(Written Easter of 2009, Tallil AFB, Cob Adder, Iraq)
I really am having a difficult time expressing myself about this. So I will just explain the only way I know how.
I am living on Tallil Air Force Base, Iraq. It's Easter Sunday and we had a sunrise service.
The service was held at the archaeological digs where they have excavated the home of Abraham in Ur of the Chaldees.
To tell you the truth, I was skeptical at first about the authenticity of the claim that it is actually the home of Abraham.
When I had visited the site a couple of weeks ago, I questioned our tour guide about the validity of that claim. He reassured me that tablets and other artifacts had been found to verify their findings. When I got back to my room I was reading in Genesis about Abraham, and there in my Bible's study notes were remarks about this very site and the archaeologists who discovered it in the 1930's.
Anyway, when the chaplain posted the schedule for this holy week of Easter, a sunrise service was planned at Abraham's home. About half of our shop signed up to go including me.
In a few weeks, the U.S. government is going to hand this piece of property back to the Iraqi government. The opportunity to tour the site will be gone. (at least for the time being) Possibly the opportunity to worship the LORD at this site will not occur again this side of Jesus' return.
I don't have the words to express how honored and humble I feel that out of all the people in the world and out of all the people in time, I was able to participate in what could be a once in a lifetime (once in history) event.
I know I haven't done anything to deserve such a thing. But I am so grateful that God included me.
There were maybe 200 people attending. A praise team was playing acoustic guitars and leading us in worship and then one of the chaplains stepped up to a podium and opened his Bible and read Holy Scripture there on those grounds. We sang more songs which are listed in the program and I could not keep from crying as I sang along with the others praising God. And then I thought that you could possibly be praising with some of these same songs in your service today and how all of us are joined in praise.
Then one of the chaplains stood on the reconstructed wall of Abraham's home and presented the Word of God. He took us from Adam and Eve to Noah to Abraham all the way down to Jesus. He explained the covenant God made with Abraham and how we are a part of that covenant. And He shared about the resurrection of Jesus.
The chaplain asked us to respond to him when he proclaimed "He is risen!" and the congregation would respond "HE IS RISEN INDEED!" It became the theme for his message.
All day long the Holy Spirit has been pounding inside of me so strongly. I can't explain how filled I am right now. What words could I use?
I just wanted to share this with you and with my church family. I love you and miss you all so much and I know that you pray for me. I can feel the prayer covering me at times. Thank you so much. Please continue to be in prayer for me and my family while I'm here.
In Christ alone,
I sent the above message through Kelly to my church... there was no way I could share everything, but I had to put it down in words as best I could.
When I got back to the shop after the service, I was talking with one of the young women that works there for another company. She was asking questions about the Christian faith. I had given her a tract and she was curious. She is not quite sure what she believes, but she thinks that believing in God is a cop out in some ways.
Anyway, I had the opportunity to share with her that the Christian faith is not about religion, but about a relationship with God.
I stood on a spiritual mountain today and God touched my heart. I haven't felt this in so long. I am glad I could feel His touch again.
He is the healer of broken hearts.