Albuquerque, NM (PressExposure) October 10, 2009 -- For Immediate Release Raheem left his wife and two children in Pakistan almost three years ago to make a better life.
He found work in the oil fields of the United Arab Emirates, a small, oil-rich nation of federated Arab states located in the Middle East. Upon arriving at the labor camps, he met men and women from all over India, as well as the Philippines, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Sudan and Indonesia.
He and 34 other men share a tiny roomâtheir bunk beds are so close together they can barely roll over. A man cleans small fish over a bucket.
Like the other immigrant workers, Raheem sends nearly all of his paycheck back to his family. This worldwide economic climate has the workers on edge, everyday more and more are immediately dismissed from their jobs and told to leave. Forced onto the streets, the workers make temporary homes under the palm trees in the park until they gather enough to pay for the trip home.
Raheem becomes a statistic, losing his job and no where to lay his head. In the park, he joins a group of men gathered around a small black box. He begins listening to dramatized stories about another wanderer who teaches about God, love and faith. Raheemâs heart warms as he realizes that this Jesus knows where heâs been.
The United Arab Emirates is a land of contrasts. Some of the worldâs wealthiest and poorest people share the same city streets. Some of the worldâs tallest skyscrapers shadow crowds of homeless workers.
âIn the middle of the desert, a harvest is being reaped,â said Malcolm Montgomery, a Faith Comes By Hearing representative. âGod is workingâseeking and saving the lost.â
Through strong partnerships with the Bible Society in the Gulf and local pastors, Faith Comes By Hearing is discipling immigrant workers with Godâs Word in audio.
âLocal pastors are using Audio Bibles in their evangelistic outreach and discipleship efforts there among the immigrant laborers,â Montgomery said. âLess than 20 percent of the 4.8 million people there are citizens. The rest are workers.â
âWe have people from 200 different countries working in the U.A.E.,â explained Babu Ganta, a Bible Society in the Gulf representative for the United Arab Emirates. âJesus said âgo into all the world and make disciples,â but He has brought the world [here]. These workers come to the Gulf to find jobs, and then more than jobs, they find Christ.â
âOur ministry is to bring Godâs Word to these people so they can meet the Savior, and their lives are being changed,â said Ranjini Ganta, a Bible Society in the Gulf representative for the United Arab Emirates. âWe are always looking for new tools, new means. The Proclaimer has been one of the most important means by which we are presenting the Gospel to them.â
The Proclaimer is a self-powered audio player that is pre-loaded with the Audio Drama New Testament in the heart languages of people around the world.
âPastors are using Proclaimers to minister to the spiritual needs of the people,â Montgomery said. âMany of the pastors do not speak the workersâ heart language. So they may teach or preach in a common language they all understand, but then they play the Word of God in the workersâ heart language.â
Montgomery said they have sent 150 Audio Bibles and if God provides the resources, partners there could use as many as 1,000 each year.
âHundreds of the workers have come to know Christ. When they first come here, they donât want to go back home, because they want to stay and earn money. But a lot of them, after they come to know Christ, they want to return home and take the Gospel back to their villages,â said Ranjini.
A Nepali man who received Christ lost his job, so he went back home as a missionary and started two churches among his people.
Ranjini said, âHe wants to plant a church in a third village. I gave him a Proclaimer, and now heâs so happy.â
âThere is a big community of Egyptian farmers here,â said Babu. âThey are illiterate; they canât even put a signatureâonly a thumb impression. The pastor is very passionate, and he thanked me so much for the Proclaimer. He wanted about 30 of them because the workers are scattered in different camps.â
âFunding is what allows us to do this,â said Montgomery. âThe opportunities we have to expand depend on Godâs people being faithful to help fund this.â
Faith Comes By Hearingâs mission is to record the New Testament in 2,000 languages and to implement two million Bible listening groups by 2016 to reach the 50% of the world who cannot read and are poor. Faith Comes By Hearing now has 448 Audio Scripture recordings in 383 languages.
To help fund a village or labor camp, visit http://www.FaithComesByHearing.com.