I’m safe now in Jordan. This last week has been surreal. It was the first time in my life I actually said, “God, you just saved my life.”
We arrived in Beirut on the night of July 11th, excited for our trip. We woke up the next day and our first clue that something was wrong was seeing a Hezbollah parade down the street because of the capture of the Israeli soldiers. By lunch the situation was growing, but not incredibly alarming. On the night of the 12th we returned to the airport to find our missing luggage and spent 1.5 hours talking with people until midnight. We woke up the next morning to hear that the airport was bombed at 3am that night — 3 hours after we left. We gathered in the hotel for serious prayer while our leaders discussed what to do. By that afternoon we evacuated to the mountains, under an hour outside of Beirut.
While in a conference center in the mountains we could hear the bombs. We just missed Israel dropping leaflets over the city telling people to stay inside. A section of the city only 10 minutes away from our hotel was blown up. Then the power went out over the country so we operated only on generators every few hours or so.
On the night of the 14th, the Conference center told us they would close because students were leaving on a bus and they couldn’t stay open for only us. After another prayer session, our leaders thought we should leave with those students and try to get out of Lebanon. We woke the next morning to leave, but the bus was delayed due to border problems. We called for taxis, now sure we needed to get out of the country fast. While driving, a “random” driver pulled up next to our taxi, shouted something in arabic, and our drivers abrubtly turned around. We later found out that man told our drivers that our road to the border had just been bombed. Had we been on the bus and on time, we would have been in trouble.
We exited Lebanon smoothly though the border was chaotic. However, as we entered the no-man’s land between Lebanon and Syria we were informed that the road we had just been on had been bombed a few minutes ago. As we crossed into Syria we were then informed that the no-man’s land had just been bombed. To sum things up, we missed being bombed three times that day.
Exodus 33 is our passage. God hid us in the cleft of the rock as His glory passed by. We were amazingly spared and protected, and if you could see the spiritual realm that day, I’m sure you could see an army of angels guarding us.
I’m not gonna lie, I’ve definitely cried a few times, not so much out of fear of my safety, but out of having no control. And the people….I know people in these countries now…faces and personalities…and their homes and families are in jeopardy.
I can’t even spell out how thankful I am for you and your prayers. Please don’t stop praying for us. And I’m sorry, but I won’t be able to respond to your emails until I return home. If you have questions, ask my dad.
On a lighter note, I climbed Mt. Horeb today (where Moses was buried and saw the Promise Land), saw the site of Jesus’ baptism at the Jordan, and swam in the Dead Sea.
I apologize for the stream-of-consciousness. I just want you guys to know all of this. And also know that not one of us regrets this experience.
Thank you so much.
From Him, In Him, and To Him,