The Arabian Peninsula Partnership
The Gospel for every person and a church for every people in the Arabian Peninsula amongst indigenous peoples
22 December, 2010
The "El AwlaK" tribe recently refused to cooperate with El Qaida. Pray that more tribes in Arabia will have the courage to do this, helping to bring peace to their families. Pray that they will hear about the Prince of Peace who wants to give them salvation and new life.
Prayer"Nadeem", a national believer, who we prayed for in July, disappeared for a while. Before this happened, he was speaking and acting in such strange ways that it led a tentmaker to tell him that he must either be on drugs, demon possessed, or something else. " Nadeem" admitted something was wrong, but was not specific. After this long absence, "Nadeem" returned to the group of believers about two weeks ago. He was acting normal and positive. Please pray that any unresolved problems will be confessed, leading to Nadeem's growth and strengthening in his faith in the Lord Jesus.
As the Christmas season approaches, many believers will be praying for opportunities to share the real meaning of why Christ came. As is my usual tradition, I will be giving Christmas cookies and an relevant Arabic scripture to several of my Arab friends. Please pray that HE will speak through His Word and spark their curiosity to learn more about Jesus.
On our short visit in Europe during the Eid al Adha holiday, I visited an AP student there. I asked her about the meaning of Eid al Adha and she told about Abraham who had to sacrifice his son, but that God sent a sheep instead to be sacrificed. I told her about the symbol of this for the sacrifice that Jesus made to die instead of us. She told me she had never heard this before. She is in contact with a Christian family. Pray that she will become more interested in our faith and that she will ask that family more about it.
Muslims often think in terms of our sins being a number of external wrong actions, but not a root problem of our inner nature. As "The Voyage of the Dawn Treader" shows throughout the AP, and illustrates how we are helpless to change our dragonish heart without a Savior, pray that its message will be coupled with hearing the Gospel, to bring local Muslims to Christ.
Pray for the people who are hearing the Christmas story for the first time. Ask that those telling the Story will give a clear presentation and that the Holy Spirit will speak through them.
Joseph' a local believer who lost his job recently (no long-term employment as of today), invited me to go with him to distribute food to the poor. (Most households have an abundance of meat, since it is the morning they commemorate Abraham almost sacrificing his son, but instead he sacrificed the sheep.)
Joseph went to those who killed a sheep, goat, bull or camel (the options I have seen) and asked for a little meat from each when they slaughtered the animal early that morning. With the help of a few local friends, he got a decent amount, enough for 80 households. So, by mid-morning, they were at the local centre confirming the list of people who were in need and packing our car with bags of fresh meat, along with donations from others, including a bottle of cooking oil, a bag of powdered dish soap, a box of facial tissues, and two bananas.
Almost all of the ten or twenty people helping to distribute the food were there to earn credit toward salvation, the local majority view of good works. And though they make an issue about us saying that Jesus is more than a prophet, the three believers there, Joseph, one of his close friends and myself were still able to share about the Great Sacrifice with some recipients as we distributed the gifts. This picture of salvation is strong since they consider that when the animal, an unblemished male, is sacrificed in the right way, with the right words, then some of the sins of the family are taken away. And for those on the Hajj, some say, all the previous year's sins are forgiven and the next year's sins too.
Praise God for the opportunity to share the meat of the Good News - may those who hear ponder the one who made the Ultimate Sacrifice.