by Christi | Middle East
Missions work in the Middle East is strange. We choose to work among Muslim people, so we can’t go around telling people we’re missionaries. No, we have to have another way to get our visas. So, we are business owners in the Middle East. The thing about owning a business is that it gives us a solid reason to stay. But starting a business is tricky. An import-export business makes sense when you live overseas. But we’re also church planters. A business like that is time and task intensive. Then, after the workday is over, we work on church planting? No, we went a different route.
We’re starting a cafe just for women. Ironically, my husband is the owner. Well, he and our national partner. This place is a true business designed with the Middle Eastern woman in mind. Coffee, tea, salad, and chocolate chip cookies will be served while women meet together. A children’s play area will provide moms of small children a respite while they meet other moms. Seminars, classes, and clubs will give women a chance to better their lives and the lives of their families.
And it also gives me and the female members of our team the perfect place to talk with women about Jesus. It’s safe, secure, and neutral. The walls will be covered by paintings depicting the prophets, each pointing to the truth. Team members will facilitate English clubs so that the conversations move to significant topics.
Our goal is to create space for the Holy Spirit to move in the hearts of women.
And then we pray that the Holy Spirit moves in their whole family.
We’re not open yet. We still have a ways to go. We prayed and God provided a national partner with a heart for sharing Jesus with Muslims. We’ve signed an unbelievable number of documents and talked with lawyers. We battled through Articles of Association to be sure we could do all we dream to do. We spent months wandering around the city looking for just the right place. For weeks we worked at just opening a bank account. But now we’re a fully registered business here. There’s more paperwork, and then we’ll be able to start the work needed on the building so we can open.
Then the real work begins.