Sunday, September 19, 2010

Awake in Dubai...

Today was weird. Tonight was powerful.

First about today…

When we realized that we would be laying over in Dubai on our way from Shanghai to Cape Town, we inquired about how much it would be to extend our layover a tad. When we found out that it was $20.00, we jumped on it. So, today we spent the day in Dubai. It was, for lack of a better word, weird.
  • It was dead. The roads were empty. The stores, restaurants and attractions were empty. Where are all the people they built all this for? Maybe we were just here on an off day.
  • Everything is overdone. As you move around Dubai, it seems that they try to do everything over the top…I guess because they can. Tallest, biggest, most extravagant, nicest, etc.
  • There are only about 1.8 million people of Dubai, of which about 70% are foreigners (typically from other Middle Eastern locations and India). Kinda weird for locals to be outnumbered so strongly, huh?
  • We learned that it is really cheap and easy to put a branch of your company here in a big skyscraper (no tax). We were amazed at the amount of American companies with locations here.
  • It is really, really hot here! And the haze from the heat makes it very hard to see the impressive towers they’ve built.
  • Dubai has WAY too many construction projects going at the same time. Two different local taxi drivers I spoke with today offered this as the main criticism of their home. They need to finish what they start before they start new projects. The result of this issue is that we felt like we were in a city half built. Weird.
Honestly, overall, we were not as impressed as we thought we would be. Frankly, if you are thinking of coming here, be sure you shop for really good rates, or I am afraid you may get here and regret it. It was neat to “check it off the list”, but it is not somewhere we would necessarily return to.

Okay, so that was all mainly practical, because some of you asked me to share about this place.

Now about tonight (more spiritual)…

As we walked around today, we saw so many Muslims!! It was like nothing either of us had ever seen. To walk through the mall and every 4th person was in Traditional Muslim dress and to see Prayer Rooms everywhere we went…so different. As we walked around today, I told Tricia that if felt overwhelming to me. There are so many people that have not met Jesus yet. After being in China (mainly Godless) and now the Middle East (mainly Muslim), the need for the truth of Jesus seems so great, but the people here sharing it are so few. Honestly, it felt overwhelming. Where do you start? Prayer and relationship are certainly near the top of the list…but…

Well, tonight God has me awake and broken. Spent some time worshipping, looking out the window of our hotel and praying. I have not wept like this for the lost in a long, long time…if ever. The need is so great in our world. Jesus is the giver of true peace we all seek and the forgiver of the sin that we all fight every day. HE is the promise of life abundant and eternal. Oh, how he wants the people of every land to turn their hearts to him and him alone.

Jesus, you are the one true God! I know that, and I worship you! But, Lord, there are so many who do not. I feel like there is more I am supposed to do, but I don’t know what. Keep leading and guiding me. And call your representatives and messengers to those who do not yet know the life changing truth of the gospel. Father, I promise to do my best to live into your Great Commission and to be faithful to urge others to do the same…so the world will come to know you.

“And the gospel of the Kingdom will be preached to all nations, and then the end will come!” Matthew 24:14


Anonymous said...

Think of it this way... I'll bet Jesus sat alone many a time thinking the exact same thing you are and wondering what God had gotten him into.

Val said...

This was very touching to read Pastor Noah. I truly enjoyed it. I felt the anointing as I read it. I know that God will use you (along with your wife at your side), to help get the Gospel of the Kingdom out while you're in Cape Town and even beyond in years to come & no matter where He takes you. May God be with you on your travels & may His grace & love continue to flow in your life & heart!

Noah said...

Amen and Amen! Val- thank you for your kind words. May he pour blessing on you and yours as well.