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 Jordan. We 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
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
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.
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
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
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 www.ghni.org.)
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
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 me...it 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.