My journey of loving Jesus in the Middle East.

Eva Bridges

Eva Bridges
Hi! I'm Eva. I am passionate about completely obeying Jesus on my journey. It's led me to a lot of great places like Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, and Egypt. I'm learning a lot in the process. Thanks for stopping by!

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Where is Your Citizenship: Thoughts on the Election



The Election

Clinton vs. Trump. Republican vs. Democrat. Economic issues, immigration issues, health care issues, moral issues, what’s a believer to do? How is the believer to respond during this election season?

I came back from the Middle East to a divided America. I was shocked by the issues being discussed on the news. I was even more shocked by the issues being discussed among believers. We should boycott this company because of transgender bathrooms. {WHAT??} We should support this candidate because of [fill in whatever political issue suits your fancy].

As I’ve watched in horror as those who would vie to become the leader of the free world lie, cheat and steal their way to the top, as I’ve listened to Jesus loving believers simply resign themselves to choosing the lesser of the evils on the ballot box, (or worse, to not vote at all) my heart was burdened.

As I’ve contemplated these thoughts I’ve come to some conclusions.

Participating in the Election is our Civic Duty

I’ve lived under a tyrannical dictator who has killed thousands and caused millions to live in utter terror. I’ve lived under a benevolent king who has worked tirelessly to eradicate corruption from a government built on bribes.

In both of those countries (and in the other two I’ve lived in) I had no voice. I was an outsider. I was required to simply obey the laws, no matter how futile or ridiculous. {You mean I have to come to the immigration office to fill out the same three forms in triplicate every day for three months? Awesome.}

In one of those countries, I had the privilege of watching a new constitution be developed. For the first time in the history of this particular nation, a truly elected prime minister was to be chosen rather than appointed by the king. I watched as people proudly donned their ink soaked index finger as proof they had participated in the election. Their voice was heard. They were empowered to make choices for their nation.

In the same way, I choose to participate in the election whenever I am in the US. Be that local, state or federal, I want my voice heard. I am an American. It is my right.

Participating in the Election is our Spiritual Duty

I’ve heard many say they are choosing to boycott certain companies because of transgender bathrooms. My first knee-jerk reaction was to fist pump my agreement to this degradation of our moral fiber.

And then my brain kicked in.

How can I expect a company run by those who do not follow the teachings of Jesus to hold the same moral values as I do? I’m punishing them for not knowing Christ.  That doesn’t seem very Christlike.

As I pondered this issue I realized that I was fighting the wrong battle. Boycotting a bunch of companies would not answer the problem. Instead, participating in the election and choosing those candidates in every area of government that hold my moral values will be the beginning of change. It may not happen overnight, but

There is a Deeper Spiritual Issue

Even so, transgender bathrooms (or whatever political issue being discussed at the moment) isn’t the real problem. The real problem is a spiritual one.

Maybe it’s time for the Church in America to rise up and show the true love of Christ. Maybe this means laying down our weapons of rhetoric and choosing to love those whose views are different from our own. Maybe it’s time to look at how Jesus treated sinners – not with condemnation, but with love and mercy. After all, “but for the grace of God, go I.”

Regardless of the Outcome, Our Citizenship is Secure

Inasmuch as I believe all Americans should vote in the election, I also believe that it does not define who I am. My passport says I am an American. However, my lifestyle and my personal beliefs say that I am first and foremost a citizen of heaven. Therefore, no matter what happens in the election, my future is secure because I belong to Christ.

Brothers, join in imitating me, and keep your eyes on those who walk according to the example you have in us. For many, of whom I have often told you and now tell you even with tears, walk as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their end is destruction, their god is their belly, and they glory in their shame, with minds set on earthly things. But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself. Philippians 3:17-21

Prayerfully participate in the election and stand firm for the cause of Christ.

How are you approaching this election?

Yes, Jesus Knows Me

Jesus Knows Me

A friend wrote these words to the tune of Jesus, Jesus Loves Me.  I hope they minister to you as they did to me.

