My Trip into "the most repressive nation on Earth*"...Eritrea.
Yes, I am still going. I would be in sin if I did not go, the same as Jonah. I am a little scared, frankly, but an dealing with it as I can in faith, but am confident that God called me, and will provide.
Leaving 25 September..........Eritrea........I covet your prayers...TY. Tom
Where I am being sent. [ and then to S. Africa. ] Eritrea was Evangelized at the time of the Apostles.
"According with Reporters Without Borders, Human Rights Watch and other organizations that monitor human rights and freedoms worldwide, Eritrea, an extremely poor nation of the African continent in the neighborhood of Sudan, Ethiopia and Somalia is considered to be the most repressive nation on earth*.
A tough and in my view a controversial selection considering competitors in the repressive category such as North Korea, Cuba, Iran, Belarus and other nations. Under the regime of president Isaias Afewerki, 25% of Eritrea's population has fled over the past 20 years.
The Afewerki regime has turned the nation into a "giant prison" according with Human Rights Watch with over 314 detention centers. Some of the country's prisons are underground, buried 229 feet bellow sea level with temperatures reported to reach 140 degrees Fahrenheit.
In those prisons there are thousands of journalists, religious leaders and dissidents imprisoned, detained indefinitely and subjected to medieval tortures that include their feet shackled, tied to a cross or hung upside down and other forms of cruelty.
Below is a previous letter to some friends.........
Yes I am sure this is from God. I do not want to go after the flesh...believe me, but this is a commission, a sending....just like Jonah Got.
DREAM FROM GOD ABOUT AFRICAN MISSION. Tom Watkins..
CONFIRMATION ON MY TRIP TO AFRICA:
I am going to the poor.
I sought the Lord and He heard my cry. I was planning to go in the Spring or Early summer.....He gave me two significant dreams..........One in an airport/meeting place among ALL black people...I was wandering about when I heard my name called. Then, some black men told me to go to an interview; it was required of me.
I had no idea for what, but I went, a little bewildered. I sat alone at a table, and in front of me was a four man team of black men asking me about the Bible and spiritual things, and after a while, I was told to leave. I mingled a while, and again, I was told to return ; they had made a decision. I did not know what decision.
One man sat there now, apparently the leader. There were hundreds of people in the audience. "We have carefully looked at everyone,"...he said; "And we have chosen you!!".....He looked at me like I was supposed to be impressed....but I was not. I did not know what I was chosen for. He then got up and left, and so did I. He seemed a little frustrated that I was not enthusiastic.
Two black men then came to me and said; "Come with us. We will get your papers." I followed them through crowds of again, black faces, and came to a desk with other black men. There they asked for my papers, and they complied, and mentioned a slang name like "bass"...."the bass." They handed me papers, and I heard them say something like " take the ambassador to his station". I looked down and I saw a "Certificate of an Ambassador" written on the top, and as I read, I saw my name, and a date "September".
I was then somewhat proud. "I am an ambassador!" ; I thought.
I also saw the name Eritrea, which has an association with Africa. The two men then began to lead me winding around the station to catch transportation to my country station, and then non-chalantly abandoned me. I was left alone, waiting. The dream ended.....................................................
Implications and thoughts. I am beginning to feel so free from ideas about ministry. Jesus was never bound with such stifle. The singular soul alone and wandering was as important as the multitudes. He travelled with much opposition across the Sea of Gallilee to rescue one unknown demon possessed wretch...who we will one day meet, by the way; The Gadarene demoniac, and the prostitute Mary, and the woman with the flow, and the centurian and on and on.
People mattered to Him, and love and rivers of life healed all. I am His ambassador, and my trip to Africa will be in this vein.
Then I plan to visit South Africa. I will preach Christ Crucified the only hope of Glory, along with Christ IN YOU the hope of Glory. These are my intentions. No one is left out, the 10 year old slave girl is as important as the governor. I, with incapability, just want to love.
As Jesus visited Simon the Leper on the eve of His last supper and capture; I want this heart for the least. Jesus passed up honoring Peter or James or John, or any of His known disciples; His mother, His brothers, or His loyal supporters; everyone mentioned in the Bible we may expect that He would honor. His last night in any home...an unknown former leper...maybe the one of the ten that returned just to say thank-you, and to worship his discovered God who came to him in his darkest need.
None will ever measure up, but we can Go!, as we are commissioned. At 62, with several Gospel mission trips to China, multiple to India, Israel and England, I feel that I am that now; All the pressure to perform is gone, and I am bolder than ever; weirdly confident inside that I carry Christ.
I am now preparing; Passport updates, visa's, plane tickets, and most of all; my heart. I am leaving in early September.
I am sending this letter to a young family man who feels led to sow into this ministry in a specific way. I have always travelled alone, and I think I always will...but I must follow Him alone. There may be others though, with a heart but without the means to Go!...and I am communicating now with some.
I can say with a clean conscious that I have never, not once, begged for money or solicited one soul for a penny, or received one offering and not sown it back into the mission for the poor. I have went on my own expense, and will keep it that way...but I will receive offerings as they are given in faith, Lucy. It does seem expensive, as I must stay in Hotels and eat out, and must also give to any interpreters that I would preach with.
"For it pleased those from Macedonia and Achaia to make a certain contribution for the poor among the saints who are in Jerusalem.
It pleased them indeed, and they are their debtors. For if the Gentiles have been partakers of their spiritual things, their duty is also to minister to them in material things.
Therefore, when I have performed this and have sealed to them this fruit, I shall go by way of you to Spain. "..Paul
So; for those of you who are LED by God to give;
P. O. 122
I have a steward here in the states that will deposit any gifts while I am gone, and forward any news.
Also; ..we can talk. [ for now ] 618-200-0871
100% of any gifts will be acknowledged, and used for the purpose given; the Gospel. I owe no bills.....I own a 17 year old Taurus Ford with 222,000 miles on it, my own home I bought for $12,000 and nicely remodeled. I do not need money.
I am not a professional nor am I hired. I am a brother first to His Body and my family, but try to be a good son to my Father above all. In this I fail, but I live on His Mercy. My favorite scripture is; "It is not he who runs or he who wills, but God who shows mercy."
You may parouse my prophecies if you want at
...and I am on Facebook: that paragon of the persona! Veracity defined as MY FACE and my trumpet!....sorry about that...but there is more phoniness on the internet than there is in the religious church, I think.
THOMAS RAY WATKINS..facebook
I have encountered real demonic; even Satanic oppostion a lot........I won't get into it now...but I covet your prayers. I am going to the land of Oz where witches rule and rein, and they are going to try to destroy me with the Satanic Princes over them who empower them....and add to that...what is the use of going without power? I have none within myself.
My flesh must die, the World rises...and the devil rages...but hopefully, God will use me to rescue a few and wash some feet in His purposes. I will perish without mercy and grace .Please pray for these for me...
[ The second dream I will share later...it was more about the body, and where we are....emerging from death...the sign of the prophet Jonah. ]
Flying out Sept. 25th, Returning December 4th...............2012
Without prayer, I feel like I could die.....but know differently...like fighting fear as I stand in hope. I do have God's word for me.
Love you all...and we will meet soon.