We asked one of our workers seven questions on the country of his heart, Saudi Arabia…
What makes you love the people of Saudi?
My love for Gulf Arabs did not come from myself. God clearly put it in me. I love their hospitality and their devotion to God, albeit misguided. They have a desire to tell non-Muslims about what they think is the truth.
Are there any Bible verses that spring to mind when you think about the people of Saudi Arabia?
Yes, Isaiah 35:1…
The wilderness and the dry land shall be glad and the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose.
This is a dry desert country. In the desert are many seeds which no one sees until the rain comes. When it does come, suddenly green flowers appear. Spiritual seeds have been sown in the desert and slowly we see that God’s Spirit (the rain) is making some of them sprout and blossom.
How can we pray for the people of Saudi?
Pray that its people become less content with Islam and start searching for the only One who can meet their needs – Jesus Christ.
What is the biggest obstacle people in Saudi have to finding Christ?
Their indoctrination from birth with Islamic teaching and false teachings about Christianity. Also, fear since they know that turning their back on Islam may cost them a lot – their life or at least a lot of persecution.
Can you tell us what issues local believers are dealing with and how we can pray for them?
The biggest issue is fear of what will happen if their family, friends or wider society discover their faith. Pray for wisdom, but also boldness in how they can still be a witness of Christ. Pray that changed lives would speak volumes.
Do you have a story or testimony to encourage or enlighten us?
God is at work in this country. The number of responses from Saudi Arabians to Christian websites and through TV programmes has increased a lot. We hear of and also get to meet local believers. We try to encourage them and connect them with each other through the internet. That is the safest way for them to meet.
Can you tell us something about Saudi Arabia that we would not hear in the news?
Saudi looks from the outside, with its modern technologies and wealth, like a modern country, but the people are still very tribal in their thinking and behaviour. They tend not to trust people from a different tribe or city and so relate mainly with people from their own tribe. This can also be an obstacle for bringing believers together.
Please use this information to pray, and also encourage others to pray too. You can also make a comment below.
Saudi Arabia is one of ten countries we are focusing on in 2012. We want to see more spiritual enquirers come in through our ministry website. To do this, we are placing Google ads and producing content to draw people in. Please join us in praying for this by signing up to TC12.