Al Ain, the city of seven oases! Al Ain is one of the world’s oldest continually inhabited settlements and a UNESCO World Heritage site. Al Ain receives most of its water either from underground wells or desalination plants, which pump water in from the coast. We pray that more people in Al Ain will come to accept the true and living water that only Christ can give!
Population: 760,000, 30 per cent Emirati, 70 per cent expat (mainly Bangladeshi, Pakistani, Afghani)
Religion: All Emiratis follow Sunni Islam and the majority of expats are Muslim. Some expats are Christian, others are Hindu, Buddhist, Sikh, etc.
Location: Eastern border of UAE, in Emirate of Abu Dhabi
Materialism consumes many people, stifling their need for God. They desire to conform to an affluent lifestyle while simultaneously trying to hold onto the traditions of their people. These desires are not always compatible. While violent fundamentalist Islam continues to gain the world’s attention, the country as a whole seeks to appear tolerant while striving to advance their own Islamic faith.
Those who seek the truth do so from within a culture that is bound by honour and shame. There is a constant need to conform, so the fear of shaming themselves, their family and their tribe is great. They also fear the punishment of a tribal leader. Conversion to Christianity is illegal and can have serious consequences.
- God will give the Christian workers in the city faith for all that He has in store for them.
- More spiritual conversations will take place with the locals. That God will guide the workers whose hearts He already prepared for conversations.
- Locals will become more receptive to spending time with non-Emiratis. (They tend to keep themselves separate because they don’t trust ‘outsiders’ and want to maintain their identity. This makes building friendships hard work.)
- The people of Al Ain will come to see how spiritually needy they are.
- That believers, as bearers of the aroma of Christ, permeate this land of fragrance with the knowledge of Him!’
‘But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession, and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of him everywhere. For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing’. ( 2 Corinthians 2:14,15)