How Did I End Up Overseas?

By Samuel*

At university I joined the Christian Union and grew in my faith. I also gained confidence in being a personal witness for Christ and developed a passion for discussing spiritual truth with people.

I was struggling in my Arabic degree at the start of university and was encouraged by a fellow student to take a short visit to the Arab world. After five weeks in Syria, I learnt a lot about the region but I found it very difficult spiritually.

A key short-term trip

My course allowed me to spend a year overseas and my church encouraged students to explore ministry opportunities whenever possible. I also concluded that I should not neglect investing in my walk with the Lord while visiting overseas. So it seemed like God’s guidance when a fellow Arabic student recommended that I apply for a year-long placement with AWM.

The placement was a significant step in my journey. I connected with Christians in the Middle East and experienced first-hand some of the ways that the Lord is at work through ministry teams. A few of us short-termers committed to returning to the Arab world in the future in a professional capacity. I have since followed through on this commitment and seen the Lord challenge me through the counsel of friends to serve in the Gulf as a qualified language teacher.

I connected with Christians in the Middle East and experienced first-hand some of the ways that the Lord is at work through ministry teams.

Following Jesus; making Him known

Living in the Arabian Peninsula has been an eye opener…There are fewer workers and a smaller number of believers compared to other Arab nations. Ministry looks different and is often less overt than in other parts of the Arab world.

Living in the Arabian Peninsula has been an eye opener. I’m pleased that I had travelled a few times to other parts of the region first to help prepare me. There are fewer workers and a smaller number of believers compared to other Arab nations. Ministry looks different and is often less overt than in other parts of the Arab world. What surprised me was the apathy to discuss spiritual truth among my age group. Since Islam is imposed in this country, young adults are not as religious and conservative in their personal outlook on life.

Many young adults live a double life; outwardly religious but very different in their private lives. I try and highlight the contrast by sharing what a daily walk with Jesus looks like and how my faith impacts my behaviour and attitudes.

This astonishes people here as they assume that a young, single, man from the West is automatically promiscuous and loose on morals. This naturally opens up witnessing opportunities.

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