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  • Writer's pictureJon Estes


Last week I did not post a Flashback Friday article. It was a busy week ending a term of school and prepping for a new term to begin (today). I am back today, pondering on the awesome blessings God has graciously elected to give to my wife and me. Take time to stop and notice the blessings God sends your way. Take time to be grateful. This life we live is the only one we get here. Let's make it all bout Jesus, as He made the cross all about us.

Today I want to focus on my church family in Dubai. The photo was taken, I believe, in 2016. This was done after our Friday morning service, in the courtyard of the duplex villa we met in. Most of our attendees stayed for the photo, some had to slip out prior to getting this set up and taken. The name of our church was... Emirates Baptist Church International. We just called it EBCI. The people of the church came from 42+ nations. They loved their church. Friday church service was a must unless they were providentially hindered.

One of the reasons for the great attendance and support was that many of our church family were there without a family. Many young ladies and men were there without their spouses and children. Usually, they traveled home once a year for 30 days. Living and working in Dubai was the most productive way to be able to provide for their families back home. Most of their income would be sent home to meet their families needs there.

EBCI gave them that family connection. EBCI was their home away from home. As a result of this family survival structure, my wife and I, informally, adopted the young ladies in the church as our daughters. This was not only a blessing for these wonderful young ladies but it was a blessing to us. Pam and I were also there without our children... and most importantly, our grandchildren.

Our time with these wonderful people has become the highlight of our ministry. It is the one, we cherish the most and the one which made the greatest impact on us.

A few life lessons I gleaned from our time in Dubai at EBCI...

  1. A stronger church is a church that sees the church as a family and loves them and invests in their ministry together.

  2. We need to allow God to move us out of our comfortable space into His space for us. If we will not, we will miss some of the greatest blessings He wants to share with us.

  3. When God moves us on from the people we do not want to leave, we are assured that one day we will gather again in a much better place... for eternity/

  4. We can have more than one daughter we love most. I had about 40 and I love each of them the most. That is a truth, every parent needs to learn. Yeah, the kids may not understand.... yet, but they will in time. You see... God loves me most and if you say the same thing about God and you, I would agree.

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