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Dubai 2015

Secret Baptism!

I have waited till all the parties concerned are safely in their home countries before posting this. Sarah and I were not prepared for the level of possible surveillance on this trip. we were aware that my friend was risking his life to meet us and he and his brother’s safety was paramount.  we had arranged to meet at Costa Coffee in the Dubai mall at 7pm. It had been difficult to make contact as my phone was being difficult,  I borrowed Sarah’s but was concerned that my contact would be scared off.
we met at the perscribed place and then retired to somewhere quieter so we could talk more freely. I took a photo of us on my phone,  for personal use not publication.  we arranged to meet the next morning at 6AM at Jumeirah beach.
Afterwards Sarah and I went out for dinner, when we got to the restaurant I became aware of a couple of guys I had seen in the coffee shop earlier.  we moved tables but the 2 guys plus another sat at the table next to us. It was clear they were interested in us. After a while the third guy left crossed over the precinct and took photos of us.

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We  managed to get back to the metro without being followed.  However I didn’t now if our contacts had been followed. I thought it wise to delete my photographs.
I was given a lift to the beach early, but when we arrived it appeared that the beach was closed , I asked a work man and he told me the beach was open further down. we drove down . When we arrived I saw my contact and told my lift, “This is the place “.

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We had discussed the basics of salvation the night before, so we went out into the sea and and confessed Jesus Christ as Saviour and dunked them right under. After I prayed for them individually to be filled with the Holy Spirit.  It didn’t appear that much happened for my friend but his younger brother fell backwards on to the Sand. My friend asked, “is he okay?”, I was able to reassure him everything was alright. With that a Police patrol car rolled up on the beach.

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Everything  was cool. It was just a random patrol.  We had done the business.  So then we went for breakfast and talked some more. My friends have returned to their own country.  It is illegal for them to convert to Christianity.  Please pray for their safety and also the ongoing spread of the good news.
Jesus is Lord.

A chance encounter?

Just over a year ago in March 2014 I was travelling home from a mission trip in Mauritius.  I had 3 interconnecting flights and was particularly anxious that the cross would make it back to the UK .
However somehow or other I managed to board my flight without boarding passes for my next two legs of the journey.  As I got to the Seychelles there was some confusion on whether I should be on the plane at all. The end result I was upgraded to business class for the next leg to Abu Dhabi.

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Rejoicing in my upgrade I looked forward to travelling home in style.  However the Holy Spirit had his own plans,  they included me travelling in comfort but also , unbeknown to me, I had a special assignment.  Sat next to me in business was a middle Eastern gentlemen. we exchanged pleasantries and they he asked me what I did for a job?
I told him,”I have an unusual job. I travel around the world with a large wooden cross sharing the message of Jesus. ”
he was suprised and intrigued and then asked me,”What is the message of Jesus? ”
For the next 4 hours I had a wonderful opportunity to share my story of faith and more importantly Jesus story of death and resurrection.  we parted company, I left him with a tract and my business card.
A few days later I received an email. After our discussion my new friend got to where he was staying,  went to sleep and had a dream. In the dream a man appeared to him and told him the man he met on the plane was God’s messenger and that he should believe that Jesus is God’s son. His question for me was, “Is it possible for me to follow Jesus and be a Muslim too?”
we continued to correspond via email intermittently. He told me it wasn’t safe for him to contact me while he was in his own country but that he would be in touch when he was in other safer countries.
after reading the New Testamemt he came to the conclusion that his faith was in Jesus not Muhammad.  He then asked if I would come and baptise him.

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Over the following months we stayed in touch and he gradually gathered together others to read the scriptures and worship Jesus.  Now he has over 40 people meeting together in small groups.
I love the way the Spirit finds a way to reach those we may think unreachable.  My mission now was to meet him and his brother and baptise them in water.

Commissioning the next generation.

A lot has been happening over the last few days, which I will share with you over the next few blogs. Please forgive me for working backwards but for reasons that will become obvious I will share the most exciting stuff when I have returned to the UK.
Dubai is a modern world class city that sits bang in the middle of the 10-40 window.  This makes it perhaps the most strategic city in the world in terms of the church completing the great commission. 

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we have been wonderfully hosted bt Pete and Liz Vaughan  of Gateway Dubai South and today, Friday,  We were able to join with them to worship Jesus.
part way through the service Sarah nipped out, when she came back in, Alan was stood on the platform praying and most of the church was stood at the front. 

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It was a wonderful opportunity to pray for a team of young people going on a mission trip to India  and Pete invited  anyone else who wanted an impartation in evangelism.
It was a wonderful time of commissioning 20’s and 30’s to step out into a new season in evangelism.
After church we went out for lunch with some of the leadership and met Steven Oliver who leads the regions beyond network of churches.

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So watch this space and over the next few days I will share the story of how we came to be in Dubai in the first place.

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