Part of the ancient spice route, this country has been rich in trade and wealth. The fertile land was home to the Queen of Sheba who visited King Solomon. As a nation they were early accepters of the Good News, but unfortunately they also were an early accepter to the majority religion of this area.
Geographically it has a high altitude mountainous region, humid and hot coastlines, and large dry desert areas. The country has limited and declining oil and natural gas resources. Agriculture is important contributor to the economy – sorghum, mangoes, wheat and cotton.
Historically this was the home of coffee, but now most people chew the leaves of a plant called qat. It is a mild narcotic that induces a high similar to the ADHD drug Ritalin. This plant is said to use over half of the country’s limited water supplies and makes up 25% of GDP. It suppresses appetite; so many families depend on this more than food. Many years of chewing can cause cancers of the mouth and stomach, kidney and liver failure, and poor dental health.
Yemen is the poorest country in the Middle East, facing difficult long-term challenges such as a declining growth rate and an expanding population.
Since the Arab spring poverty has jumped from 30% to 80%. 45% of the population (24million) is under 15 years old, only 2.5% is over 65 years. The population is increasing by 700,000 per year. Literacy is only 61% for those over 15 years. (& substantially less for women).
As we pray for this land let us meditate on this word… a promise.
Isaiah 60 v.1-6:
1: Arise, shine; for your light has come, and the glory of the LORD has risen upon you.
2: For darkness shall cover the earth, and thick darkness the peoples; but the LORD will arise upon you, and his glory will appear over you.
3: Nations shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your dawn.
4: Lift up your eyes and look around; they all gather together, they come to you; your sons shall come from far away, and your daughters shall be carried on their nurses’ arms.
5: Then you shall see and be radiant; your heart shall thrill and rejoice, because the abundance of the sea shall be brought to you, the wealth of the nations shall come to you. 6: A multitude of camels shall cover you, the young camels of Midian and Ephah; all those from Sheba shall come. They shall bring gold and frankincense, and shall proclaim the praise of the LORD.
PRAISE Him for He is trustworthy and reliable. He will not go back on His promises. Praise Him for coming into the world and into our lives and depositing His light there.
OFFER our lives to Him that they may be lived out for His glory and that the whole world would know that we are His. That our lives will burn brightly in the darkest corners of this country.
PLEAD with Him that this might be the time when the promises over these people would be fulfilled. That they would indeed come and lay down all that they have and praise the Lord. That He will turn off the false light that grips this nation so tightly.