Highway of Hope
Some say that peace in the Middle East is an absolute impossibility.
Many have given up hope and resigned to the realities of hatred, division, oppression and war as the overarching narratives of this troubled region of the world. Are hostility, violence and bloodshed the only future for the millions of souls who call the Middle East their home? Are fear, terror and intimidation the only story? We don’t think so. A Hebrew prophet, named Isaiah, sees a vision of the Middle East that is quite different than the popular views of the region today. He does not ignore the challenges, but he looks far past the current chaos to a day where unity and reconciliation are the realities that will one day release a blessing in the midst of the earth.
In chapter 19:23-25 of the book bearing his name, Isaiah declares, “In that day there will be a highway from Egypt to Assyria, and the Assyrians will come into Egypt and the Egyptians into Assyria, and the Egyptians will worship with the Assyrians. In that day Israel will be the third party with Egypt and Assyria, a blessing in the midst of the earth, whom the LORD of hosts has blessed, saying, ”Blessed is Egypt My people, and Assyria the work of My hands, and Israel My inheritance.”
A further look at Isaiah 19 indicates that times will actually get quite difficult in Egypt. The highway, unity and global blessing described in the final three verses of the chapter are preceded by a very intense and distressing time for the Egyptians. Isaiah sees that Egypt will experience a severe shaking that will generate civil unrest, dry up her water source, cause a negative impact on her economy and create much confusion within her political ranks.
These national events cause the Egyptians to forsake their idols and call out on the name of the Lord. The remaining part of Isaiah’s vision beautifully outlines God’s intention and strategy to ultimately save and heal. We find it significant and quite compelling that God’s strategy to save and heal involves the establishment of a regional highway that connects three Middle Eastern people groups, mostly known for their historic hostility, not their unity. Isaiah’s highway clearly expresses the multicultural fruit of the new covenant and provides an incredible framework for ministry in the Middle East. Building this highway of hope and investing in a regional work of reconciliation is what drives us.
Through prayer initiatives, worship gatherings, training programs and a variety of relief efforts, Highway 19 Ministries is serving this vision along with many others in the region who are also committed to building up this highway of hope, worship and reconciliation in the Middle East.