Saudi Arabia is not for the faint hearted or the faithful..
..those faithful to Jesus Christ.
As an expat there, the hardest part was hiding my faith.
Sure, I had my Bible (which I had no trouble bringing into the country), my worship songs and some Christian books but what I missed most was going to church.
Jesus and churches are not welcome in Saudi but there were rumours that some faithful gathered behind compound walls. Most compounds there are guarded like Fort Knox and you can’t just rock up to the gatekeeper and ask whether there’s a bunch of Christians inside. In the five months I was there, if I came across another Christian I never knew it: unless you’re a Muslim you don’t openly talk about your faith.
It was hard listening to the muezzin’s ‘call to prayer’ knowing I didn’t have the same right to corporate worship.
Back home now, I am loving the freedom of going to church.
Some Sunday mornings, I walk through a glade to get there and its beauty intensifies my desire to worship God.
I am free to walk, I am free to worship, I am free to be me.