by a Pioneers worker on the Arabian Peninsula
I was anxious to hear Nissar’s* story. I enjoy hearing how people have come to faith, but it is even more thrilling to hear the story of someone who lives in this dry, desert land where there is so little witness.
Nissar told me that his journey began a few years ago during the revolution, now known as the Arab Spring. As he watched the peaceful protests diverge into fighting, eventually plunging his homeland into turmoil, he began to question the predominant religion of the country. How could this greed, bloodshed and chaos be what God desired? Nissar began to research and study the major religions of the world. None of them provided him peace – until he began reading the Christian Bible.
As Nissar talked, my mind was drawn to the events of the last few months in this country. The results of the revolution, which allowed extremism to spread, are still being felt. Only two months ago, the government launched a major offensive in an effort to reign in the extremists who have been actively working to undermine the infrastructure of the country and cripple the government’s ability to function. While significant progress has been achieved, the country remains very unstable. This tumult and suffering is likely to be the norm for the next several years, and I wondered how this brother, and others in this country, would be able to endure it.
Community is vital in this environment, and I began thinking about how to introduce Nissar to some other brothers. He is nervous about this, though, because his culture has taught him not to trust others, and he knows the potential penalties if his faith becomes known to authorities or extremists.
I encouraged Nissar with Jesus’ words in John 16:33:
These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.
Nissar agreed that there was certainly plenty of trouble and tribulation in the world that he lives in, but he was comforted by the reminder that Christ has overcome this world and that in him we can have peace.
What troubles are you facing right now? Do you need to seek Christ for peace in the midst of the difficulties? As you do, would you pray for the brothers and sisters of this land to experience that peace as well?
Jesus in John 16:33, NKJV