Fleeing refugees. Desperate, fatal evacuation attempts. Fear of increased religious persecution. Food shortages. The scenes coming out of Afghanistan are unsettling as locals, the Middle East, and much of the world watch an unknown future shape into existence with the Taliban’s takeover.

As the son of a Syrian refugee, Haggai International founder Dr. John Edmund Haggai’s heart always broke for the Middle East. He longed for his people and the region to experience a relationship with Jesus. In fact, it was during Dr. John Edmund Haggai’s first trip outside the U.S. in Beirut, Lebanon, that conversations with Christian leaders there alerted him to weaknesses in the Western missionary model. While Haggai International has been equipping Middle Eastern leaders since the beginning of its ministry, in 1980, the organization hosted its first equipping in the Arabic language which has continued to this day. Today, over 8,500 Haggai leaders live and work in the Middle East, many of them crossing dangerous borders in the regions we’re reading about in the news, risking their lives that others might know the Good News of the Gospel.

This month, 44 first-time leaders in the Middle East are currently preparing to go through the Virtual Haggai Leader Experience. Although we can’t always share their stories, names, or faces, these leaders are a part of carrying the light to the darkest places, despite conflict and war.

Today, we ask for prayer for our leaders on the ground in the Middle East as they continue to lean into the conflict around their countries. These leaders work with refugees living in horrific conditions, women living under deep oppression, businessmen and women vying for success, and world leaders making life-altering decisions for their countries.

Pray with us for the refugees seeking safe passage to the US and worldwide.

Pray with us for all those who have lost loved ones, who are grieving, and who are living in fear today.

And pray that the Middle East, home to 259 million non-Christians, would experience the radical, transformational light of Christ.

Ending Gospel poverty has never been more important.