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Finding the Kingdom in Strategic Cities

“The Kingdom of God? Oh, I think it is just north of here a bit,” said a local man when we asked if he knew about the Kingdom of God.

 

He wiped his mouth as he finished his dinner at the local halal restaurant and casually asked, “Your name?”

 

Our friend Joseph answered using the Arabic form of his English name. The man smiled widely and dragged him to the center of the busy restaurant, gesturing at us and hollering, “Everyone! Please meet Yusef…and all the Muslims from America!”

 

The four of us had landed in this strategic and unengaged city of one million for a survey trip, asking God one question: “Now that we know you want us to go, is this the place?”

 

As we navigated the new terrain, we collected ‘Joshua stones’, moments when we felt God show us His plan for the future. We piled up these invisible rocks, just like Joshua after he crossed the Jordan River and told his people, “Go collect twelve stones and build an altar to God so that you can remember all that He did for you” (Joshua 4).

 


 

Cornelius asked us the standard question when white people show up in a city without any white people in it: “Why are you here?” 
 


 

 

We remember the day we met the man we call ‘Cornelius’. We asked everyone we met the history of their city, and someone finally said, “You must meet Cornelius. He is a very busy man, but I can arrange one half hour for you. He can tell you everything about our city and our history.” 

 

Cornelius, of course, asked us the standard question when white people show up in a city without any white people in it, “Why are you here?” 

 

“We are business people working in Fortune 500 companies in America. We wish to move our families here to do business that would create jobs in your city.” 

 

We explained that we are also people who worship the one, true God and wished to facilitate peace between Westerners and Muslims, as well as peace between God and people. 

 

Cornelius questioned us for over an hour. Finally he smiled and stood up. “I will tell you about our history. But first I should tell you that I am not just an historian; I am the Secretary of the Chamber of Commerce and I would like to personally welcome you to our city. Come speak at our Chamber meeting tonight. I will introduce you, and you will tell everyone why you are here!”

 

The group that evening gave us a carved, wooden boat with the words, “Welcome to our City” printed on it. They even took a photo of us with all the important business people of the city to print in their magazine.

 

That boat is a memorial stone, a piece of God speaking that says, “I want this city for Myself and you are going to be part of that plan!”

 

Three families now live in that city long-term. Cornelius, a generous and God-fearing man, remains instrumental in continuing to gain favor there. 

 

Soon, someone in this city might answer, “The Kingdom of God? Well, I’ve seen it, and it is right here!”

 

 

Find out more about Frontiers’ efforts to expand the Kingdom to strategic cities.