Thursday, May 29, 2008

Light through dark veils

I met Beth tonight. She's an opera singer living in a place where, she says, the people literally do not sing. The irony of God. She and her husband have moved to the United Arab Emirates to join Oasis Hospital which is operated by Cure International. Cure was started by an orthopedic surgeon to help children around the world who are born with deformities. The vast majority could be cured if they only had the means to get help.

Her husband serves as an administrator and team builder to help organize ways the hospital staff can serve outside the grounds. They have organized wellness clinics for women and children, have helped with Lebanese refugees and have even reached out to the Muslim "seminary" that is in Al Ain (pronounced to my Texas ear as all-LINE...though I realize that I don't even think I have an accent). And they do it all in the name of Christ. It even says so on the walls as you enter the hospital. This in a country where it is forbidden by law to share the gospel. Another grace of God today to be thankful for today.

A little background was helpful for me...
  • UAE has a per capita income of $17 million dollars! The median household income for Texas? About $42,000. This is deceptive though as there are thousands which are not even counted for this statistic since they are lowest of the low class. Their income is a pittance.
  • Only about 18% of the people in the UAB are actually Emiratees.
  • Their women are in full veil and do not speak to outsiders.
  • The temperature can get to 146 degrees (which made me resolve again to quit complaining as I wait for the air conditioner to kick in...what is 95 degrees?).
  • It is illegal to "move someone from one faith to another"...though she said that the Muslims get a bit of a pass on this one.
  • If a person accepts Christ as their Savior, they will lose everything...children, home, job...and unless they escape, they will be killed.
I was so blessed to have been asked by Tim and Nino to help organize a dessert/coffee for some in our church who would like to hear more about what God is doing in the UAE. They are, God willing, going to be joining Oasis Hospital soon and moving to the Middle East with their two boys. Tim is an ophthalmologist and Nino is a Christian counselor. I am so excited to hear reports from these two who love the Lord and love His Word.

As I was cleaning, Beth came up to get a glass of water. I asked her simply: What is in your heart that I could pray for? What is your prayer, especially for the women there? Tears came to her eyes. She told me that she didn't want to go at first. Her husband wanted to and she followed obediently and lovingly. Now God has given her such a love for these people. And she sees so clearly how blind they are. They have everything that money can buy. And they are finding it has not solved anything. They are curious about Christianity after what they see those in the hospital do for them in the name of Christ. But they will not risk their lives for Him.

I feel so helpless, she said. There is nothing I can do to get through to them. I can't even reach them through singing. And there are half a million of them in our city alone...I feel so helpless sometimes. It's completely up to God. Would you pray that God would move in their hearts so that they will not fear...so that they would be willing to risk everything for Him. They are so lost. They can not see. Like the veils over their faces, their eyes are darkened. Then she spoke one sentence that seared into me: Pray that God would shine light through their dark veils.

So, will you? Will you take just ten seconds to pray for the women of Al Ain? It's a simple prayer...God, would You out of love for Your Name shine light through the veil of these women's hearts that they might see the Light of Christ? In Jesus name, Amen.

Got another minute? Open your Bible to 2 Corinthians 4:4-6 (go ahead...I'll wait...), read it and next to it, write the letters UAE. Maybe stick a piece of paper there so that every now and then it opens to it. And when it does...pray again...

Then listen for more of what God is doing around your town and around the world and add some more letters...and pray again...

2 comments:

Cymberly said...

Hi Kim -

Great story. You can also go to http://www.helpcurenow.org/site/c.nvI1IeNYJyE/b.3479671/apps/ka/ct/contactus.asp?c=nvI1IeNYJyE&b=3479671&en=isKLL1MOLcJKI1OBL7KKK5MMLfKQJ3PILiL1KfPYG and sign up to receive a monthly email that gives you a specific child to prayer for.

Kim said...

Thanks so much for that! I hadn't realized you could do that. We've now signed us each up to receive one. What a great way to help our girls grow in compassion for the nations.