Illegal with Permission

For months I have been praying, along with the Awe Star staff, that God would give us favor wherever we would go.

Psalms 90:17 reads; “Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us; And, confirm for us the work of our hands; Yes, confirm the work of our hands.”

We experienced this firsthand during our recent trip to Lebanon.The night before our departure, I received a message from the US Embassy in Beirut that on the day we were supposed to arrive a 14-day quarantine would go into effect.

A lockdown was being initiated and only certain license plates would be allowed to drive on the road during certain days. Curfews were also going to be enforced each day as well. This was pretty problematic considering, I had a team of 22 Medical Professionals who were planning to go into the BekkaValley and administer medical care to Syrian Refugees.

Months of planning and organizing now hung in the balance as the nation we were entering was seeing a spike in COVID-19 cases. The nation was taking extreme action to diminish the spread. The Syrian population, who we felt led to care for, were of the most marginalized and forgotten population in the entire country. Shortage of medicines and medical care plagued this nation. Many refugees were dying without even a hint of help.

Going to this nation during a worldwide pandemic, we knew was a bold move. How do you not respond when prompted by the Holy Spirit? In the midst of a pandemic the gospel still compels us to go, love, share, care, and serve. The gospel doesn’t stop being the hope of the world, even when the world becomes dangerous to your well being. Hope is needed most when whole world is plagued with hopelessness from disease and death.

So, what did we do?

We prayed and faithfully boarded a plane trusting God to open doors according to His will.

On our flights we prayed for open heavens, open highways & airways, open hands, open hearts and open doors. We even asked others to pray for favor as we travelled and went through customs.

We were carrying in thousands of dollars of medicines to care for the people. All our efforts to get permission from the ministry of health was prohibited because we were coming to care for the refugee. Amazingly, though, as we arrived in the country, our team passed through customs without any issues. We arrived 30 minutes before the quarantine order went into effect on incoming flights. (Isn’t God’s timing perfect??) We proceeded through customs without one bag being checked or taken. All the medicines we brought were safe and could be used to help the people. We then proceeded to pick up our car rentals only to be given documentation that allowed our vehicles to be on the road at any time. They would not be subject to the license plate order of driving on certain days!

At this point I am sitting in AWE. God was moving every mountain as we faithfully obeyed.

We finally traveled the next morning to the Valley. Upon arrival I received word that the local municipal wanted to meet and discuss the work we were doing among the Refugees. The camps we had entered required the approval of the military and the local municipal. I knew we had received permission through a man of peace that God had placed in our path; but, I also knew that the permission we had received was unique and not easily obtained.

A meeting was arranged and I went to the municipal’s office to meet with the Mayor of the area. Upon meeting him I could tell he was agitated and not happy with the work our medical team was doing. He was angry because we had come to help the Refugee’s. However, the Mayor wanted us to help the Lebanese people too. He began to tell me that he had been instrumental in helping us get permissions to work in the camps, but now he wanted to know what we would do for his people.

I proceeded to tell him how I appreciated all he had done for us and that we loved the Lebanese people like we loved the Syrian people. I asked how could we serve them? He wanted to know if we could give one day to serving the Lebanese in medical care. I said, “Of course!” I told him since Sunday was a nationwide lockdown day that we had nothing scheduled then, but then told him I wanted to help him, but didn’t see how it could be possible if we were not allowed to be on the roads that day. He then said, “Sunday it is! I will give special permission for you to be on the roads and we will set up a special clinic in the municipal building for you to see Lebanese patients.” I was astounded! Not only was it illegal for anyone to be on the roads Sunday, Americans were also not permitted to serve the Lebanese people medically.

God again had used authorities to give permission to our team on things that were illegal for us to do.

So, why do I share all of this with you?

Many of you reading this may be in a season where you feel doors are closing or your future looks bleak. Maybe you have impossible situations in front of you?

Can I encourage you that we serve a God that clears pathways in the forest and moves mountains when we pray. He literally can reverse lockdowns and grant permission to illegal situations. No matter how impossible your situation looks, God is well able to accomplish His plan and fulfill His work.

The real question is, will you trust Him with your plans?

Proverbs 3:5-6 reads, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding, but in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will direct your path.” In this passage the Hebrew word “direct” means Yesher. A word that means to make straight, smooth, right or free from obstacles. It is as though we are looking at a forest full of trees and the Lord says to trust Him and He will create a path through the forest as He removes every obstacles to make straight the path we are to walk.

Whatever you are facing today, the Lord wants to remove obstacles to position you to walk in His purpose and plan. Will you trust Him?

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