God at work in Saudi Arabia
‘Saudi women to be allowed to vote for the first time’;
‘Saudi woman sentenced to ten lashes for driving is later pardoned by the king’.
Saudi Arabia can generate headlines like none other. With the Koran as its constitution, and as keeper of the two holiest sites in Islam, Saudi Arabia has sought to restrict the spread of Christianity. Yet, reports are coming in that God is at work in this desert kingdom of 26 million people.
The church in Saudi Arabia has largely been confined to foreigners. Unlike other countries in the Arabian Peninsula, Saudi Arabia does not condone the meeting together of non-Muslims for worship.
Despite efforts to ensure Saudis remain Muslim, some Saudis are coming to know the Lord Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Saviour.
Towards the end of Ramadan in 2011, a Saudi Christian baptised another Saudi Christian in the sea. Our colleague wrote: ‘The presence of our Father was evident … and shouts of hallelujah were heard on that star-lit night’.
As this believer approached the water, one of the brothers said, ‘Here I am, thy servant’, a phrase used by Muslims when they arrive for pilgrimage. Pray for these men, that they would continue to meet together and encourage each other. One of them asked that his daughter would marry a believer — she is not yet a Christian, but accepts her father’s faith.
In September 2011, our colleagues were honoured to meet a friendly, older Saudi who eagerly desires to be baptised. He has shared openly with his family, although they have not yet embraced Christ.
After a long spiritual journey, the light of God suddenly shone in his heart. It nearly caused him to ‘jump into the air’ when he realised God’s unfailing love. This man has only been a believer for three months, but he has taken the Bible to heart and often quotes it.
Pray for the Lord to use this man (it is well known that he is a Christian), stirring the hearts of those in his sphere of influence, and for his four children to come to Christ.
It is not easy for these Saudi Christians to meet together, so a group is forming in cyberspace. A handful of Saudis meet online with the express purpose of studying the Bible and fellowshipping with each other.
The group has been comprised of young men and has more recently been joined by several women. It crosses social, tribal and sectarian divides. Some want to meet face-to-face and publicly confess their faith in Christ through baptism.
A Christian worker in Saudi Arabia met a Saudi who shared his faith in Christ. He is testifying openly to others. Our colleague is hoping to introduce him to the online group.
The work of God is not confined to men. A Saudi woman has written songs and poems about her Christian faith and is publishing them on the internet as a bold witness. She wants to marry a Saudi Christian, which will require God’s special intervention, as she lives in a spiritually dark city.
Praise God that he is reaching out to a nation that is not seeking him.