When relationships are more important than sales (Rebekah in Bahrain’s “Little India”)

The Lord himself will go before you. He will be with you; He will not leave you or forget you. Don’t be afraid and don’t worry.

Deuteronomy 31:8

Today’s report from Bahrain picks up on more of the colorful international flavor of the Kingdom. Of the approximately 1.6 million residents, over 600,000 are migrant workers, comprising 54.7% percent of the workforce—mostly unskilled or low-skilled jobs, in industries such as construction, retail, and domestic work.

One of the most established communities is populated by residents from India.

Their story dates back to 3,000 BCE and the time of the Dilmun civilization, when Bahrain was a trade link between Mesopotamia and the Indus Valley. Merchants later from came from the British Raj during the days of Empire, trading dates and getting involved in the pearl industry. Today Bahrain’s 350,000 Indian nationals make up the largest expat group in the Kingdom, where an estimated 70% work in the construction sector.

Rebekah said she was amazed at what the merchants manage to achieve working out of tiny, cramped shops. The other feature is their gracious hospitality and generous spirits. Above you can see Rebekah enjoying some tea in Andrew and Alicia’s tailor’s shop.

The business owners, it seems, go about their work as if relationships are more important than the money changing hands. But of course those of us who understand community already know that valuing people is a sound business model!

I worry this is a principle many people have lost sight of here in North America.

Here are a few of Rebekah’s photos. The Hindu temple; the streets with shops huddled together; Andrew and Alicia; the guide who showed them around.

Just a quick tour. Look for more over the next couple of days.

And when you travel remember that “The Lord himself will go before you. He will be with you; He will not leave you or forget you. Don’t be afraid and don’t worry.” – DEREK

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