Yemen is located at the most southernmost part of the Arabian peninsula. It is 2.4 times the size of South Korea, with a population of 28 million, 99.8% being Muslim. Yemen is home to one of the oldest human settlements on earth and contains the footprints of ancient civilizations. It is one of the major settings in the famous collection of stories, 1001 Arabian Nights. Yemen is also an important place that appears in the Bible too. The Queen of Sheba was from this region, and Yemen saw economic booms as a historic capital for the trade of spices.
Sana’a, the capital city of Yemen, is said to have been originally established by the descendants of Uzal, a direct descendant of Shem, one of Noah’s three sons. Yemen has a history that goes back over 3000 years. After the events of the Pentecost, Christianity was preached here. They even announced Christianity as their national religion in the 6th century. However, after the year of 628 AD, when Islam was born and began to militarily conquer the entire Middle East, Yemen was among the first Arab countries to be Islamized by force. Islam still continues to dominate this land to this day.
After the Yemeni Revolution that happened in 2011 and 2012, many countries have banned their citizens from traveling to Yemen. People have been unable to bring the gospel into this land. Due to a civil war between the government and the extremist Houthi rebels that has been ravaging this country since 2015, 3 million Yemenis are currently displaced as refugees and have left or lost their families and homes. 230,000 people, including children and civilians, have died so far. 130,000 of those died due to the indirect effects of war, such as starvation and sicknesses that couldn’t be treated as Yemen currently lacks a proper healthcare system.
In 2020, there was progress made to reach a negotiation for a ceasefire, but in the midst of this, spikes of COVID-19 broke out all over Yemen. It was so rampant and healthcare was so lacking that it was hard to estimate exactly how many people were infected with COVID-19. Foreign press has urged the Yemeni government and the Houthi rebels to stop fighting and reach an agreement about how to supply necessary relief to those in need and deal with the economic and humanitarian cost of the COVID-19 pandemic.
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 has said that an army of praise shall rise from Midian, Ephah, and Sheba, which is present-day Yemen. It seems as if the authority of death has shrouded this land for now, but we believe God will certainly start and is already starting His work in this land! Last year, in one Arab nation, local young believers went to Yemen with the vision to serve this country with the gospel. They preached the gospel all over Yemen and surveyed the land with confidence, like Joshua and Caleb.
They were even able to meet with local young believers in Yemen. One Yemeni sister they met said she had put her faith in Jesus through some young missionaries who preached the gospel to her ten years ago. She kept her faith secret and did not tell her family about it. As Yemen got gloomier and darker, she suffered from anxiety and depression. But she was so encouraged by her meeting with the Arab missionaries! We pray before the Lord with all our hearts that she will once again encounter the Lord through His Word and be able to have a community of believers to boldly worship and serve together with.
There are people who react to the gospel in Yemen! There are people who know Jesus Christ and have put their faith in Him in Yemen. Through this season of Ramadan, may the Lord work among the people of Yemen. Through these faithful believers, may the praises of the Lord be proclaimed all over this land! Jesus Christ shall come upon those who are without hope in Yemen and revive their souls. The people of Yemen shall encounter Jesus Christ, who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life!
Lord! This Ramadan, let all those in Yemen who are hurt and desperate for the Truth come before You! May they overcome the authority of war and death in this land only by the name of Jesus Christ. May all the Yemeni people return to You and proclaim Your praises! Raise up Yemen as a holy nation who will prepare the way of Your return, Lord Jesus!
We praise the Lord who makes a road in the wilderness and a river in the desert! Now, let Your holy and pure bride rise up from the Arab nations to serve Yemen with the gospel! Everywhere in the world, from babes to elders, we ask that You would pour out the Father’s heart for Yemen. Raise up all generations as a holy army for Yemen who will march towards this land with the unconditional love of God!
Yemenis who believe in Your Name are rising up already. Lord, pour upon them greater faith. Through them, may a new history of eternal life begin in this land! As the fear of death and war grips Yemen, let Your Yemeni Christians rise up and boldly witness the name of Jesus Christ without fear! All over Yemen, may churches be established which the gates of Hades cannot overcome. We pray that You will raise up a holy army from this land that will bring Your precious good news to the ends of the earth! Amen!