The second trip to the Gulf States within the second wave of Luke 10 Exploration Trips went out from October 19-31.
Ten exploration teams made trips to ten different destinations and peoples between April 2022 and March 2023. These trips were the first wave of exploration in discerning potential new fields for EFM to launch as part of EFM’s Five-Year Goal. It was determined that eight of those destinations require a second trip for further, deeper, exploration, plus as of July 2023 plans are being made by FSW to start a new work among unreached people groups in Cambodia and surrounding areas. Further exploration will help EFM to begin making decisions about where to make commitments in November 2023 to send North American households to launch new fields. See more information here.
The following is a report written by a member of the team, Rusty Savage.
|Who Was on this Trip & Where Did We Travel?|
The team included Norbu Tamang (EFC-ER), Zach Bohler (EFC-ER), Rusty Savage (EFC-ER Director of Multiplication), DB Tamang (EFC-MAYM), Amen Thapa (EFC-Nepal Superintendent), Prakash Thing (EFC-Nepal), and Thomas Moore (EFM Future Missionary).
Our team spent one week in the United Arab Emirates and one week in Qatar. In the UAE, we were based primarily in Dubai. While there, we focused on a district known as Bur Dubai, which is home to many of the city’s migrant workers. On one occasion we drove several hours outside of Dubai into the Ras al Khaimeh emirate to participate in a Nepali worship service. Before leaving the UAE, we also spent two days in Abu Dhabi where we had the opportunity to connect with some individuals who were members of EFC-Nepal prior to their move to the Persian Gulf. During our week in Qatar, we stayed in the capital city of Doha, where over 80% of the country’s population lives, including over 2 million migrant workers.
|What was our experience traveling here? How did the Lord meet us?|
In both countries, our team had several opportunities to visit with Nepali-speaking migrant workers, hear their stories, and learn about the unique struggles and opportunities they experience as visiting laborers. We shared several meals with them and spent time in their homes.
We also renewed our friendship with two churches that we ﬁrst met on our original exploratory trip one year ago: the Himalayan Vision Church in UAE and Qatar Nepalese Christian Ministries in Doha. We met with pastors Kumar and Rajendra and their leaders on several occasions during our stay, attended and preached in their worship services, and received their advice about ministry opportunities in the region. Both churches represent vibrant ministry that is taking place among the migrant worker population in the Middle East and are potential partners for future ministry.
While in Dubai, we met with N. M., a missionary with FOCUS (Fellowship of Christian UAE Students). N and his missionary team work on 15 university campuses throughout the UAE with students from many nationalities and religious backgrounds, including Muslim Emiratis. He shared with us about the dangerous conditions his team has experienced doing ministry in this restricted nation as well as his conviction that although the risk remains, there is more openness and opportunity for ministry in Dubai at this moment than he has ever seen before.
Alongside these interactions, our team participated in several prayer walks in all three cities and had opportunities for unique cultural learning events including a visit to the Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Centre for Cultural Understanding in Dubai and the Qasr Al Watan Presidential Palace in Abu Dhabi.
The multinational makeup of our Luke 10 team (2 Nepali nationals, 2 Nepali-Americans, and 3 Anglo- Americans) provided a small window into understanding both the distinct challenges and unique opportunities for sending multinational missionary teams. One of the goals for our time together was to have strategic conversations with Amen and Prakash about the current vision and capacity for mission sending within EFC-Nepal. We spent time talking through the “Missions Sending Framework” developed by the recent gathering in Burundi, which was a very productive conversation.
The second round of Luke 10 Exploration Trips continues through October 2023. The EFM National Luke 10 Think Tank will meet on November 8, 2023 to look at which fields meet EFM’s CAN GO Criteria for launching new fields and begin making the first decisions as to where EFM will commit to deploying missionaries by the end of 2025.
Are you Feeling Called to Join EFM?
Are you interested in exploring missionary service? Do you know of anyone of any age who might be interested in exploring the idea of serving as a missionary overseas for two or more years?
EFM is currently looking to contact and connect with people about opportunities to explore serving as missionaries with the Friends Church!
We look forward to sharing more news as it becomes available about what we are finding and discerning in EFM’s Luke 10 Initiative.