Homeless migrants hear the Gospel

By July 31, 2009

United Arab Emirates (MNN) — Faith
Comes By Hearing
has sent 50 audio Bibles to the United Arab Emirates,
and 100 more are on the way. "Malcolm" (named changed for privacy) works with FCBH and said if God provides the resources,
partners in the UAE could use as many as 500 to 1,000 Proclaimers in one year.

The Proclaimer is a third-world,
culturally-adapted playback unit, enabling individuals or groups to listen to the Bible in audio form. The
Bible is recorded dramatically, with multiple voices, background music, and
sound effects. "It's amazing to see how
it affects people," Malcolm said. 

About 3 million of the UAE's 4 million people
are migrant workers who come from countries like Nepal, India, Indonesia,
Pakistan, and Bangladesh to work in construction, engineering, and medical
care. They live in government housing
camps, some of which hold tens of thousands of people. The Proclaimers enhance the
ministry of pastors working in camps of migrant workers.

"The Bible Society in the Gulf
has been able to go into those camps with a pastor who speaks their
language and establish a church in these areas," Malcolm explained. "They have about 80-100 pastors that
go throughout these camps alone, discipling and reaching these people for Jesus." 

The government does not oppose
the pastors' efforts, Malcolm added. "The
government is fully aware of what's going on, and although I won't say they are supportive, they are permitting pastors to do evangelical and discipleship programs."

The Proclaimers help the pastors
reach people from other cultures, allowing the migrants to "listen to the Bible
in their heart language," Malcolm explained. "Many times the preacher or the pastor that's in charge of them may not
speak their language. They speak a
language the people may understand, but it's not their heart
language."

The economic downturn is having a
significant impact on the migrant workers, as many are losing their jobs–and with
their jobs, they lose their housing. Some have the
financial means to return home, but others are stuck in the UAE for the
present. The pastors are ministering to
them physically as well as spiritually by providing necessities such as
clothing, food, and shelter. 

"The Bible Society's outreach to
these people is making a difference in their lives," Malcolm said. "Nobody has really taken the time to spend
with them, to share with them. And the
Bible Society pastors who are dealing with the workers who have lost their
jobs and lost the roof over their heads are showing Christ's love to them
not only physically, but spiritually, and they're getting remarkable
results."

Now, dozens of homeless migrants
gather around their Proclaimer under the palm trees and skyscrapers of the UAE's
large cities.  Malcolm sees huge
potential for God to use these men in building His Kingdom. 

"When those guys are to the point
where they can return to their home countries, they're taking their new-found
faith with them," he said.  "And they're
taking it with an excitement and exuberance. They want to go back and share
with their villages and their families." 

In addition, those who stay can
make an impact for the Gospel in the UAE, Malcolm said. 

"God could redeem that economic
situation and use it for His glory," he mused. "We are already seeing that happen, and I think it will continue. And then, imagine what would
happen as the economy turns around. But we have all these workers that have
come to know Christ…and what an effect they can have on that nation." 

Pray for the pastors as they
minister. Pray also that God will provide the funding for more Proclaimers in the
UAE. It costs $157.50 to get a Proclaimer
in the hands of a pastor

"Funding is what allows us to do
this," Malcolm said. "The opportunities
that we have to expand depend on God's people being faithful to help fund this."

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