NOTE: These notes have been edited with consideration to sensitive information.
At the Global:Church Forum, Fayez Ishak of Kasr El Dobara Church (Egypt) discussed what God is doing in the Middle East.
In Egypt we aren’t sure how the mess we are in will end. But I want to share another perspective with you – how God sees the Middle East. The Middle East is a paradox of both what you see on the news and what God sees it as.
In the Middle Eastern Church, we are experiencing things we have never experienced in modern history.
When you look in the distance, you think you see a lion. When you come closer, you realize it is a man. And when you come even closer, you realize it is your brother. The West needs to come closer to look at their brothers in the Middle East. It is not the Middle East; it is family.
Isaiah 19 is very encouraging. God came and visited Egypt and made Himself known to the Egyptians. God made a highway between Egypt and Syria. We pray for this to be true again today.
We were inspired by and tried to pray like the Koreans, but we lacked their disciplined, organized culture. So we decided to pray like Africans and put our emotions into it. The spirit of prayer is coming out of desperation. We see what God wants to do as well as our limitations, and we know we need God.
Ezekiel went to the valley and saw there were very dry bones. It is like saying, “This guy is very dead.” It doesn’t matter. A miracle is a miracle. Pray and intercede regardless of how impossible it seems.
The young people of Egypt are praying. What God is doing in the Church is amazing.
The unity is also amazing. People are giving up their dreams to serve God. More churches are working together than ever before.
Priests and bishops are born again and love the Lord. And they secretly come wise us and pray together with us. But over time, we said this can no longer be a secret, so on 11 November 2011 we gathered together 45,000 people in unity from different backgrounds (Protestant, Catholic, Coptic, etc.) praying from 6am to 4am the next day. At 3am the people just kept shouting, “Jesus, Jesus, Jesus!” for 11 minutes. And the leaders of the churches said, “This is the people of Egypt repenting.”
We see doors open one after another. Almost every week we have a baptism. Thousands are coming to Christ. The transformation is as never before.
And all this means is that we cannot do business as before.
We must be wide-eyed and obedient to Christ.
When God is challenging you with a big vision, and you look to yourself and see how limited you are, recognize that you need God and the Body of Christ. But it is not about getting people’s help because you can’t do it alone. It is about being a body that must work together.
We need to do more than bridge the gap between Christian groups. We need to shift our paradigm.
Giving and receiving must understand the need. When you give something, you need to first be sure that you are giving what is needed. That is why every partnership must be built upon relationship, understanding, and coming to visit.
Sometimes we insist on honoring you without asking a simple question of, “How can I honor you.”
Giving and receiving must also have evaluation. The win in a partnership is the advancement of the Kingdom of God.