All we needed were a group of guys who could see the brilliance of the plan. We would ride 250 miles together. Along the way we would pray proclaiming the territory as the Lord’s. We would pray for anyone who wanted, and maybe give away a few New Testaments. As I say, it seemed like a good idea at the time, but as departure day approached I must admit to a little hesitation.
The Sunday before departure the church prayed for my son, Josh, and me. It seemed right. More than that, it seemed important. I began to be a little more at peace.
I soon learned I was not the only one who had some concern. The week after the church prayed, and the week prior to our departure, a family member of one of the team member’s contacted the State Department for their opinion of the journey. The State Department was not as exuberant as the church was on Sunday. They sent a letter back to those who had inquired stating in no uncertain terms that while they couldn’t prohibit the upcoming journey, they did strongly recommend against it. They were exhaustive in citing their reasons for this opinion. They told of civil wars, land mine’s, and pockets of terrorism. They explained that Americans were not infrequently the target of kidnapping plots. If that weren’t enough they explained that unruly traffic patterns made bicycling unsafe. I think I had heard all of this before, except about the traffic patterns. I suppose it was the official nature of the letter that was disconcerting. We decided to keep our plans and go as planned.
While in Yemen we experienced something quite different than what the State Department had described. We were confronted with cheers from people on the street and honks of encouragement from passing cars as we rode. They seemed most impressed with our youngest team member, Johnny, and myself. They kept asking how an "old man" could make such a trip. I admit to wondering the same thing at points. As we rode we prayed. I don’t know how to describe it other than to say the Spirit of God was strong! As we asked for permission to pray for people we were never, not once, denied. We prayed in Jesus’s name only to be confronted by smiles. We were invited into Mosques. We talked with Imams. At the end of our ride we were presented with a newspaper. In the second section on the front paper we found our picture with the caption “Team America.”
Was the State Department wrong? Were they engaged in some form of propaganda? I don’t think so. The reality is, all that they said was true. In fact, the day after we left two Americans were kidnapped. I am left to wonder where is the disconnect?
I think I have the answer. Listen good to this one. It could take us, the church, a long way. Jesus launched a kingdom that we are now subjects of. For those of us who are believers, this kingdom is our reality. We may be “in this world” but we are not “of it”. The implication of this is that we are no longer subject to it. We are His subjects and the rules and ways of the world do not bind us. As we act in obedience to our King the world’s kings have no ultimate dominion over us. I find this truth to be good news these days!
The implications of this are huge. I think it means we need to quit taking our marching orders from earthly kings and those who operate in fear. This frees us to take a word that will not return void anywhere in the world. We can even take it across the street.
Be blessed as you go knowing your King sits on the throne.