Another highlight was an Arabic meal on Friday night with the 16 elders. It’s a big church! And I lived like a king with my hosts Doja and Lola and their 3 lovely daughters, originally from Nigeria, via South Africa. I visited the tallest building in the world, the biggest shopping mall in the world and Palm View.
From a church point of view, Dubai is a unique context, and there is a certain degree of freedom for Christians to meet, but there are also restrictions, so I could say more. But it was sobering to hear many Indians in Dubai share reports of fundamentalist Hindu persecution of Christians in India. Dubai is a world city, crucial to gospel progress, especially when it comes to sending out church-planters.
One memory of my trip was seeing a Ghanaian (I think) kick-boxer or perhaps MMA fighter who showed me the publicity for his next fight. He said he’d been healed in the worship on Sunday, but not come on stage, but I met him because he responded for salvation afterwards. He then squeezed my arm to show me how much pain he’d been in before he got healed. The healing he’d experienced had really made him sit up and tune into what I was saying about Jesus in the preach, and he was very joyful at the end.
I did some sight-seeing on the final morning courtesy of some wonderful Indian businessmen. Emirates very impressive. I am tremendously grateful to citygates and their wider family Regions Beyond for looking after me so royally well.