Christians in the Middle East are seeing a steady stream of Persian Gulf refugees become followers of Christ, often as a result of humanitarian aid offered by the Christians.
Human needs have lessened in the past two months as governments and Christian agencies have coordinated relief efforts to augment the work of Jordanian believers (CT, Oct. 8, 1990, p. 69). At the same time, the flow of refugees has dropped to a comparative trickle. Shortly after Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait in August, 15,000 to 20,000 refugees a day, most of them workers from Asian nations, were pouring into Jordan. By October, about 1,000 a day were entering Jordan, and more were leaving than entering the country, according to Issam Ghattas of Manarah Book Ministries in Jordan.
“The refugee situation today is vastly different from what it was a month ago,” said Robert Reed, who directs work for the Christian and Missionary Alliance in the Middle East. Incoming refugees are getting transportation to their homelands relatively quickly.
Still, a “backlog” of about 500,000 people was trying to leave Iraq and Kuwait in mid-October, said Dick Anderson, Africa and Middle East director for World Relief. And physical and spiritual ministry is continuing among them, with notable results.
At the airport near Jordan’s capital city, Amman, where refugees must wait for up to two days before flying out of the country, Christians have been holding nightly evangelistic meetings. Some nights as many as 100 people have received Christ, said one Jordanian believer. He has distributed thousands of New Testaments in Tagalog (the chief language of the Philippines) and Singhalese (the chief language of Sri Lanka) and has also given ...1