From August 2017 to June 2018, I went on the World Race — an 11-month mission trip to 11 different countries. Every few weeks, we traveled to a different country where we partnered with missionaries and local believers to further the gospel. It was an amazing, life-changing year.
We spent month four of the race in Cyprus — a small island in the Mediterranean Sea. On our way there, we got a call that everything with our host had fallen through. That meant we were hours away from boarding a plane to a place where we had no place to stay and no ministry contacts. I was stressed.
Once we landed in Cyprus, we found a temporary place to stay for the night. The next day, we gathered together and prayed. As we prayed, we all felt led to go to the city where our initial host was located, even though we had no connections there now. I found an Airbnb for a week; however, that used our entire month’s lodging budget. At this point though, with our small budget and limited options, we had no other choice. Lord, if you don’t do something, we are going to be sleeping in tents on the beach for the rest of the month, I prayed silently.
Our first day in that city was a Sunday, and we found an international church to attend. After church, my friend Andrew met Aman, a believer originally from Yemen. Aman found out about our need and said he had a place for us to stay — we were so relieved! But, Aman wanted to show us the place first, to make sure it fit our standards. We have no standards, I thought to myself.
Nevertheless, he drove us to his place that night. As we pulled up to the house, our mouths dropped. It was a mansion! When we walked inside, we noticed the living room was full of green screen equipment. Aman told us how he uses this mansion as his office space for his ministry. Originally from Yemen, Aman became a believer and had to flee his homeland. With a heart for the people of Yemen to know Jesus, but without the opportunity to go back, Aman started a ministry where he creates music videos in Arabic. These music videos are then put on a satellite channel in Yemen, and people are coming to know Jesus through this gospel presentation.
Aman then shared more of his story with us. He told us that when he was younger, he did bad things and went to jail. The day he got released, he met a missionary woman from Norway who told him about Jesus and invited him to church.
Now, let me clarify something here. When Muslims think of America, they typically think of two things: Hollywood and Christianity. Unfortunately, they combine the two together, so their view of Christianity is essentially a party scene.
Aman eagerly accepted the invitation, thinking he was going to the club. However, his expectations were not met when he saw an older woman playing the organ. He didn’t receive Jesus that night, and unfortunately, the missionary went back home soon after that. Her church had supported her for 28 years and she had not seen anyone come to know the Lord. Discouraged, she packed her bags and left.
After the missionary left, Aman later came to know Jesus. To escape death threats and persecution, he eventually moved to Cyprus where he started his ministry. To launch his ministry, Aman appeared on a radio broadcast where he discussed his plan to reach the people of Yemen. On the day of his broadcast, the missionary from Norway happened to be in Cyprus. She heard about this new ministry, and — not knowing who Aman was — she asked to meet him. She wanted to meet this person who loved the people of Yemen as much as she did. So they met—and she realized this was the person she ministered to in Yemen. In that moment, God reminded her that her efforts were not wasted.
Sometimes, we don’t always get to see the impact of our work. Don’t grow discouraged, though. Jesus is moving — even if we can’t see it right now.
If that’s not enough, here’s one more story for you. I asked Aman how he came to own this beautiful mansion. He told me how a couple from Canada moved to Cyprus and felt led by the Lord to build this home. After the mansion was built, the couple decided to move back to Canada. But they didn’t know what to do with the home. At the same time, Aman felt led by the Lord to ask for the mansion. Not buy it. Ask for it.
So one day, he drove out there and knocked on the door. The Canadian man answered. Aman introduced himself, and asked, “Can I have your home?” And the man asked, “What are you going to do with it?” So Aman told him his vision to reach the people of Yemen and how he needed a place for his green screen. The man then took Aman on a tour of the mansion, and then he handed him the keys.
After Aman had finished showing us the mansion, he then asked if anyone could drive on the left side of the road. Andrew eagerly agreed, and Aman handed him the keys to his minivan. You received without paying, give without pay (Matthew 10:8).
I was completely blown away. Twelve hours before, I thought I was going to be homeless in Cyprus for the month. And now—now—I was living for free in a mansion, and we had a vehicle. God, you really do see me. You really do care about my needs. Friend, we serve a good Father who loves us and desires to meet our needs in accordance with His will. If we ask for bread, He will not give us a stone (Matthew 7:9-11).
In light of Aman’s story, would you pray for the people of Yemen? The nation is stuck in a civil war that began in 2015. Around 100,000 people have died and more than 24 million people are living on the brink of starvation. Please pray for God to intervene and bring peace to the chaos. And pray that God will reveal Himself to the people of Yemen — that they would come to know the saving grace of Jesus Christ.
Melanie Morgan is a summer intern with the Master Writer department at Focus on the Family. She is a registered dietitian, and she is currently pursuing her master’s degree in Technical and Professional Writing at Missouri State University. Before returning to school for her master’s degree, she went on the World Race, an 11-month mission trip to 11 different countries. She spent that year serving in hard-to-reach countries within North Africa, the Middle East, and Central Asia. She has a heart for people in the most unreached places to know Jesus. In total, Melanie has been to 25 countries. In her free time, she enjoys running and hosting events in her home. Melanie currently resides in Springfield, Missouri.