The United Arab Emirates is recognized as the gateway to the Middle East, with locals being only about 20 percent of the population. Most of the expat workers come from some Asian countries like India, Pakistan, Philippines and other countries. The Emirates are host to almost 700,000 Filipinos, and some of those are members of GCI.
The GCI members there are mostly overseas contract workers. By the tenure of their employment, they may only stay there for a limited time unless they are retained or their contracts renewed. Considering the predominantly Muslim government, restrictive and expensive local commute, tight working conditions, the brethren there are ministered through small groups, pastoral care visits, spiritual formation and leadership trainings and through other resources available through the internet. The small group ministry and pastoral visits remain as the viable ministry option for now. We pray for more manpower who can either serve as ministry workers there, or for more opportunities to send a full time supported missionary who can lead small groups at different days of the week.