Jordan Visitation 2011


Dates:  June 29 – July 10
Ministry Partner:  Global Hope Network
Ministry Focus:  Compassion ministry to Iraqi refugees and the urban and rural poor

Grace’s team will be involved in a multi-faceted compassion ministry to the poor – some of them refugees from Iraq who have fled the war in their homeland.  Ministry includes food parcel distribution during visitations in homes, goat distribution to needy families, and other outreaches in rural Arab villages and major cities in Jordan.

Team Jordan (from Left): Mariann, Fiona, Lauryn, George, Lori, Sargon, and Gary

Updated Tuesday, July 12
We received the following encouraging note today from our hosts in JordanWe praise God for the wonderful relationships and partnerships that grow out of our summer missions ministry.

"Pastor Mike, many thanks for your personal love and concern and for sending wonderful people from your Church to serve Him with and and bring great encouragement to Jordan. May the Lord bless you richly.


Updated Sunday, July 10
After some travel challenges on the return trip, the Jordan team arrived safely home this afternoon.  Thank you for praying them through their outreach in the Middle East.

Updated Sunday, July 10
E-mail from Sargon
It is 1:15 am local time and as I am writing this last email from Amman, we are less than one hour away from being picked up and taken to the airport for our long flight back home.  Our day started at early hours of morning and will continue till we arrive home.

Looking back to what has been accomplished makes all our tiredness worth it. It has been an amazing week and it is sad that is has come to an end. We have managed to distribute more than 100 food bags, give away back packs to almost 200 kids, distribute 9 goats with one more to be given after we leave, visit many families of Iraqi refugees, preach the good news in the Iraqi church and the Philippine embassy and see many lives changed, visit Bedouin families in the tents and see a vision being born.

Many lives have been touched, we have seen and shed so many tears, we have laughed with children and played soccer with them, distributed sandals and put them on small feet that would have continue to be bare otherwise, have sat down with poor families in the desert and enjoyed sweet tea while listening to their stories on the harsh life in desert. All considered, we have been privileged to see God touching the lives of over 1000 families. Many seeds were planted and we trust in a God who has promised that He will water them and they will grow and bear fruits. 

Right now I just want to express my deepest appreciation for your partnership in this work. Your prayers gave us strength to go out in the desert temperatures and do the work. Your support led to many families receiving food bags that would feed them for few weeks and your faithfulness inspired us to continue to press on and see our Lord glorified. Thank you for being a part of this work,

Updated Friday, July 8
E-mail from Monique
Ahalan - Greetings!  The hours seem to fly in Jordan and we have been packing a lot into long days - leaving the hotel at 8:30 AM and not returning until after 11 PM after a typical late Jordanian dinner.

On Tuesday morning, some of us (me included) had some stomach challenges, a minor car collision (an unlicensed, uninsured driver backed into the van), and we sensed there was some attempts to slow down our efforts, but we pressed on with enthusiasm after pausing to speak to the Father, thanking Him for safety for the van passengers and trusting Him for renewed health and strength.  Re-energized, we continued with preparation of food bags and deliveries to Iraqi refugee families in the afternoon! 

That evening we visited the Iraqi fellowship and had the privilege of listening to their voices praise the Father in song - His joy poured out through the shining face of the young worship leader and although we could not understand but a few words....Esa (Jesus) and Alah (God), our hearts were lifted to praise Him too.  "How Great is Our God" is a song also sung in Arabic, so I selected that song to play (guitar) and sing for my Iraqi brethren and then Fiona shared her faith journey, which included the time that she and her family were refugees from Iraq over 30 years ago, a story of how Father met the cry of her heart and brought her through many difficulties.  Then Sargon, our team leader taught powerfully from the story of the feeding of the five thousand, demonstrating that if you ever felt that you were lost in the crowd and Father didn't know or care about your needs, you should know that He does!  Not only does He know, He has the power and the resources to meet those needs.

Wednesday, we continued to bring food bags to families in East Amman.  Both days, some of us veterans had the joy of revisiting families we had seen last year!  More than once we detected a lighter spirit in their homes as they have been responding to the love and hope shared by our partners in the months between our visits.  In one home, an Iraqi family who left Baghdad when their gold shop was exploded and their two teen daughters were threatened because they were not members of the local popular religion, we found the family in a more cheerful demeanor than last year.  They have finally received papers to immigrate to Detroit and expect to be there sometime this summer.  Together we praised the Father for this blessing and asked Him to guide their transition to the new life ahead of them. 

These are barely the highlights, but our time online has been short as connecting to the the internet has been challenging.  We are so thankful that Friday and Saturday hold more opportunities to go out and meet the needs of many, so please remember us before Father.

Updated Wednesday July 6
E-mail from Monique
Marhaba! - Hello! Monday we headed out to the central Jordanian region of Moab.  Our youngest team member, Lauryn, and her mom, Lori have formed a non-profit organization “Hearts in Need” that raises funds for school backpacks, so on this day we were privileged to bring close to 200 backpacks to personally hand out to children. 

Our first stop was at a school with 73 children, 1 – 8th grade.  Even though it is their summer break now, they gathered in the school courtyard to meet us, lining up in neat lines and waiting to hear their name called to receive the backpacks, which included school supplies.  It was a special moment to see Lauryn and the team handing each child their new packs, the culmination of months of effort to raise the funds to do this.  The smiles on the children’s faces, even on the teachers’ faces, was worth it.  The president of the local charitable organization with whom we partnered had been told previously that there was a great possibility that some local men would stir up trouble if we came and did this, but after much prayer he felt that Father still wanted us to go, so we went and were able to show kindness without incident.  Thank you for your prayers as we go out each day.  

