Yemen is on the south end of the Arabian Peninsula. It is about the size of France and has a population of 28 million, of which 99.8% are Muslim. In Yemen is one of the oldest sites of early human settlement, keeping the footprints of ancient civilization, and is one of the main settings in many stories of the Arabian Nights. Yemen is a place of religious importance in Islam and the place where the Queen of Sheba ruled and enjoyed the wealth of the spice trade industry.
The capital of Yemen, Sanaa, is said to be built by Noah’s son Shem. With a long history of over 3,000 years, Yemen received Christianity since the Pentecost and even declared Christianity as a state religion in the 6th century. However, in 628 AD, shortly after the rise of Islam, it became the first Arabic country to fully accept Islam, and became an Islamic country even until now.
Due to fear of danger coming upon travelers, some countries have banned travel to Yemen. The Korean government banned travel to Yemen indefinitely in 2011. The civil war, which has been going on for four years since 2015, has resulted in 3 million Yemenis becoming refugees who had to leave their hometowns and families, 10,000 fatalities including children and civilians killed by bombing, and 2,000 people killed by cholera.
Recently, ceasefire negotiations for the war-torn Yemen have been showing progress. But as the coronavirus (COVID-19) hit and spread nationwide, it has been difficult to assess the full scope of the current situation. Foreign media outlets are urging the government and the rebels to narrow their differences and cooperate for the relief and prevention of COVID-19.
The multitude of camels shall cover Your land,
The dromedaries of Midian and Ephah;
All those from Sheba shall come;
They shall bring gold and incense,
And they shall proclaim the praises of the Lord.
(Isaiah 60:6, NKJV)
God said Yemen, which is present-day Sheba, shall proclaim the praises of the Lord. Although it seems like the power of death is rampant in this land, our God has already begun His work in this land.
During last year’s Ramadan period, we shared the gospel with a refugee sister in Djibouti. She fled Yemen during the war with her husband and her children. She pointed at her side and said it hurts so much, but the doctors could not find the cause.
We introduced the precious news of Jesus to this sister who was clearly poor in spirit. We shared the story of Jesus healing the sick and forgiving sins in Matthew 9 and told her that only by believing in Jesus can one be forgiven and have eternal life. We explained that He died on the cross to forgive our sins, resurrected after three days, and will return. When we asked her if she wanted to believe in Jesus, she said she wanted to believe and would read the Bible continuously. Then, a few days later, she went back to Yemen.
Hallelujah! There are certainly those who respond to the gospel and will know and believe in Jesus Christ among the Yemeni people. We pray that Jesus will work through these disciples, and the praises of the Lord will be proclaimed throughout Yemen during this Ramadan period. Our Lord, who is the Word, will work, and the hopeless souls of Yemen will meet Jesus Christ, who is the way, the truth, and the life.
1. Dear Lord! May all the thirsty and contrite souls of Yemen come before Jesus Christ during this Ramadan period! May the power of war and death binding this nation be cut off in the name of Jesus, and the countless souls of this land return to the Lord and proclaim the praises of our God! May more Yemenis stand up as Your holy people who will proclaim praises and prepare the return of the Lord!
2. Dear Lord! Those who know Jesus are rising up among the Yemeni people. Please make their faith firm, that they may continue the history of new life in Yemen! Please let more Christians stand up and proclaim the name of Jesus who is true life in this land that is filled with fear of death. May Your church, with authority that the power of Hades cannot overcome, be planted throughout Yemen. Raise up Your holy army from Yemen that will proclaim the praises of the Lord to the ends of the earth! Amen!