by David Vickers
For the past few years I have been encouraged by the words of Revelation 3:8. I look back over my life at all the doors that God has opened for me. I also reflect on all His provision and divine protection.
I just returned from a trip to Lebanon and Jordan. It’s my eighteenth year of association with that part of the world. My first calling was to “the desert” in 1998. He called me, he opened the door and six weeks later I was working in Kuwait and helping to plant a new church on the edge of the desert. Responding to that first open door increased my faith to always be aware of others.
My regular two-week visit to Lebanon was marvelously encouraging. The followers of Jesus are increasing in numbers and maturity. New ways are opening for the churches to respond to the needs of refugees and other vulnerable groups.
In Switzerland in summer, I shared God’s word with some young Egyptians. They invited me to Egypt and see them as they wanted to hear more. So I spent a week in Cairo. My friends had arranged for me to speak to a gathering about voluntary service. Over a hundred turned up and we took over a café. I spoke of God’s gift of love and compassion, so great that we cannot keep it to ourselves. Being channels of his unconditional love is the key to voluntary service and being a change-maker in our world. The impact was positive and many wanted to discover more.
On that Sunday I went to church in Cairo. I went to a Greek Orthodox Church and to a Sudanese Fellowship. Whilst I was worshiping, a bomb exploded in the nearby Coptic Cathedral killing 25 and seriously injuring over 50.
Once again, I had seen the cost for some of following the path of Jesus. And once again I saw how followers of Jesus respond with an increased faith and determination. God’s instruction is clear – Love Him and love each other. He opens doors for us ways to do this, even when things looks tough. He knows that we are weak.
Please pray for followers of Jesus in the Middle East to see the open doors in their lives that God opens and cannot be shut. Have an inspiring 2017 looking for open doors.