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Our Adoption Journey: The Rejection

Open Adoption

The Rejection

An email arrives in my inbox with the subject line telling me there’s a birth situation for us to look at. With trembling fingers I enter our password into the portal’s login page praying this is a situation we can say yes to. I read over the brief information and excitedly text the Mister giving him the highlights. We decide to say yes. And somewhere a birth mom advocate is showing our profile along with a bunch of others to a woman who might change our life.

And then we wait. I feverishly check my phone and email for any updates hoping it will be positive. And then it comes: an alert. Again I tremble as I log into the portal until I read that the birth mom has chosen a family and they have been notified.

We were not chosen.

Over and over this happens. We get attached to the idea of a little one only to be disappointed by rejection. “It’s all in God’s timing,” people tell us. My head tells me it’s true, but my heart has just been completely torn into tiny little pieces. Again. By someone I’ve never met.

And then the ugly comes out. 

Who is this person rejecting me? What’s wrong with us? Why weren’t we chosen? What were we lacking that the other family had? Why were they better? Why?

But there are no answers to this question. Just like Job there usually aren’t answers to the great whys of our life. They just are.

And in the process of this waiting, anticipation, rejection, waiting cycle, the Lord has brought something to light I didn’t even know was in my heart.  He is showing me that comparison leads in a downward spiral of ugliness. He’s challenging me to pray for the little one who has just been placed into someone’s care and for the family that was chosen.

My heart still breaks every time we are rejected. I still work to hold it all together when I’m working in Panera and a group of moms with their babies walk in. I’m still in this vicious cycle of waiting, anticipation and rejection. It still hurts.

Maybe this will make the moment we are matched that much sweeter because of the pain.

What do you do during painful times of rejection?

Sabbath Rest: Reflections from Psalm 92

The Mister and I have visited Israel a number of times (well, he lived there before we were married), and one of the issues to work around is the Sabbath. In Jewish areas the idea of Sabbath rest is so resolute elevators actually automatically stop on every floor to keep people from the work of pressing buttons. I won’t lie, I find the Sabbath in Israel to be loads more work than other days.

Sabbath Rest

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Trust and Obey

Trust and Obey

I used to live in Syria.  It was hard and painful and wonderful and miraculous. The Lord saw fit to allow me to be a part of seeing Muslims come to Christ.  He also taught me the greatest lesson I am continuing to learn: how to trust and obey.

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Open Adoption

Open Adoption

Open Adoption

I’ll admit, when I first started research domestic adoption, this idea of open adoption brought on some intense thoughts and feelings. This is just silly, the child won’t know who his parents are.  Won’t this cause confusion? Our child is our child and we don’t need any other parents interfering.

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Trust Leads to Praise: Psalm 56:3-4

Trust leads to Praise


What a simple little word. And yet there is so much entangled inside it – so many emotions, so many memories, so many thoughts.

My life hasn’t always been easy.  There was that time I was interrogated by the internal security of a government considered an enemy of my passport country. Or when my friend was persecuted. Oh, and that time my friends were put in prison for sharing the gospel. Or when our cafe had to close. Or when we were blackmailed by someone who said he was a follower of Christ but was really reporting for the government. Or when we found out we couldn’t have biological children. Or when we started the adoption journey and are now a long ways into what seems an unending wait. Or…

I’m sure your story isn’t so different. Maybe the circumstances or settings or what have you might not be the same, but the pain, the fear, and the anger have been there.

And you wonder.

Is God actually working all things together for my good?

Even though I’m in the trenches of what seems an unending wait for a child, even though I feel like a fish out of water now that we’re back in our passport country (seriously, what is up with all the cereal – and don’t even get me started on the clothing!), I can honestly say yes.

Because in the middle of my pain, in the middle of my fear and doubt and hurt and anger, the Lord is there. He was there guiding me when I was interrogated.  He was there encouraging my friend when she was persecuted. He was there comforting my friends when they were in prison. He was there guiding us to adoption when we found out we couldn’t have biological children. He was there.

