30 Days of Prayer Int'l
Colorado Springs, CO
The sun sets on the desert horizon and darkness falls. In the southwest corner of Oman, close to the border of Yemen, a few old men gather to drink coffee and share the news of the day. They do so in a language that may die with them.
The Mehri tribe’s historic homeland falls within the area between the modern borders of Yemen, Oman and Saudi Arabia. A Semitic language, Mehri is unwritten, and is unique to this tribe. Mehri is considered “definitely endangered” by UNESCO’s Atlas of the World’s Languages and is not understood by Arabic speakers which is contributing to its growing disuse. Limited efforts to preserve the Mehri language have been undertaken, but it remains at risk.
There are an estimated 100,000 Mehri speakers split between the three Gulf States, however, estimates vary widely due to a lack of concrete knowledge and the remote nature of the tribe’s homeland.
Up until the mid-1980’s the Mehri tribe roamed freely across the borders of Oman, Yemen and Saudi Arabia without restriction as traditional Bedouin camel herders. Since then, the three national governments have encouraged the Bedouin tribes to settle into established villages, and this has resulted in the separation of the Mehri tribe into these three separate countries. This further isolates them and has caused their language to fall into further disuse.
How to Pray
- This tribe is an unreached and unengaged Muslim community. There is no written form of Mehri and no oral translation of the Bible into Mehri exists. Pray for Christians who are fluent in Arabic to be able to reach other Arabic-speaking members of this remote tribe with the Gospel, and for an oral translation of the scriptures to be made in Mehri. (1 Corinthians 14:10-11)
- Pray that Arabic speaking Mehris will find Jesus through existing online Christian resources or miraculous means.(Revelation 3:20)
- Pray that this people group would not be overlooked by the governments whose authority they live under and will be able to preserve their identity.
Learn more about Yemen and get prayer ideas at pray4yemen.com