Trip overview by Shema
Srinagar, 2015: Riots were still burning hot in the city when we arrived. The tear gas hung heavy in the air when we were dropped off on the street strewn with rocks that stone pelters had only moments ago used as weapons to engage the riot police. We had come in to do 3 days of revival meetings in a conflict zone…what a great idea! And as we moved in obedience, God came powerfully, and healed and set people free!
2016: The riots had resumed. Curfew was on for the 70th day straight. Markets were closed, streets were deserted. Food was scarce. We decided we had to go back again. If not now, then when? This time God inspired us to go into the city and pray for the region, for 24 hours, or more if we could. We would turn the church into a house of prayer while we were there. Local believers joined us. We slept on the floor in a back room, taking turns keeping watch in worship and intercession.
We spread out the map of the region and gathered around to cry out for breakthrough. We made declarations over international borders of the region as the holy spirit led us. For about 36-40 hours we contended for the breakthrough of the region. The third morning we rose early and went up to a temple on a high place to declare release over the spiritual atmosphere of the city. We ended with a reconciliation and communion service with local believers. Within 3 days of our prayer, the headlines read: “After 78 days, city markets open during day!”
Now we could have stayed back thinking, all things considered, this was certainly not the most viable time to go. Praying behind closed doors for a bunch of hours?…that could be done from anywhere. But we have to come to realize that when God commissions us to go, there are no closed doors. As we walk up to ancient power points to pray, as we drink chai in homes, as we pray for the sick and demonized, we understand that He has commissioned us. He has sent us on assignment, And if He has sent us, there are no closed doors. If they are closed, then he sends us there to open them up. It’s simple really. Sometimes it’s through a guitar led worship time, sometimes it’s over a cup of chai, sometimes it’s just by standing back and seeing the spirit fall, we realize that there are no closed doors!
Who knew that what started off as a relationship building endeavor with the CNI priest in Shimla would lead to sessions of healing and deliverance where liberty is proclaimed to captives. One night was especially remarkable where a 16 year old boy set free from tormenting spirits during the meeting. The next day his shining face bore no resemblance to the man he was the night before. In Jammu, we would get introduced to a church that is getting ready to send fired-up young people into all the world. At Dalhousie, we would see God’s strategy in bringing together the Catholic and the CNI to conduct a conference, and we would stand in the middle of it releasing His presence.
In Cairo, we would climb up high onto two minarets flanking an important ancient gate of the city called Bab Zuwayla, and as we stood facing each other while traffic and market vendors passed underneath, we would unwittingly create a gate in the spirit realm calling for the King of Glory to come in! A few days later we would hike up Mount Sinai, catching the sunrise at the top and worshipping King Jesus. Our Bedouin guide who saw all this would invite us for tea to his home and ask us to pray for his wife and himself. There just are no closed doors. And He really wants to come. Jesus wants to come. We get to be witnesses of this Jesus who really wants to come, who wants to make Himself known, who wants to be lifted up so that all men can be drawn unto Him.