Do you ever remember a moment in your life when you felt like you were in a scene from a movie? It’s happened to me many times, with that being said, I feel like I haven’t left the movie since I climbed out of bed this am. It’s the absolute picture of a concrete jungle as far as the eye can see. Buildings covered in bullet holes with unfinished floors or graffiti adorning it’s outer walls. Mountains of wires resembling that of knotted hair hanging overhead with the smell of exhaust and the sounds of never ending beeping horns, yelling, music, tires screeching, and engines begging for a long needed pause. People are running from side to side with no intention of safety just the end destination in mind.
Without notice, we begin climbing on a bumpy road with never ending turns and curves climbing to a peak of over 8,000 ft above sea level. The descent is beautiful and terrifying all at once as we have our first glance at the Bekaa valley, home to hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees. Just a little further in the distance framing the horizon is the Syrian border. 31 miles from where I write this blog is the famous city of Damascus where Paul was headed when Jesus finally arrested his attention and transformed his life for eternity.
A dream of mine is to spend time on the Damascus road where Paul met the savior but the notion of crossing the Syrian border brings our team guide to a frightening stare. At this moment in history, the journey is simply not possible. The conflict in Syria rages on over control, over religion, over historical hatred and on and on and on. The religious sects are hating each other more and more increasingly. The end of this bloody conflict seems to be nothing more than a unrealistic fairy tale. The Syrians continue to poor over the border day and night through the most treacherous terrain, cold temperatures and horrific weather you can image. Just last week a family was found frozen to death as they huddled together to try and escape the cold not even two miles from the nearest home. Sadly these stories are repeating themselves all to often as desperate families fight to escape sure death.
Tomorrow, I will be visiting the first of many Refugee camps in the Bekaa valley. I’m excited and saddened by what I know I will witness yet hopeful that the same God who fed the 5,000 will also provide solutions for these hungry thousands.
Isn’t there encouragement in the fact that not 30 miles from the very spot I currently sit writing, Paul came face to face with Jesus. I love that Jesus is available to every one of us. He is right here, He is watching, He is loving and He is waiting for each of us to go all in with Him just as Paul did on the Damascus road.
I’m excited to write to you tomorrow as we begin to see the reality of what we’ve been talking about.