A Tale of Love, Divine Openings and a Middle East Research Project

Because our projects are often carried out in sensitive locations with partners who have to be very careful what they say and to whom, we are vigilant for their safety. So, up front, we apologize here for presenting only the broad strokes of a wonderfully true tale of what God is doing in a Middle Eastern country right now. Here’s our attempt to share what’s fit to tell:

An American Farmer (we’ll call him AF) went to work with a Christian ministry in a country in the Middle East where there was war going on. There he met a gal from a nearby country (let’s call her AB- Arab Beauty) and, after extensive negotiations with her Arab family, married her. Although he wanted to remain there, it pleased AB’s family that AF agreed to move to her home country for their first two years of marriage.

In ways that shouldn't surprise us, God began drawing folks from AB’s home country to Himself in surprising numbers. In fact, AF’s team leader heard rumors of great numbers of conversions. It seemed a divine moment to mobilize workers for concerted church planting. But were the rumors true? And if they were, how should this church planting be approached?

AF’s leaders decided that a full nation research project must be done to confirm, or not, these stories, so that strategic planning could occur. His team leader knew OC from previous work, and so OC researchers were invited to organize the data gathering and train the workers for this project. Because they still had 18 months remaining on their 2-year commitment to stay local, AF and AB agreed to lead the research effort.

After our creating together the various questionnaires and data forms, and giving AF, AB, and their team relevant practice in interviewing, the OC workers returned home to pray and participate from afar. They now keep in touch by Skype (connections are flaky but adequate), pray daily and plan to return to help them, at least once and maybe more. They hope to also be with them at the end of the project, to celebrate the dissemination of the results.

They are making good progress and soon will be moving from the interview phase to the data analysis phase. May God give all involved ears to hear and eyes to see spiritual realities behind the data.