The Arabian Peninsula Partnership
The Gospel for every person and a church for every people in the Arabian Peninsula amongst indigenous peoples
January 31, 2009
Praise God that the two BMB men, recently released from prison, have a new eagerness for commitment to Christ. They are coming together with other believing nationals for fellowship and support. Pray that these gathered will eventually become a church with strong leadership.
Oman recently won the Gulf Cup (football/soccer) tournament. There was great rejoicing. As we watched the supporters enthusiastically sing for and wave banners for their home team, we were all drawn to pray for God's kingdom to be expanded here and for men, women and children to "wave the banner" of the Kingdom and sing and wave banners for the true hero - Jesus Christ.
There have been reports of possible attacks on embassies here. Do ask that those who seek to create unrest will fail. Ask that there will be peace in our region.
Currently a worker is sharing an office with two good local friends, "Amy" and "Emily". Pray for opportunities to share the love for Jesus with both of her friends.
Please pray for the speakers and students participating in the Perspectives in World Missions course that is being held over the next several weeks. Pray that God will bring about a radical commitment in many towards sharing the gospel.
Prayer for the availability and freedom for Phillip Yancey to speak this week. We hope for the encouragement for the Christian expat community and also that Phillip will be to have contact with locals, according to God's plans.
'Hi, Mr Elton, this is Ahmed Nader, remember me?'. As he paused, mentally shifting through all the students he had taught through the years, Elton remembered Ahmed Nader, one of the many average students. In a split second came the follow-up question ' would you come to my wedding, it's tomorrow night'. While the male celebration is not noteworthy (in contrast to the lively ladies' event), Elton always enjoys the opportunity to re-connect with the graduates and their families, so he accepted the invitation.
Even though he has been to over 50 such weddings, Elton arrived early. There is no specific starting time, but most men start filing into the wedding hall after the last evening prayers. That is when he greeted Ahmed Nader with kisses on both cheeks and received a warm embrace from his father and handshakes from his 3 brothers and 2 cousins. After this, Elton was ushered into a row of fancy chairs next to some other men. All listened to the traditional wedding music performed with drums and the men danced with wooden canes, while some teenagers tossed rifles into the air as the dancers moved to the drum beats.
After 20 minutes of listening to music and chit-chatting with new friends, Elton spotted Saeed out of the corner of his eye. This was a surpise, he didn't expect to see him at this wedding because he did a different major to Ahmed Nader and graduated a few years apart. Elton greeted Saeed and his father and uncle and was invited to sit with them. Soon Saeed and Elton became engaged in a serious discussion.
Saeed related that he was angry as a student and still is angry now 2 years on - angry at his father and the religion of his youth. His father and mother divorced when he was just 5 months old. In the 25 years since, his father has had over 8 different wives!! His father had renounced the mosque in every form except by formal declaration, and is known in the community as a wild man - avoided by many but sought out by those looking for a wild time. Saeed remains embarrassed by his father and also hates Islam. He hates it because it has left him empty and has many contradictions lived out in his immediate family and in the Muslim community at large. He discussed with Elton about what God wants in relationship with his creation and they began to apply this to us - the people in his creation. All too soon, they were interrupted by his father but Saeed expressed interest to meet again to talk. Pray that the next time will be soon and will sow more seeds of the gospel in this young man's heart.