We have all seen the pictures of some guy standing on the hillside with the pyramids to his back and his hand outstretched. The picture is framed with the appearance that the great pyramid is resting in the hand of a man. I happened to be one of those guys taking the picture this past week as a group of 6 of us spent a week in Egypt on a global connection trip. Of course we all know that the picture is just an illusion, but what I experienced while in this ancient country was anything but an illusion. Our trip revealed to me that God’s hand has been and currently is in, around, and under this region.
Being a pastor, I have the tendency to over-spiritualize things, but in this case I don’t think I can emphasize the spiritual nature of what is happening right now in Egypt. I’ve got to be honest with you, prior to leaving this country, I had some major reservations about going on this trip. With all the political ambiguity and social unrest it seemed as though this would not be the best time for me to go. However, as God often does, He opened my eyes to see the opportunity that lay on the other side of confusion and chaos. In a nation full of people who lack hope and peace, there is a gospel message that is making its way to those who will hear and it is bringing healing and rest to this land.
Groups that would typically not associate are uniting under the banner of Christ and are bridging the gap. People who have had successful careers elsewhere are being drawn to the country to use their gifts as a means of entry. Jesus followers are stepping in the gap for poor and oppressed, the widows and the orphans. The political climate, though unstable, is providing freedoms that were otherwise unknown a few years ago. The Arab Spring is causing the youth to think outside of the box of what they have known and is providing opportunity for seeking. Though this ground is largely un-tilled it runs deep with roots in Biblical history and is being prepared for a great harvest.
There is absolutely no better time in the history of Christianity for a people group to be reached with the cultural transforming power of the gospel message of Jesus Christ than right now – right there. Most of the times we have to look in hindsight to really see how God has touched a situation, but it is really cool when God gives you a glimpse of his hand in action before his glory is reaped from the work. Yes, God has the whole world in his hands, but right now I think north-east Africa is right in his palm and getting prepped to play a key role in the Kingdom of God.