While security concerns and the safety of our workers in restricted access countries prohibit us from sharing details about our work there, the following will provide you a framework for understanding and praying for Impact Middle East’s efforts there.
Limited access, restricted access, or creative access areas are all designations for countries where access by foreign missionaries is either severely limited or strictly prohibited. Recent estimates place the number of countries in this category at sixty. But that doesn’t mean such countries and cultures are left without a Christian witness. There are a variety of ways that the gospel can penetrate such barriers. Here are just a few:
· Students from limited access countries who go to study in another country often come under the influence of Christ-followers. These students are often quite eager to engage another culture and spend time in homes in the host country. It provides an excellent and informal opportunity for believers to share the good news of Jesus.
· Christian business people who travel to limited access countries are provided an unmatched opportunity for sharing their faith with their overseas counterparts. Business men and women in restricted countries have a natural affinity with business people from other nations and cultures, and are often fertile ground for the gospel.
· Contacts via the internet are yet another surprising way in which people in creative access areas can be impacted by the gospel. These countries were formally listed as closed countries when it came to Christian witness. But increased technology and tools like the internet have provided access despite attempts by governments to the contrary
· Literature and Christian radio and television broadcasting from nearby countries provide yet another avenue for the gospel to penetrate restricted access countries. Surprisingly, even people in the remotest of areas in such countries can be reached by broadcast technology via satellite and related means.
While missionary efforts of a previous era may no longer be relevant or even permissible, the “Lord of all the earth” (Josh. 3:13) continues to reveal means by which the good news of a risen Lord Jesus can still reach the ends of the earth.