Today was a great day. First off let me show you where I am in this part of the trip. The first picture is of the sign we saw crossing the border into this country. Before anyone freaks, the area I'm in is hugely stable, very safe, & has incredible gratitude toward the U.S. In fact, I was told today by a local that their biggest fear is that the U.S. will pull out too quickly leading to a massive attack (yet again) on their people.
We spent the morning just listening, hearing the stories of men who are out there, following God, serving people, & exploring faith in Christ with people…Jesus has really changed these guys lives. (BTW, heard more than once today about how people came to faith in Christ through a dream.)
Late in the afternoon, we made our way to the holiest city of the Yazidi. Our team was driving through a neighboring city and was stunned by how much military & police presence was there. For 3 miles out of town, there were men stationed on the side of the road every 100 yards. Then in town that pattern was punctuated by squads of men standing together.
When we tried to enter the holy city, we couldn't. The regional President was meeting in the city & was about to leave with his caravan. After waiting a while, we saw 50-60 identical white SUVs come roaring out of the hills & by us. The soldiers that stopped us felt bad & made a special call to see if we could come up. We could! The town was empty and a temple servant gave us a personal guided tour & some explanation of the beliefs of this ancient city & religion
- The temple entrance
- Walkng into the temple, after removing my shoes & making sure I step over 1 of the many holy door threshholds
- The temple servants
Finally, we ended the day breaking bread with some incredible people who have served God faithfully for years here. He told us about the time he was unjustly thrown in jail and left for 30 days to teach him a lesson.
P.S. As I was typing this update, a wedding procession entered the hotel and
marched together up the the room to celebrate & drop off their young married couple.