My favorite song this week is titled “Shelter”, which is by one of my all time favorite bands Jars of Clay. It wasn’t until last night while texting Melissa before I relaxed my eyes for the night that I realized how much I miss Christian fellowship. Right after my desire to be at the side of my wife, I would say I miss Christian brother and sister fellowship the most! I have done a good bit of reading of the Word and prayer on my own while deployed. However, I recently realized this huge void in my life of fellowship and growth in Christ with others. It’s not to say there are no guys out here in our little camp that believe in Christ, but either I failed to start deep conversations, or perhaps it was a lack of interest from others not to ask more questions when I have spoke up about my faith. There is truly something special in a church family of heart full believers, and I can’t wait to get back involved.
If you listen to some of the words to this song it amplifies the importance of having fellowship. “We will never walk alone…In the shelter of each other, we will live, we will live.” I now truly understand the importance and truth to the words of this song. Even though I am on the other side of the world I know I have family and friends that are continually praying for me and Melissa as we have this time apart. We have done fine, and we are both amazed of how endurable it has been considering the circumstances of our distance! What can’t be done is face to face fellowship, and worship of the love of Christ with other men and women. Church truly is a great idea!
To add into my emptiness (if that is possible, literally speaking), I currently live and work in a Muslim country. On top of that, I am a member of the armed forces, so I am not allowed to talk about my faith to citizens of the deployed country. So that counts out any chance of sharing my faith with others we see working in the dining facility or in the airfield area. Furthermore, five times a day Kuwait has Muslim prayer time. The standard prayer is played in all areas on loud speakers, and on every radio station. For Muslims the world should stop at prayer time, and it’s known as one of the moments throughout the day for the scripted prayer to Allah. This is one approach to their works righteous belief system, but for some reason it’s frustrating to me. More than once I awoke at 5am to hear the Arabic prayer being played on a stationary loud speaker in the area. I have also heard the prayer outside of the dining facility during the predetermined time of day. If you’re lucky, while driving a truck or van, you can seize the right moment to the Muslim prayer on all radio stations. It’s frustrating because the people of Kuwait get their time (even though it is programmed) to express their religion with others because they are home. I am not home, and I don’t really have the option here unless it’s me, myself, and I. Yes, there is a “Chapel” and Chaplains at the nearby air base, which is about a 45 minute drive, but our schedule does not favor that commute. At times I feel like I walk alone with Christ in our little world of the construction project in Kuwait. The guys here are my family unit for now, but I sure do miss my brothers and sisters in Christ physically at my side to read, study, pray, and fellowship.
Enjoy the song; it’s what I have enjoyed all week.