Help your family embrace God’s love for the world. Read this story together to learn about and pray for the Northern Yemeni (Yuh-MEH-nee), an unreached Muslim people group. Most live in Yemen and Saudi Arabia.
Come with me to a city in northwest Yemen where multi-story buildings cling to the craggy mountainside. Brown earthen homes accented with white plaster designs make this ancient city look like a gigantic gingerbread village. Here, Muslim families work hard to earn favor with God. Children have never heard that Jesus came to die for their sins. Do you see the sheep in that livestock market? One lamb will soon belong to the boy who is sauntering up the street with his dad …
Hi. I’m Hadi (HAH-dee). Welcome to Sana’a (sah-NAH). In this part of the city, buildings are more than 500 years old. The Great Mosque is even older. Some say it was built while the Prophet Muhammad was still alive. My family lives in a newer neighborhood, but Father and I come here to the cattle market. We are buying a sheep for Eid al-Adha (EED al-AHD-ah), the Feast of Sacrifice.
During this three-day holiday, schools and businesses are closed and many people travel to see relatives. My mom and older sister are preparing special holiday cookies, nuts, and raisins for our guest of honor – my uncle Ali. We will celebrate his return from a successful pilgrimage to the holy city of Mecca. This religious journey is one of the important parts of the Islamic faith. I hope to go when I grow up. Muslims believe that those who perform the pilgrimage properly are freed from all their sins.
On the first morning of the Feast of Sacrifice, we dress up in new clothes and go to the mosque for prayers. In the afternoon, Father and our neighbors will kill a sheep. By doing this, we join with Muslims around the world to remember the Prophet Abraham’s act of obedience to God. When Abraham offered his first-born son to God, God gave Abraham a ram to sacrifice instead.
This holiday is also a time for sharing. After Mother cooks the meat from the sheep, we give some to our neighbors and some to the poor. On the second day of Eid, my relatives will come to our house to exchange holiday cards, good wishes, and gifts.
- Pray that Northern Yemeni families will learn of Jesus’ salvation work on their behalf and accept God’s gift of forgiveness and grace.
- Yemeni Muslims who choose to follow Jesus often face family rejection and persecution. Pray for God to encourage believers and give them boldness to share their faith with others.
Coming up next: Watch for an activity that helps your family learn more about traditional Yemeni homes.