The Groom is coming for His Bride!

A cavalcade of cars with windows down and music blaring, careers across three lanes of dual carriageway. Women wave material from the windows and ululate joyously. The drivers race each other, sounding their horns, playfully overtaking each other and cutting up the open-backed Land Rovers carrying the dowry of rugs and sugar. People on the street stop and wave as they see the extravagant celebration of the wedding party tear round town. The groom is coming for his bride! 

On the coast of North Africa, lies an area of occupied territory about the size of the UK, distinct and proud in its dress, language and traditions. Rarely reaching the news, this conservative, Sunni Islamic land sits at the edge of the Sahara; a sprinkling of towns and villages dotting across open miles of rock and sand. The people are strongly tied to their faith, family and tribe. Having been nomadic only 2 or 3 generations ago, their homes continue to be simply decorated and the life of the desert is something that is idealised. Few are without a mobile phone and TV but animals on the roof and camels at a wedding are still common place. Between old and new worlds, they fiercely protect their traditions and post eloquently about it on social media..

They are an unreached and semi-engaged people group. Workers have been present in the area in small numbers over the last 20-25 years. It has been a time of breaking ground and sowing seeds with a few glimmers of new life. There is no known church and there have been few or no believers in most of its history. Unreached by Constantine’s expansive empire and largely ignored until very recently, this Arabic speaking people group desperately need your prayers and interest. The Jesus Film and New Testament are available in their dialect of Arabic but access is limited and translation of the Old Testament is still at its beginning. Other portions of scripture and television programmes in neighbouring dialects are available but how they are accessed is not common knowledge. 

The area has been politically unstable, on and off, for many years. It has been largely peaceful for several years but there are still sporadic demonstrations and a significant, visible UN presence. Some appear to accept the occupancy but others still have raw memories from the war and hatred and suspicion run deep. The comparison may be inaccurate but many feel a strong affinity to the Palestinian cause because of their perceived similarity of history. Across the border there remain thousands in refugees in camps who fled during the mid-70’s and unknown numbers remain in prison from that time without trial. 

Please pray for heart peace to reach these desert dwellers, for blind eyes to be opened by the true light and for the groom to be preparing a beautiful bride from this people group.