I have been ever so slowly working my way through the books that have been on the right hand side of this page for an embarrassingly extended period of… ehem… months. I finally made it to the finale of Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson this week. It is an eye and a heart opener. (not unlike many yoga poses I’m learning are hip openers– ow!)
The conditions of the Middle Eastern countries are something I am grappling with from as many angles as I can get a hold of. Iran’s recent elections, Afghanistan’s literature, Turkey’s cultural developments– all have captivated my interest. Why? Why is a great question. Um..(I am really thinking hard about this here)… well there’s a lot of reasons. This may sound corny, but I hope it doesn’t. I feel an overwhelming love for those who are lost spiritually, for the suffering and hunger and displacement of those in the region, and a supernatural need to pray for Jesus to be known there.
Back to the book– Greg Mortenson is a mountaineer that found himself lost on his way back from hiking K2 in Pakistan and landed among the Balti tribe. He promised them help when he returned to the States and bought them the materials so they could build themselves a school. That was the first. Now his organization, the Central Asia Institute (CAI), is around the border of Pakistan and Afghanistan, providing education to those who otherwise would find it inaccessible, especially girls. The book provides many dialogues about the power of education, its political and health care influences on entire nations of the underprivileged. He especially discusses how the schools are able to combat the powerful madrassas in the region that are churning out young jihadis. I encourage you to read this and grow in love with the region as I have. I believe that we have the opportunity through prayer to be a part in seeing the Kingdom come to these unreached areas.
Here are a few pictures from CAI’s website of the students in the schools there. I ask that you would take the time to ponder a few things as you look at them:
1. Do the children of Afghanistan and Pakistan look, in terms of appearance, as you would expect them to?
2. Can you tell the age of the children? Do they appear similar to your own?
3. Please pray for them as you look at their faces– that God would call them to himself, that they would grow in knowledge and understanding, and that they would be instruments of peace in their nation.