Today, Alan Shiffer, Pastor Graig, and I rode down with Steve Haas (of World Vision) to visit Sidon - the place Jesus walked and where we know Paul was and traditionally Peter as this was the location of their debate about whether or not to take the gospel of Jesus Christ to non-Jewish people.
While there, we visited with Sheikh Mohammed Abou Zaid who is the "judge" for all disputes for the Muslim people in the area. (He is pictured above with his wife and youngest son.) As he walked us around Sidon, I walked alongside him and saw how it seemed every other person we passed greeting him with deference and respect. (I invited him to visit us at Lake Grove Church, and he seemed very interested and willing. I hope he can come so that you can meet him!)
Sidon is beautiful (as is all of Lebanon). Mohammed showed us around. We visited an ancient port still in use from at least 5,000 years ago, wandered through the ancient souk (tunneled bazaar), visited a majestic house "palace," and in the midst of all of the beauty, learned of heartbreaking stories of displaced people surrounding us. God is revealing to us the deep needs of these displaced people - the need for education, for better living conditions, for the protection of vulnerable children and disabled people.
As I look around, I ask what our role could be in developing relationships with these people, the faith communities, and organizations trying to address these needs. I am excited to see what God has planned for us tomorrow!