Jordan (MNN) — Millions of people groups in Jordan and Syria have not heard the Gospel, but more and more are encountering Christ all the time.
Nabil Bandak oversees the effort to reach both the North Levantine and South Levantine language clusters, as well as Mesopotamian Arabic. The South Levantine speakers mainly live in Jordan and Palestine, while North Levantine speakers live in the northern part of Jordan, as well as Syria and Lebanon. Mesopotamian Arabic speakers mainly live in Syria and the western part of Iraq. See the PrayerCast video for these people here.
Bandak also works with the Adyghe people, many of whom live in Turkey, Syria, and Jordan.
This is the second story in our series focusing on unreached people groups around the world. For the first story, click here.
Challenges to reaching these people
Bandak says constant war provides the greatest challenge to reaching these groups. He says, “[The wars] in Syria and Iraq left the demographics of the region in [such] a state that you cannot determine who lives where.”
Bandak says with many countries in constant turmoil, these people groups move from one place to another with little documentation, and no warning. He uses the example of the Syrian Civil War. “When Turkey invaded Syria and took a strip of Syria, people moved. When people moved, we were at a loss, not able to track them, or where they were attending churches. Where did they go? They just fled. This is a major, major issue.”
But the Holy Spirit finds a way. One group of Adyghe people Bandak works with was said to have no believers, but upon investigation he discovered this wasn’t true. “Actually, there is a group that meets. They are around 40 people that are even preaching to others. They have a weekly meeting where they come together, sing together, and enjoy the Bible.”
“When you think God is not working in one group, you find that you are always wrong, and God has already visited those people groups in different ways.”
How to pray
Despite the wars and other challenges, the Holy Spirit continues to move. Bandak says, “God is moving, and God is revealing Himself. I have many stories where God has revealed Himself directly to people in those areas and among these people groups.”
Bandak says Christians should be encouraged by this news. He asks that we pray for the local churches in these countries, that they would reach many people in these language clusters.
Bandak says COVID-19 has disrupted the workings of the Church in the Middle East, but God will bring good out of it. He says, “He is awakening a huge giant that has been sleeping, which is the Church over there. People now are thinking outside the box about how they can reach the unreached.”
The Levantine Sea, after which the North and South Levantine languages are named. (Photo courtesy of Wikimedia commons)