Stories from the Middle East


Read Acts with the Old Testament in your ears

August 20th

"One day at about three in the afternoon he had a vision. He distinctly saw an angel of God, who came to him and said, “Cornelius!” Cornelius stared at him in fear. “What is it, Lord?” he asked. The angel answered, “Your prayers and gifts to ..


Honour and sea snails

October 13th

The other week we were in the city of Sidon in South Lebanon when we came across some sea snails.

In the first century, the cities along the South .....


Recipe: Djaj wa batata bil furun (Oven-baked chicken and potatoes)

October 27th

The first time I made this dish was as part of a group of ladies with a Syrian friend not long after we moved here. I say ‘I made this dish’, in reality she came to us and cooked it whilst we all chatted and talked about various things – no helping allowed! Like any good ..


Not in Kansas anymore

June 10th

I work in an education centre for Syrian refugees who cannot access education in a traditional school. As I walked in to work on the first day ..


Not in Kansas anymore (part 2)

June 25th

As I said in the first part of this blog, I teach in an education centre for Syrian refugee children, which is quite different to when I ...


Visa renewals and Kanafa

July 15th

Ramadan is a month, once a year, during which Muslims fast from sun-up to sun-down. Lots of things are different during this month...


Out on the roof

April 14th

There are lots of things that I have forgotten are different about living here in the Middle East. It always surprises me, when people visit ..


Living amongst those in need

April 30th

Those of us living in the Middle East had a discussion several months ago about living amongst those in need. Throughout the discussion I had ..


Ramadan for women

May 20th

Ramadan has come back round with its pretty flags and bizarre working hours. It is also a time to learn, every year I learn more about my ....


TV Show Review - Zain

Mar 1st

A great way to learn language and culture is watching TV shows. One show I watched with a friend as part of a language exchange was ...


Sea of Galilee (Part 1)

Mar 15th

People of the Middle East love word plays. We use rhyming phrases all the time, for example: Kul Franji Branji = which means ....


Sea of Galilee (Part 2)

Mar 29th

Now, lets go forwards in time to Jesus. Jesus went to live in the region of Galilee. Matthew tells us that this was ....


Recipe: Ruz Wa Bazilla (Rice with Peas)

Jan 19th

This is a super easy, tasty Middle Eastern dish. Traditionally people living in the Middle East eat a main meal at lunchtime. Our friends tell us that it’s not a proper meal if there’s no rice! Also, we’ve noticed how  .....


Hard Stories Poem

Feb 2nd

There are many times when we have heard devastating stories from people’s lives. I have been learning how to respond with love, faith, empathy and compassion. Writing poems helps me to reflect on these times and bring ...


Location, Location, Location

Feb 16th

We moved apartments at the beginning of December, partly because (due to the economic situation here) our rent had got very expensive, but also because we’d found that local friends no longer visited us in our old ....


Conduits of Grace

Dec 10th

Ping. A new message from my friend Muhammad*, a refugee from Syria. "Hi, how are you? How is your family?" Came the words on a WhatsApp voice message. Two seconds later... Ping. "I have a ...


Christmas in Lebanon

Dec 22nd

This Christmas in Lebanon the news is dominated by three topics: poverty, widespread political corruption, and the chance that a war could break out before the US president changes. Not ... 


I don’t have time…….

4th Jan

One of my friends works at a language and cultural centre. For months she had been mentioning an Arabic calligraphy class they run at the centre. I kept saying I didn’t have time, it seemed too much to .... 


Mission to and from the Midlands

June 7th

Sometimes we think of cultures as being all the same. We might think of people as being Arab. This can make it sound like they are therefore not something else ...



October 17th

Thousands of years ago, the prophet Elijah prophesied that a famine was coming. He went and hid in a ravine in modern day Jordan. God provided him with food and then told ..


A poem about Family Names

November 25th

I wrote this poem after thinking about the importance of family names. Often the son carries the name of the father or significant people from the past. In a TV series ..


Sharing the Good News

April 1st

With the arrival of COVID-19, the lock-downs, and restrictions put in place to try and limit its spread, meeting friends to build relationship


2020 Ramadan Prayer Guide

April 24th

Today is the start of Ramadan. For the next 4 weeks, Muslims will be fasting during daylight hours, as they do every year at this stage in 


The Land is Mine

May 15th

Paths trodden over generations
Adding to the layers of stories
Some footsteps stick
Others scattered by the wind ..


A long theological heritage

February 8th

Arabs who believe in Jesus and live in the Muslim world have a long heritage. This began, of course, in the book of Acts. Arabs were ....


The exchange of plates

February 22nd 

People here love sharing meals together and expressing love and honour through generosity. One of my friends is an absolutely...


Jesus and Place

March 15th

Many Middle Easterners have a strong sense of place. Someone will describe themselves as a “son of the area” (ibn al-muntiqa). They ...


