This Thanksgiving holiday, a team of 5 students, led by Dr. Mathias, spent their break in the Middle East sharing the gospel to those who have never heard it. The trip, taking place November 17-25, was an eye-opening experience for the team to the reality of the lostness over there and the importance of missions, evangelism, and prayer for Middle Eastern people groups. Here are some thoughts and takeaways from several team members as they reflect back on the trip:
Our trip to the middle-east, although different in form and mission, has been a life changing experience. I never fail to see the beauty of God’s creation in the midst of darkness. My heart is broken from the blindness that is over these people, but I believe God is doing something incredible here. My prayer as I return home is that I would be a light to my friends and family, and I would be able to be an advocate for the middle east as I continue to be in prayer that souls will be saved.
Being a part of this trip has been such an incredible opportunity and I am so thankful for it! Meeting the people of that culture and experiencing their kindness only opened my eyes even more to the great need for God’s love to be shared with them. One thing that really impacted me was seeing first hand the lostness and darkness underneath the beauty and kindness that they displayed. God’s judgment does not discriminate and their need for His love and salvation is no less than our own. I pray that God will use our time there and experiences to advocate for more opportunities to take the gospel to the Middle Eastern peoples!
I always knew I wanted to do international missions and I have a heart for the Muslim population. I had a lot of experience working with Muslims within cities in the United States, but the region we visited was completely different than anywhere I have ever been. I was hit hard with the reality that everyone I laid eyes on was lost without hope. There was one day we were in a mosque speaking with some women about the difference between Islam and Christianity. The women were so devout in their faith, and very defensive, all the things I was used to. Afterwards, I couldn't help but cry for the fact that the devil had such power over them and can truly control others with deception. God truly opened my eyes to look beyond the glamour of the world and the hospitality of the person, to see them the way God sees them; people in need of hope.
I was overjoyed to see the number of workers God has raised up to work in this Middle Eastern city. Dozens of brothers and sisters from the states have transplanted their lives for the sake of the gospel being proclaimed and believed there. Many of these singles, couples, and families once studied at Southeastern. What a humbling reminder of the heartbeat of this institution! I sat eating Thanksgiving dinner alongside many who were trained to go in the same desks I'm studying and being equipped in today. May God continue to send students from this school around our country and to the ends of the earth so His kingdom may come on Earth as it is in Heaven.