We walked into Santiago de Compostela to finish the Camino de Santiago on June 8th.
It was a great ending to a long journey.
An important journey that left a different impact on each man involved in the pilgrimage.
We all learned more about ourselves, about each other and about Jesus.
At the end of our journey we made our way into this Cathedral. To me all of these church are the same, the only thing that was different was the massive amounts of pilgrims finishing their walk and waiting in line to touch or bow down to Saint James. It was very unique for that reason and caused me to actually process what happened next.
We attended the mass service at this church the following Sunday.
I’ve never experienced such a draining church service in my entire life.
I have been to two other masses in my life. Once when I was very young in 3rd grade and once after college, this was completely different. I have nothing against Catholics and this is not an attack on Catholicism.
As soon as I sat down in the service, I felt anxious in my spirit. I felt a heaviness in the air. Something I am not always keen on discerning but it was a very intense time. I began to pray in tongues and I didn’t stop praying in tongues for the entire service, if I stopped for a couple of seconds I would begin to feel everything build around me. I can’t describe the feelings but the spirits I picked up on in the room were oppression, idol worship and religion.
I left the church feeling drained and spent the rest of the afternoon listening to a man play a mandolin in the street. Praying for the people that walked by, praying for a man without a leg and asking God what I had just experienced.
I checked with the other guys on the team, Zeb and Neil felt the same thing during the service.
I felt confused.
I felt drained.
As you encounter the Holy Spirit, you will know Him by His fruit. Love, joy, peace, patience… That’s what you should feel when you leave an encounter with the Living God.
That is how I felt when I left a church service here in Egypt.
The first thing I noticed was that they know Jesus as alive. He is risen.
Contrary to what I thought about the Egyptian church, they are practicing Christianity openly all over Cairo. The local church is growing and they are planting churches all over the Middle East. They are baptizing people in the Holy Spirit, speaking in tongues, creating businesses to fund street kids and sending out missionaries to the world.
We were a part of a very evangelical and charismatic church here, and it is a part of a larger movement of church planting from around the world.
Not only is the church here worshipping the risen God, the people are incredible. They are very serving and extremely hospitable. We were able to meet with the pastor and an Egyptian missionary to Syria over dinner to talk about Egypt, it was an incredible time. Just to hear testimonies that the church in Syria is growing just like the church in Egypt was very encouraging. To hear the heart behind the church in Egypt was very encouraging.
The Middle East is full of Christians operating in the Holy Spirit and giving life to all the people they encounter.
I left the Egyptian Church fully alive because of my encounter with the Holy Spirit and because of the way my Egyptian brothers and sisters seek the Lord. The Kingdom of God is advancing.