Saddam Hussein wanted our friend dead. The Turkish mafia was also working against him at the same time. Ultimately, his Muslim friends took shifts protecting him and his family, holding out even when Hussein sent someone to detonate a bomb in his house.
He had been in Iraq, living among the Kurds, to share the gospel of Jesus. We were in the middle of founding Embassy, and we wanted to learn from him. He told us about the Kingdom of God over plates of Biryani. He reminded us that God's design for the gospel to be heard started with 12 men who walked with Jesus. This 12 turned into 72, then thousands; over the centuries, a number too high to count.
He spoke from an unshakeable belief that God created all of us to play a part in bringing redemption. An unshakeable belief that nothing is impossible; that God prefers humble origins and unimpressive servants and "the things that are not" to restore what's broken.
In one of life's many strange turns, one year later, through Embassy, we ended up in conversation with Hussein’s translator.
We asked about the chemical warfare against the Kurdish people - the 5,000 civilians who were killed in one day in Halabja. We asked him what Hussein had said - to try to remember. We asked about “enemies of the state” - how he defined this term. We tried to understand how he could see a single man as that dangerous.
The theme of Kingdoms came up again. This time, very different in context.
As we listened to this man, we realized that Hussein didn't understand what our friend had wanted. He didn’t know that the "regime change" this man was pursuing was to see people move from the kingdom of darkness to the Kingdom of God.
But Hussein did understand this: a little yeast works its way through a whole batch of dough.
And that is not only our hope, but our confidence.
Today, Embassy volunteers continue to reach out one at a time, knowing that one can reach ten who can reach ten. We’re reaching out in places once known as Babylon, Canaan, Assyria, and Nineveh. Because the "ends of the earth" have shifted back to where Jesus once walked, and he desires their salvation (2 Peter 3:8-9).
What a privilege to be a part of this.
Hussein expected an explosion. A shock of light and destruction. But God came up with the root word of dynamite first: dunamis, the power of God in our world.
A shock of light that destroys the work of Satan. A force that doesn't take life, but gives it.
The plan of God superseded, and continues to supersede.
Pray with us, as we seek to see his Kingdom come.