Baku Trip Reflections

Bismillahi Rahmani Raheem…. In the name of God most gracious, most merciful—These are the words spoken over the loudspeaker of the Qatar Airways jumbo jet as we take off from Los Angeles to Doha. And it is in the name of the Most High God, and my savior JESUS that I go– A sixteen-hour flight on the way to Baku via Doha. In those 16 hours, the Lord ministered His everlasting LOVE to me and set me on a course that would change the course of my life and His-story in Baku, Azerbaijan.

Azerbaijan is a country in the South Caucasus region, situated at the crossroads of Southwest Asia and Southeastern Europe. It is part of the ancient Mesopotamia, and the site of ancient Antiquities. It is bound by the Caspian Sea to the east, Russia to the north, Georgia to the northwest, Armenia to the west and Iran to the south. proclaimed its independence in 1918 and became the first democratic state in the Muslim orient world. But after only 2 years of independence, the country was incorporated into the Soviet Union in 1920.

The modern-day Republic of Azerbaijan proclaimed its independence on 30 August 1991, prior to the official dissolution of the Soviet Union in December 1991. In September 1991, the Armenian majority separated from the rest of the country to form the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic. However, this region, now under conflict, is internationally recognized as still part of Azerbaijan. Much death, dissonance and conflict among Armenians and Azerbaijanis has resulted because of this ongoing conflict.

I was there for The Fourth World Forum on Intercultural Dialogue, hosted by the Government of Azerbaijan in partnership with the UN Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), FIAT, Chevron and others, to reason together about effective responses to challenges facing human security, (massive migration, violent extremism and conflicts). My heart’s desire is to see Jesus, who IS the GOSPEL—spirit of love, unity, reconciliation and peace—raised up over that region because this nation is in a particularly strategic place and space in time.

Strategic because:

  • RESOURCES FOR THE GOSPEL: The country stands at the crossroads of Europe, the Middle East and Asia and is being positioned globally as a key economic force because of strategic oil reserves that could fuel the energy needs of Europe and some of the US. (Proverbs 13:22)
  • ROOM FOR THE GOSPEL: The nation does not declare an official religion and all major political forces in the country are secularist. Yet, the government chooses to actively fund houses of worship, including Orthodox Christian churches and Jewish synagogues (Isa 45:13)
  • RIPE FOR THE GOSPEL: The majority of the population are of a Shiite Muslim background. Most however, do not actively practice any religion, and the country has been seen to be one of the most irreligious countries in the Muslim world. Yet, the people are some of the most loving people you would ever want to meet. (Jeremiah 24:7)

Thanks to all the intercessors who prayed for me as I traveled there. God not only showed me His favor by covering me with peace, safety and security in one of the most volatile regions of the world—but He also gave me favor with people from all walks of life, as expressed by their love, generous greetings and desires to stay connected.

  • The President, Ilham Aliyev
  • Children of Azerbaijan
  • Youth and College Students
  • Custodial Staff of the conference center
  • The Ambassador of Malaysia to Azerbaijan
  • Director General of the Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization—representing all 57 Muslim countries in the world
  • The First Lady of Ethiopia
  • Head of the Azerbaijani Council of Rabbis
  • Deputy Minister from South Sudan
  • Head of the Ancient Caucasus Albanian Christian Church
  • …..and so many more

A great door of relationship has been opened with this nation, and more details will be shared in the coming months.