I've just returned from a trip up north in Kurdistan to the city of Irbil. What an amazing place. In the midst of the chaos of what has been the war in Iraq, Kurdistan stands our as an example of what might be if folks could work together. In Irbil there are large populations of Muslims and Christians and from what I can tell they work together for the good of their community. In Irbil there is daily trash pick up by city workers, something that is non-existent in much of Iraq. There are bustling market places, businesses, tourist attractions and even a go cart track. And, most importantly no IED's blowing up innocent civilians.
The city of Irbil is the oldest continuously inhabited city in the world. In the center of the city is what is known as the old Citadel. It is a castle in the middle of town that stands 200 feet above the rest of the city. I stood on the same ground as King Darius the Mede and Alexander the Great. Its hard to get away from the profundity of being able to do that. It was quite amazing. While there I met with a Catholic Priest, the station manager of a Christian radio station, had fellowship with believers from Fiji who work for the UN as well. I even got to sit down with my brothers from Fiji and drink a local beverage called Cava. Its made from a root that grows on the island nation. It is served out of a giant wooden bowl and it looks like muddy water and tastes even worse. But it was not the Cava that made our night special, it was the camaraderie of soldiers and the fellowship of believers. I couldn't help but think that God was giving me a glimpse of what heaven will look like....we sang, laughed, talked about family, and talked about Jesus. The words of the Bible struck me, every kindred, tribe and nation will be represented there. It is going to be awesome. Take a minute to thank God that He made people all over the world different and that those differences are precious, but we are all unified in one thing, our fellowship with the Son, King Jesus!