Each morning as we gathered for our team time at breakfast we prayed and asked God to protect us and be with our families back home. Each man on the team had a swim buddy that he kept close eyes on in all situations, yes all situations. We walked in full confidence that God was with us as were a host of angels. We certainly stood out in Iraq as we walked the streets. Everyone noticed 8 white American men walking in file with their backpacks on through the city. We received many glances from the people of Iraq.
One day we felt prompted by the Spirit to do a prayer-walk through the city. So we got ourselves prayed up and quoted Isaiah 30:21 and began to walk through the city. As we walked we prayed and listened for the still voice of the Spirit to direct our paths. As we were walking by a building packed full of men drinking tea we wondered what they were up to.
After getting about 40 yards past the building one of our teammates, Sam who had already been prompted twice to go back to the building said his heart was pounding out of his chest to go back and told me what the Spirit was telling him. So, I said "men we are going back!"
As we walked back we just spread out in front of the building and stood and prayed quietly, not really sure what God was up to. As we stood there a crowd began to gather around us wondering why eight white men were standing out in front doing nothing but standing with backpacks on and praying. Then out of nowhere a Iraqi man emerges and in perfect English asks if we speak English. It was as if God had spoken. He asked what we were doing there and we shared that God had sent us to Iraq to care for his people. He immediately invited us into the room full of men for some tea. We all spread out and smiled and drank tea with the refugees that were packed in this room. I found out that these men were the leaders of their towns prior to getting pushed out by ISIS.
After about 45 minutes and after Sam bought the house some hot tea I asked the man beside me if I could pray for them. He spoke a word quietly and then another man said something in Arabic and the whole room was quiet in 6 seconds with men standing on their feet. I then had the opportunity to pray over this group of men. Some were Muslims and many were Christians. It was a tear dripping moment for me and our team as God had prompted us to stop and then we were able to proclaim hope to these men.
You never know what can happen when you just step out in faith and listen to God. He can place you in a circle of men on the other side of world drinking tea and praying Jesus over them.
As we left that building a man grabbed a hold of Sam and said "thank you for praying for us." I wonder how many Christian men in that room had spent the morning praying to God asking for a sign that God was with them and God answered their prayer by sending them 8 white American Men. God can do more then we ask or imagine and goes to great extremes to show us he loves us.