Marketplaces, called souqs, are scattered throughout the Middle East. Every village, town and city has them, and they surely must add up to millions of these souqs spread across the region.
My apartment has two within walking distance. These markets are crowded and loud, filled to the brim with a bustle unfamiliar to my senses. Vendors advertise their produce by shouting over loudspeakers. Women and children sit atop carts for hours, shouting the prices of poultry and produce to the passersby.
People of all ages push through the crowd, seeking out the best prices for their daily grocery shopping. Vegetables, poultry, produce and spices are pawned daily to thousands and thousands of people.
These markets are near-daily destinations for the average person, and they can create rather hectic and chaotic scenes as they are filled beyond belief with both goods and people. Yet the sad part is, most of the people are lost spiritually.
These souqs create the perfect place to prayer-walk and provide a great opportunity for meeting locals whom we can engage. One of our strategies is to visit places like these throughout our area, and to seek out persons of peace in these chaotic and cacophonous places.
My dream is that conversations glorifying and edifying to God will be a daily occurrence here amongst the vendors and shoppers. My prayer is that God’s name will be praised by all who are walking the souqs.
J.R. is a Texas student serving in the Middle East with Go Now Missions. His full name is withheld for security reasons.