by DD Blackman
What a fabulous day! We boarded the bus for a beautiful drive up the coast to Tripoli, the second largest city in Lebanon. The roads wound along the Mediterranean coast with its crystal blue water that sparkled in the sun.
We arrived at the National Evangelical Presbyterian Church of Tripoli, where we were warmly greeted by Rola Sleiman, the first woman to be ordained as a Presbyterian pastor in the Middle East! She was born in Tripoli and actually raised in this church. What an honor to meet such a dynamic woman!!! She preached a moving sermon from Mark 5:21-24/35-43, the story of the grieving father who pleaded with Jesus to lay his hands on his dying daughter so that she might be healed. The sermon reminds us where there is Jesus, there is hope. In the Middle East the situation is so difficult we are always asking where is hope, what do we expect, where are we going? Jesus says don't be afraid, have faith. When the situation seems hopeless, Jesus brings hope. When you are afraid, Jesus gives us confidence.