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As you travel the coastline down from Muscat, Oman, the mountains meet the ocean and you are immersed in the beauty of the expanse of blue on one side and the large rocky peaks and valleys on the other.  The road between these two features takes you to the city of Sur, Oman.  This town is settled around a bay that rests in a break between the mountains and opens the path to the interior of the country.  Historically, Sur's location proved to be ideal for accessing the trade routes from the Gulf east to India and down to East Africa.  It flourished as a city of trade and became renowned for the industry of shipbuilding.  But the winds of change were not kind to this city. The advancement of ships, change in shipping routes and the halt of the slave trade slowed the economy of Sur.  But now, the sails of this city are being filled again.  The infusion of industry, coupled with the growth of tourism to the many natural areas of beauty nearby, is creating the opportunity for growth again.  Sur lacks any known intentional witness to the Gospel message, but is uniquely positioned to provide the opportunity to live in a growing city with access to the Ash Sharqiyah region which contains many traditionally Bedouin areas.

"And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased.  And those in the boat worshiped him, saying, 'Truly you are the Son of God'" -Matthew 14:32-33

Pray that those who hear the Gospel message in Sur would recognize the truth of who Christ is and worship him. As people find themselves in the midst of storms, pray that they would look beyond what they know in order to find a God that provides them with the ability to have peace through any storm, especially peace from self-striving salvation that leads to eternal death.  

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Comment by Malva Birch on May 11, 2017 at 8:33am

Merton, wonderfully descriptive! May God whose Word of power is able to do far more abundantly than all we ask or think, be glorified here too.

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