Finding Faith in Arabia

Maybe you’ve heard that the Arab Gulf is a hard place. I always have… Serious Muslims. Persecution of Christians. Generally people bent on terrorism….or at least funding it.

You should ask my kids. So far we’ve experienced the most intense hospitality ever. Today the Muslim Sheikh who hosted us apologized about 10 times that he hadn’t provided more for us. It was short notice he said. All he was able to do is give us a full meal amongst the most beautiful sand dunes on his farm. He hosted and pampered us for hours ignoring all else he had to do. Showering us with gifts. He had never heard of us an hour before and didn’t even know why we were there. But he felt bad he couldn’t do more….

Then the other Muslim man we spent a lot of time with told us how he was delivered at the local Christian missionary hospital. (his words). The doctor who first held him, he calls “mom.” he said “I love those people.”

Three young men who had never met us spent two hours giving our kids rides up the big sand dune so they could board down. I could go on and on and it’s only been two days.

We pray. We speak. We laugh and eat. Faith. Friends. Family. It’s what the sign says over our fireplace at our house in Colorado. And we’ve found all three here!

Comments

  1. Youmatter says:

    Last Saturday – Saudi security forces have detained 42 Ethiopian Christians at a prayer gathering in the Red Sea city of Jeddah. Christians in Saudi Arabia, most of who enter the country as foreign workers, are not allowed to practice their faith openly.

  2. Youmatter says:

    Perhaps I should add – my brother-in-law is a Palestinian Muslim – and I have found him just as you reported – very generous and hospitable – but that is not the complete story.

  3. randdmiller says:

    I lived in the GCC region for 4 years.

    I enjoyed the same hospitality that Carl writes about (including fresh camel’s milk, while singing Christmas carols in the desert!).

    I think there’s once verse that would puzzle the traditional gulf Arab: Luke 1:74.

    The purpose of Christ – freeing us so we can serve [i] without fear [/i] (emphasis added) is generally antithetical to the basic beliefs of Islam.