 Life still hurts. But God is good.

I choose to trust in his goodness. I choose to trust in his faithfulness. I choose to trust in him.

And I would offer a prayer for you from scripture during those less than stellar moments in life.

When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.
     In God, whose word I praise—
in God I trust and am not afraid.
    What can mere mortals do to me? (Psalm 56:3-4)

David penned these words when the Philistines had seized him.  I’ve never been seized by anyone, but I can imagine he felt some fear during those moments. And he speaks volumes in these three sentences:

Acknowledge my fear.

Denying my feelings won’t do anyone any good. Sometimes I am afraid.  I am afraid no one will choose us and we’ll remain childless. I’m afraid something will happen once we are matched and the child will be taken away. I’m afraid I’ll never live overseas again. I’m afraid I’ll lose my Arabic.  So many fears for one little heart.

Choose to trust.

Trust is a choice.  “When I am afraid, I put my trust in you” (Ps. 56:3). This is an action.  It is not passive.  It is a conscious choice made that says that even though my emotions say otherwise, even though the circumstances seem impossible,

Trust leads to praise.

Praise comes out of our trust. “In God whose word I praise,” (Ps. 56:4a). The more we trust in the Lord, the more we will praise him. Because the more we trust in him the more we know how worthy he is of praise.

Praise leads to more trust.

“In God I trust; I will not be afraid” (Ps 56:4b). Here we start to see the pattern.  David acknowledged his feelings but chose to trust in the Lord. Then he praised the Lord. Then he reaffirmed his trust in the Lord.  The more we praise, the more we trust.  And the more we trust, the more we praise.

So, what are you trusting/praising the Lord for right now?

I’m Back

I'm Back

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Be Back Soon

be back soon

I’ve decided to take a break from the blog for a bit while I focus some extra time on praying for Muslims during the holy month of Ramadan and spend some time resting over the summer.

Ramadan Prayer Guide

Be back soon!

Becoming Like Stephen or Becoming a Leader


Who was Stephen?

In those days when the number of disciples was increasing, the Hellenistic Jews among them complained against the Hebraic Jews because their widows were being overlooked in the daily distribution of food. So the Twelve gathered all the disciplestogether and said, “It would not be right for us to neglect the ministry of the word of God in order to wait on tables. Brothers and sisters, choose seven men from among you who are known to be full of the Spirit and wisdom. We will turn this responsibility over to them and will give our attention to prayer and the ministry of the word.”

This proposal pleased the whole group. They chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit; also Philip, Procorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolas from Antioch, a convert to Judaism. They presented these men to the apostles, who prayed and laid their hands on them. (Acts 6:1-5)

Leader – a buzz word in the American church today. Countless books have been written on the topic. There are whole degrees around the idea of leadership. Leadership is important. Churches and organizations are made or broken based on the leadership abilities of a person.

But is it the end-all? Should it be our goal as followers of Christ?

What does Stephen have to do with Becoming a Leader?

Acts 6:5 tells us that Stephen was a “man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit.” A man with such a description should be in charge, right? He should be up front. He should be a leader.

Instead, he’s given the role of chief waiter. He’s handing out food to widows. He’s in the background.

And he does so with faithfulness and honor. He fulfills his ministry responsibilities with gusto knowing that it is for the service of Jesus. He is so full of the Spirit that while he is fulfilling his obligations to the widows he is performing great signs and wonders among the people (Acts 6:8). It is noteworthy that there have always been those faithful believers whose love for and commitment to the Lord seem to shine through so greatly that others around them notice, and Stephen was such a man.

And his reward?

Becoming the first martyr.

I’m beginning to wonder if I should focus less on being a great leader and more on being full of the Spirit. I’m beginning to wonder what might happen around me if I chose to simply be full of the Spirit rather than full of man’s words. I’m beginning to ask God to create a spirit within me like Stephen: one of servanthood and whose mind is set on things above.



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