Romans 13:1 (KJV)
Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.
In October 2010 my sins were washed away as I placed my faith in the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. I came to know the Lord watching YouTube in Khamis Mushayt, Saudi Arabia. The preacher was Adrian Rogers, and the sermon was called “The Simplicity of Salvation.” In a glowing form that only Adrian Rogers could produce, he did indeed make salvation simple for me to understand. Just about one year later I would land in Cairo, Egypt for my next job in the Middle East. As a babe in Christ, Egypt would prove to be a clear test of my Christian fortitude.
I was saved just a few months before the end of my contract in Saudi Arabia, I then moved to Long Island, NY. With a background in aircraft weapons systems, finding a job with a company capable of translating my skills with bombs and missiles proved difficult. Of course, the Middle East always needs such personnel so I was off to the Arab world again. Altogether I spent around seven years in the Middle East working and travelling in various countries.
I was still newly saved and full of zeal when I landed in Cairo. To add to my zeal I would have the wonderful privilege of fellowship with a real missionary while in Egypt, brother David Gates. We had a wonderful time together, he taught me much about a life of service to the Lord. I lived in a city on the Suez Canal in northeast Egypt called Ismallaiah. I would drive two hours each week to Cairo for church. All along the way I would witness and tell people about Jesus, once in Cairo brother David and I would make our way out to the streets at night and have conversations with men on the streets about Jesus. A church I was in fellowship with back in New York sent me a box of tracts and bibles in Arabic. I would give them out everywhere I went, especially on the military installations. I had a close working relationship with many of the Egyptian military personnel. This worked very well for a while, then a fearful day approached.
Often times when working on a defense contract in the Middle East, a GS agent is assigned to the contractor. He is a government rep put in place to assist the contractor with any government interaction that is necessary. Just over halfway through my one year contract in Egypt, I was approached by my GS agent, he was nervous and seemed upset. He said that I needed to come with him to Cairo, this certainly was not normal. So he and I made our way to Cairo, along the way he would not tell me what was going on. Finally, we arrived at a very secure secret police compound somewhere in Cairo. It was my understanding that this was not a place I was allowed to enter. Furthermore, as a defense contractor entering a military installation, I was to be signed in and an announcement was to be made on the base explaining that I would be there, none of which happened. We were quickly ushered in and taken to what looked like an interrogation room. My GS agent and a man that was not wearing a uniform began to argue somewhat intently in Arabic. I could only speak a little Arabic, so I was having a hard time making out what the conversation was about. Eventually, the man with no uniform brought out a large ziplock bag. Sealed inside were a number of tracts, bibles and various forms of Arabic literature that I had been giving out to people. It quickly became apparent why I was there. My heart sank deep into my stomach, this man demanded to know why I was giving this information out to the Egyptian Air Force personnel. I had no idea what my representative was saying in my defense. I had no way out of this room or compound.
At a certain point in the intense discussion, the secret police officer that had the bag full of literature dumped the contents out onto the table. My GS agent turned to me and said let us go. Now, I had no idea what that meant, go where? He said very adamantly, let’s go! He grabbed all the literature and bibles, then he and I left freely and quickly. I was greatly relieved, the entire ride back to Ismallaiah I could only think of the freedom and liberty that we have in America. Freedom I would urge you not to take lightly. The ride back my friend was much more talkative. He begged me to stop telling people about Jesus, he sort of half-joked that it would get him killed if I didn’t stop.
Of course, I did not stop, not because I did not regard this man’s life, he was very good to me while I was in Egypt. The problem was my urge to tell people what Jesus had done for me was stronger than my fear for the hazard that had been proposed to me if I did not stop. 1 Peter 3:14 (KJV) “But and if ye suffer for righteousness’ sake, happy are ye: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled;”
In this “Adventures in Christianity” series I intend to detail more information about my time in Egypt and other accounts of the exciting things that have happened in my life of service to Christ. I hope they will encourage you to press on for the Lord.