*If you’d like to read the first post in the Modern Witnesses series, click here.
Our teacher showed us a map of the country of Oman today. It’s a small country that is surrounded by Yemen, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, the Arabian Sea, and the Gulf of Oman. It makes up the front of the boot-shaped Arabian Peninsula.
In biblical times, the country was known for its frankincense. The trees that frankincense comes from only grow in a few places—and Oman was one of them! And, lots of people wanted frankincense for different reasons. It was an ingredient in incense. And, many people used it like a medicine. Frankincense was supposed to make you healthy and fight different diseases.
But, after a while, people stopped using frankincense so much. They found other things to make medicine out of, and they bought less and less from Oman. Oman became a very poor country. In the 1960’s, oil was discovered, but the sultan (who was in charge of Oman), didn’t use all the money he got from the oil to make his country better. Finally, in the 1970’s, his son, Sultan Qaboos, took over. He used the money from the oil to build all sorts of things the people needed—like hospitals, schools, a university, good roads, harbors, and airports.
Sultan Qaboos still rules the country of Oman, and he knows his people need to learn as much as they can about how to run their oil industry. So, he allows experts from other countries to come train his people. And, it takes a lot of men to get all that oil ready to ship out, so he allows guest workers—hundreds of thousands of them—to come to his country to work in the oil fields.
Christians in Oman who come from other countries are allowed to have churches and worship God. Most of the Christians in Oman are experts and workers who have come there from other countries. But, there are very few Omani people who know Jesus is the only Savior. It is illegal for an Omani citizen to believe in Jesus. Anyone who is from Oman who leaves his old belief and follows Jesus can be thrown out of his own family.
Our teacher asked us to pray that the Omani people would understand that when we sin and do wrong, it makes our spirits sick. We need the only medicine that will help our spirits. And, it’s not frankincense. It’s Jesus.
“Dear God, please help every person in Oman to realize that they need Jesus to make their hearts and spirits healthy. Please help the people who know You to tell the Omani people about You. And, please watch over them in every way. Thank You. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.”
If you’d like a printable version of today’s story, click here.