Meeting Bedouins is the easy part: simply turning up in their community will inevitably result in an invitation to enjoy their hospitality.
The hard part? Patiently “doing life” with these people and prayerfully waiting on God to open their eyes to the truth.
James* and Lucy* have worked amongst the Bedouins for years. At least 50 communities are within an hour’s drive from their home, and the couple makes trips to these areas several times a week.
Lucy explains that sharing Jesus with the Bedouins involves, for the most part, simply doing life with them. "Being part of their lives and just sharing my life with them gives me loads of opportunities with many families."
Lucy mainly ministers to the woman through prayer. “There are plenty of opportunities to pray because there are always needs," Lucy says. "When I offer to pray for people I often see God touching them in one way or another, and that is really powerful."
James finds that the men are initially more difficult to minister to. "You could spend hours talking about politics and the price of sheep," James divulges. "Whereas, with the women, you can go a lot deeper a lot quicker."
Bedouins love stories, however, and the Bible is full of stories. James has been able to connect many aspects of the Bedouin lifestyle with stories from the Bible.
"They understand what it would mean for Abraham to take all his belongings—sheep, camels, everything—to go on a long journey somewhere else," James says. "I can use situations in their lives as a hook to tell Old Testament stories, and from there, build towards Christ."
Over the past 18 months James and Lucy have experienced a number of situations where a member of the Bedouin community has demonstrated interest in Christ. They have listened, asked questions, watched the Jesus film, perhaps even read the Bible, but then all of a sudden something happens and they pull back.
James says that many obstacles stand in the way of a Bedouin coming to Christ, as it’s generally considered that to be a Bedouin is to be a Muslim. Turning to Christ would bring shame to their community and more than likely result in ostracism from the community altogether.
"In the end it's God who will open their hearts and minds to the truth," James acknowledges. "It doesn't matter how good our stories are, it's Him who does the work."
Please pray for James and Lucy in this difficult ministry amongst the Bedouins. At times, it can seem as if they are praying for rain in the desert. Please also pray for more workers who are committed to making Christ known. Please ask God to work amongst the Bedouins.
A student at Sydney Missionary & Bible College, Rachel Morris has exchanged a hot Australian summer for the frigid winter adventure of a journalism internship in the Near East. Rachel is excited to experience just a little of all God is doing for His glory in this part of the world.