April*, a single woman in her mid-20s, is living dead in Saudi Arabia so that Arab women will find Life in Jesus Christ.
What does Living Dead mean for me, a single woman, in a country like Saudi Arabia? Here are some ways I have been challenged to “die” personally:
- In Saudi, women are required to wear a scarf covering their hair and an abaya over their body while outside the home.
- It is illegal for woman to drive, so they must depend on a male member of the family or pay for a taxi driver.
- By law in Saudi it is illegal for guys and girls to mix outside of family unless accompanied by a married chaperone. Despite the gender separation laws, a very small percentage of men here find it amusing to hit on or make advances on women who are not accompanied by a male. This has been difficult for me being single and having no father or brothers here with me.
- I daily miss my friends back home and long for close friendships with other like-minded women my age to be in Saudi with me.
I recently heard a sermon about how God gives INSTEADS. Isaiah 61 lists blessings that God will give to Israel INSTEAD of what they were experiencing. In exchange for each challenge above God has blessed my life with so many INSTEADS during my time in Saudi:
- The daily challenges have drawn me to spend MUCH time alone with the Lord.
- I have learned to lean and rely on Him as my friend, my husband, and the provider of every need that cannot be met by earthly means during this season in Saudi.
- I have grown leaps and bounds through my walk with Him, which is of eternal value.
- In many ways my relationships with family and friends back home have been strengthened in ways not possible had I been home.
In being a laid-down vessel to be used for God’s glory in this place I have learned that I can never out-give Him. The more of my life that I give, the more of His life He gives to me INSTEAD. This is what LIVING Dead is. So hurry up and die so that you can live!