Corruption in Yemen fails to slow the pace of ministry.

By May 17, 2006

Yemen (MNN)–Smuggled medicine is causing quite a stir in Yemen.

Poverty is one reason why the black market on medicine thrives. It also means that the medicines and supplies being made available could be dangerous because they’re uninspected…and sometimes unsafe.

However, even if it’s past its date, or perhaps ineffective, someone is buying it. Add to that allegations of corruption in government office, and the stage is set for a challenging ministry.

Interserve’s John Kennedy says the United Nations’ Corruption Index indicates Yemen is one of the most corrupt countries in the world. Medical teams going to work there know they’ll face scenarios that require spiritual insight. He explains, “It can become very difficult, sometimes, to practice medicine and to serve Christ, share your faith, in an ethical way.”

It’s a challenge for a medical ministry working in the area, and wisdom is always a part of their team’s response. “Our people continue to do that (practice ethically), but it sometimes means that they’re not able to take all the opportunities that they could take, because they’re not willing to pay bribes.”

Kennedy says although terrorism against Christians is a threat, actions speak loudly. “As you treat the whole person and not just worry about one part, they are much more open to share about every part. So, they are receptive to spiritual truth to try to understand why our expatriate workers believe what they believe.”

By placing skilled believers in Yemen to serve the communities through medicine, they are being the real salt and light in this part of the world.

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