To conform or not to conform

December 14th

Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is ..


The unexpected...

January 11th

In the run up to Christmas several friends from other parts of the world have recently asked me “What’s Christmas like where you live? Are.. 


The journey to faith

January 25th

For some Muslims, the journey to faith in Jesus involves first becoming an atheist. After becoming disillusioned with Islam,..


True beauty

November 10th

Before a recent time at a conference, I was struggling to believe that I was beautiful in my appearance. I went and told my  ..


What should I do?

November 17th

It was a situation that I haven’t been in often before. My new friend was asking me to explain everything about being a follower of Jesus. I  ..


Ready to Die for Jesus

December 1st

A friend of mine recenelty became a believer. Her husband didn't talk to her for a week once she finally told him. He's afraid for her. He doesn't ..


The Poor

October 15th

Living amongst and around poor people and hearing and knowing people living in poverty to the level that we sometimes see it here is ...


Life is a battleground

October 21st

People from the UK often say to me things like “you are still there, you must love it”, or “are you still loving life there”. There can be this ...


Hearing Mark in the Middle East

October 28th

It’s a warm autumn Thursday afternoon. The Mediterranean sea is glistening in the early evening sun. Beirut has a beautiful road running .


The Jinn

September 15th

Many people in the Middle East have beliefs and superstitions about 'The Jinn' - spirits which can be good or evil but, on the whole, people are... 


Saved Into Family

September 23rd

“You’re all sisters, right?”

I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve been asked this question..


Let Your Light Shine

October 8th

Living in the Middle East, we may be studying Arabic, working in the home or working outside the home. God encourages us that whatever ..


The Gospel and the Arab Newspaper

September 7th

The Arab World is home to over 400 million people. The western world often tends to divide the ...


Adapting and Loving

August 31st

I have recently moved in with a Syrian family. There are a few differences to my more 'normal' pattern of life in the Middle East ...


Fruit for Him (Part 2)

August 19th

As a couple, we have left close friends and family in response to our Father’s call; to return to the nation we were both born in. We’ve ...


Fruit for Him (Part 1)

August 5th

Fruit. And vegetables. My favourite foods. I used to be a vegetarian, so most of my meals consisted only of this food group. I’m not a veggie ...


What is Faithfulness?

July 29th

Faithfulness. Do we really understand this word? Throughout Scripture, especially through the Psalms, God's faithful love is ...


Following the Good Shepherd's Voice

July 22nd

One day, Jesus said “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them and they follow me.” (John 10:27). Learning ... 


God's Protection

July 15th

God uses all of us, whatever our age for bringing his kingdom and sharing his love. This true story is written by a twelve-year-old who is part of ... 


One Building in Beirut

July 8th

Beirut is a city of 2 million people. It’s hard to describe the complexity of the city where there are 18 official religious sects, sectarian politics...


'Can I pray too?'

July 1st

In our visits to local people, we often pray for them - for healing, for provision or for problems they are facing in life. As well as being a ...


If I Have Not Love ...

June 25

Life lived in a new language. Sometimes it’s beautiful, other times it leaves me feeling like my head is about to explode. From the early ...


The Power of Prayer 

June 10

"The doctor couldn't see two gall stones anymore, only one!" my friend told me excitedly. We have been learning more about prayer ...


Maqloubeh Recipe

May 27

One of the ways I have learnt Arabic is through recordings of Arabic speakers (this is part of GPA). This recipe is a translation of one ...


Proverbs Part 2: Using Proverbs

May 13

In "Who's Talking Proverbs? Part 1" we looked at the way Arabs love to speak in proverbs. I shared a common Arab proverb ...


Make the Most ...

April 29

One evening I went to visit my friend Maryam. We had a wonderful time sharing together about stories we knew of Jesus ...


Proverbs Part 1: Talking Proverbs

April 15

I got back from the corner shop with some Pepsi for that night's Bible study. While I was waiting for the lift, I saw our neighbor slouched ... 


The Power of a Name

April 1

There is great power in a name. Often in my host country names are used to remember and honour generations that have come ... 


Celebrating 'Love Day' (Eid Al Hub)

March 18

Generally speaking, Valentine’s Day is not celebrated by strict Muslims as it is seen to be a western holiday. Fair enough. I think we could all ... 


Help! No water!

Mach 4

Many administrative problems affect day-to-day life in our country. Although living with these problems (and the solutions that locals find ...


A Place to Speak Freely

Feb 18

Ahmed is one of the leaders of his clan and is a secret believer. He has rented a basement flat in order to start a new family social club. His ...


Home Church

Feb 4

At Christmas time, we invited some local friends to celebrate Christmas with us. Two of them were believers and four of them were seekers ... 


The Diversity of the Arab World
Jan 21

‘You have five fingers,’ Ahmad said, as he stretched out his hand to show me it. 'Fingers are different, but they are all fingers.’ Arabs use ... 

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