything is going alright.  What a blessed man I am.

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