My trip to the desert was one of those times in life that was unforgettably refreshing. I didn’t realize how critical I needed “silence” in my life and how it would bring my mind and heart back to worshiping God. It took a few airplane flights, camel rides, and walks in the desert to clear my mind of all the distractions I can find in the United States with technology and busyness.
We were given clear instructions from our tour guides that one of the purposes of our trip was to hear from the Lord and learn to be silent. Our trip consisted of waking in the morning before 6:00am to find a quiet place on the mountain to spend time in the Word and prayer. It didn’t take much to see that Mr. J our tour guide valued time with the Lord.
Mr. J has been one of the main workers in the Deserts of Africa for over 17 years loving the people and sharing the good news of the Gospel. I enjoyed seeing him interact with the people and the incredible patience he displayed as we were with him. The joy of Christ was all over him and it was evident that he trusted God and the work He had for him in these parts of the world. Mr. J seemed to walk in tune with Jesus as he made his way throughout the land.
We visited multiple villages in the desert. The people in the last village that we visited worked in Turquoise Mines. Supposedly these mines were the same mines that the Pharaoh had his workers digging in and mining for turquoise. Mr. J was kind enough to direct me to a man in the village that had a couple of rough turquoise rocks for sale. I could see the beauty of God’s creation in looking at the turquoise rocks.
As we packed our bags and loaded the truck, we set off to another region in the desert. I don’t think I could have ever been prepared to what I would learn on the next village stop. After many twists and turns in the desert, we finally made our way into a village where people lived in tents made out of plastic bags. It was probably the poorest village we visited and it was in the middle of what the bible calls the “Wilderness of Sin.” Exodus 16:1 tells that the “Wilderness of Sin” is where the Israelites wandered for 40 years after being delivered from slavery before entering the promise land. This was the place that the people grumbled about being hungry and where God rained manna from the sky. The vast openness of the desert continued to give me a visual of what Sin actually is. It is barren and there is no life in it just as in the desert. I could understand why the people who God delivered were grumbling and calling out to the Lord on why they had been taken out here in the “Wilderness of Sin.” They probably were convinced that they were gong to die of starvation because nothing grows in this land.
It was then in this village on desert planes that I remembered the grace that God had shown me in coming to know Christ as my personal Lord and Savior. The people of this desert village are not only physically struggling to live, but spiritually dead as well. Praying like never before for laborers to rise up and be sent out into the Harvest to tell of the True Bread of Life and the Fountain of Living Water.
Written by Mark