How to build a bridge for two in an ancient city…

Bridges can take a long time to build.

Take, for instance the case of building a bridge on a river or a waterway; it is no easy task. Before construction can begin, many factors must be taken into consideration such as site location and access, the terrain or water the bridge will span which no doubt, must include 100 year flood plains, the embankment foundation and then finally the elevation equations (say that five times fast) from the top of one bank to the top of the other bank and to the top of the bank to the top of the bridge.

The grades of the approaches and banks of the stream or pond also can affect bridge length. You’ll want to have a relatively flat approach to the bridge if this can be accomplished without major grading.

During actual construction, the first task is to move earth to secure the embankment foundation which is sometimes completed by different companies. The pilings in the water that underpin the bridge itself, go in next. Then one by one, day after day, the pieces are painstakingly set into place and welded together.

Bridge Builders USA, Inc.

Isn’t it interesting that when it comes to sharing the gospel, we in our instant and fast paced cultural ideology believe the human heart can be changed so easily? This approach to the work creates enmity. Some may be thinking, “The Message is a sharp two-edged sword. It is offensive”. And yes, this is true. But keep in mind that one should be extremely careful with a sharp two-edge sword as it is to be God who wields it, not man. We must NOT be the offense or fancy ourselves as a fly-by-night surgeon who is quick to use the scalpel, but does not care and leaves the patient on the table bleeding out.

The work of the gospel especially in regions of long-standing darkness starts ever so slowing and in stages… clearing the rocks and old debris out of the field, and there are plenty, then slowly ploughing, disc-ing, preparing the soil before a single seed is planted. Then, as is physically true, much time and water are applied before germination can occur.

Lots of analogies today…anyway, the story…

Today Massoud took me to the “Old City”. It has to be at least 7000 years old and along the way, we met a man who asked to serve as our guide. He turned out to be the most interesting and knowledgeable man that Massoud and I had ever met. Khalid was versed equally in ancient history as well as recent cultural events. From time to time, he has worked for the US embassy and he knew all of the truly historical sites. He took us into a 200 year old hotel. It is still the tallest building in the city. I have a lot of photographs that I took from the top of it and can’t wait to share them with you.

We saw a 6000 year old well, vegetable gardens with many varieties of lettuce and greens, onions, carrots, and other root vegetables and even an ancient Turkish bath. Fascinating! It still functions daily and is built in a series of caves. It is so old that the stones are completely smooth. I must tell you, we caused quite a stir when Khalid walked us through the bath. A lot of naked, sweaty men looking at my camera with trepidation… and all the boys came running to follow… I can only imagine what it will be like tomorrow when we enjoy it for ourselves. Khalid says, you can take a bath, but you are never fully clean until you have taken a Turkish bath.

Oh, by the way, good news! Ishmael is coming to dinner tomorrow. We are trying to contact Hamoud so he can come too. Then the two men can talk about advancing the technical school since Ishmael wants to assist with financial support. I can’t wait to give Hamoud the gifts I brought for the boys… power tools from some friends in America.

As the sun was going down, Massound and I were walking out of the city; he admitted he had learned many new things that he had never known. All along the way of the 2 mile walk to the taxi station, he spoke of what a great time we had shared, learning together and that it was the best time he and I have spent yet. 😉

Now, here is a bridge plank being put into place….As we were leaving and saying good bye to our trusted guide Khalid, I gave him the equivalent of 10 dollars and he was very thankful. But Massoud sensed something and turned aside to speak with our guide. My friend told me that Khalid and his wife had recently had a new baby, a girl, and that he had prayed to Allah to send someone his way who might help and give him work. I did not hesitate and gave another $10 to him. He nearly melted. He kept repeating that Allah had answered his prayers and that we were sent to cross his path today, which I believed as well.

After arriving at the taxi station, we got into the taxi to go home and Massoud turned to me and said, “I believe that today your wife at home was praying for us!” A bridge plank piece! I told him that she has been praying everyday for him. He melted. This friend has already seen the power of our prayers.

Please pray that Massoud will, in coming days have much, much more revealed to him – a piece at a time.

Please also pray that many more workers will be sent to the task of bridge building and field clearing for the harvest and pray if you should be one of those workers.

“My food,” Jesus said to them, “is to obey the will of the one who sent me and to finish the work he gave me to do. You have a saying, ‘Four more months and then the harvest.’ But I tell you, take a good look at the fields; the crops are now ripe and ready to be harvested! The one who reaps the harvest is being paid and gathers the crops for eternal life; so the one who plants and the one who reaps will be glad together. For the saying is true, ‘Someone plants, someone else reaps.’ I have sent you to reap a harvest in a field where you did not work; others worked there, and you profit from their work” (John 4: 35-38).

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