Youth for Christ Europe, Middle East & north Africa Area Director John Duncan recently visited Youth for Christ staff in the United Arab Emirates with Middle-East & North Africa Regional Director John Sagherian.

Below is part of John Duncan’s report from their visit there.

I was speaking to our hostess this morning before she left for work. She is the wife of the pastor of Al Ain Evangelical Church, and she said: “I wish I could tell you adequately how much the ministry of Youth for Christ has meant to this part of the world – the warmth, the sense of unity, the service to the whole Body, the caring and thorough way in which young people are being discipled, the way young leaders are being developed – it is just fantastic.” She was full of praise for the leadership of Amy here, and for the wise building work of Neil O’Boyle before her – “the father of the work here.”

The U.A.E. is a fascinating country, full of contradictions and things that challenge our usual preconceptions – a Moslem state that is full of mosques, but where the Royal family gives all the money needed for upgrading a hospital set up by Christian founders fifty years ago; where the call to prayer goes out five times a day from the minarets, but where dozens if not hundreds of God honouring churches also flourish – many using the same buildings (I believe there are more than twenty-five different congregations using the building we met in) and where the Logos Hope ship is welcome to dock as it is now in Dubai and to sell its literature.

John and John had the opportunity to speak to the church youth group on Friday night, challenging them from James 1:1-4.

After John Sagherian shared about his wife Nancy’s illness and the things that that has taught them about faith and trust in times of trial, Amy, the National Director or Youth for Christ in the U.A.E., who also works part-time as the youth pastor of the church, gathered all the young people around him and prayed for him.

After youth group the two Johns went over to a mall for some food, where they met two friendly local guys, pictured at right.

(Recent graduates of the Staff Training School will recognise YFC staff guy Jacob, who seems to be doing a great job here.)