The second stop was on a dusty hillside just behind a school…the location of a four Bedouin tents which was home to a few families.  We were invited into the tent of Abu Omar, husband of two wives and father of 17 children.  In the shade of the tent we reclined on floor mats and cushions, sipping hot sweet tea.  The second wife spoke a little English and she enjoyed showing us how her seven children have also learned English.  Abu Omar spoke of the challenges of Bedouin life…the major concern is water.  They live with no plumbing and no electricity.  They had a small goat pen and chickens, but the dry land was not planted for food crops.  The children’s kind brown eyes smiled at us curiously, and the little girls beamed when we put little beaded necklaces around their necks.  They are enrolled in the nearby school.  After conversation in the tent, Abu Omar’s children joined other local children who lined up to wait for their name to be called to receive a backpack from our team.  Little pre-schoolers and youths alike received the backpacks and Gary began to show them how to put it on their back.   

We cannot thank our sponsors enough for sending us to be able to personally share these acts of kindness.  There is a desire to be able to do even more, especially when you think of the families living with little access to water.  What a precious commodity that we take for granted in our western homes.  And as necessary as it is, we know that there is living water that is far more precious: once you drink of it, it satisfies the thirsty soul forever.

Updated Monday, July 4
E-mail from Monique
Had another great day – in the morning we visited the service at Amman’s Alliance Church, followed by the distribution of nine milking goats in Jordan’s north western region of Gilead in the afternoon.

After listening to praise songs in Arabic at the church, occasionally recognizing a tune and singing along in English, Gary was able to briefly share his faith journey story before the sermon.  Translation into English was available in the balcony for those who do not speak Arabic (all of us!). 

While chatting after the service over coffee in their fellowship room, a gentleman who heard of our goat distribution project gave our host a significant amount toward an additional goat.  With only $120 more, a tenth goat could be purchased!  A few of our group chipped in the balance, and so did our host.  George, a returning member of our team, has been instrumental in raising funds for many of the goats through sharing the vision with others…his Adult Bible Class, business employees, family…even selecting a goat as his early Christmas present, earning him the nickname: George the Goatman!

And now our group had the privilege of helping to distribute the goats in Gilead – a pioneer project launching Global Hope’s self-sustainable aid in the region.  We drove to the location of the local goat herder and purchased the goats.  Bleating goats were herded into a small pickup truck and then accompanied us up a windy road through the hills.  Families and children were waiting, as these goats will be cared for in one home but the milk and cheese and offspring they produce will help multiple families in their area.  Lori, Mariann and I smiled and used our tiny bit of Arabic with the lady of the house...saying "shokran" (thank you) when she brought us glasses of cool water.  (She eagerly started to talk to us, but we quickly were out of our depth in the language.)  Contracts were signed and now these families will have the goats for the next two years, and will be able to keep any offspring produced during that time.  It is delightful to know that the goats have been so well received and to see who they will be helping!  The other three goats went to a family living right by the entrance to the Christian Camp Gilead that our host's family founded in the area.  Again, these three will help multiple families.  (If we have piqued your interest in investing in Global Hope goats, you can check out the online opportunity via  We may only be here for this day, but these goats will be daily reminders that someone cared enough to share these helpful gifts with them.  Our Father’s abundant care for us is too good to keep to ourselves and it is a treat to get to share it with others.  

Our group had a well-earned bit of R & R in the quiet Camp Gilead campground (the youth camp ended this morning, and the new campers arrive tomorrow), enjoying a rousing pick-up game of outdoor basketball with some brownies and tea at the end of the game.  Heading back to Amman, we watched the sky turn brilliant shades of orange, pink and red as the sun set over the hills of the Holy Land. You can pray for the long day ahead of us as we distribute school backpacks to children in Moab!

Updated Saturday, July 2
E-mail from Monique
Just back to our host's house after a full day of visiting homes.  I was with Rami and George and Mariann (we have a team chant - we R MGM!  for Rami, Mariann, George and Monique) and we had wonderful visits first in East Amman and then later in Zarqa (with Rami's cousin Saleh who is a pastor). 

One weathered woman, bent over and quite frail (originally from the West Bank) prayed along with Rami after I asked her what is the desire of her heart and the conversation turned toward the eternal...she is tired of living and wants to be with God.  She may have her wish sooner rather than later and we were so glad to have had the opportunity to speak with her.  Mariann was sniffling next to me and I know she was as touched as I was to be part of that visit.  (and I think she is hooked!)  Later we visited two blind ladies in their sixties who lost their vision in infancy due to contracting meningitis, and live in an apt. provided by a church, and both love Jesus.  One taught 1 - 6th graders music and all subjects when she was younger.  She is having surgery tomorrow and asked for prayer. 

We are all tired, but a good tired!   Thank you for sending is just an amazing place to be doing acts of compassion!

E-mail from Gary
We are in Amman and in our first full day of visitations.  We have already seen four people find new life.  Our humble donations of food have been received by some who were praying for something to eat today.  The need is great.  There is also great faith here and evidence that God is working in lives.  Pray earnestly for us as we continue to visit. 

Updated Friday, July 1
Phone call from the team
Our Jordan team arrived safely in Amman today, greeted by our host and one of our team members who had to travel separately.  They are eager to start their ministry of compassion outreach.

Updated Wednesday, June 29

Our Jordan team was prayed off this afternoon, eager to go serve in the Middle East.  A flight delay will extend their layover, as they will miss their connecting flight, giving them one less day in-country than we had planned.  Pray for flexibility and open doors as they serve.