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Archive for August, 2009

15 days in falafelville

Jana has been asking me to do a post on our trip to Jordan a few weeks ago. It wasn’t until just a day or two ago that I felt like I had processed it enough to adequately put into words all that I had experienced. We spent 15 days in Jordan, the first three in Amman, and the rest of the time was spent in a city in the southern region called Wadi Mosa (Valley of Moses). We didn’t know much about what we would be doing, so our expectations were pretty vague. We knew we would do lots of praying, and lots of relationship development (hanging out with people).

Jordan is 96% Muslim, so people are familiar with Jesus as a prophet, but not as a Savior. This was something that I was nervous about going in. I felt inadequate in the fact that many of these people have memorized the Qur’an, and I haven’t quite got the Bible down just yet. I had a conversation with my dad about that before we left, and he reminded me that the Holy Spirit is bigger than that. He was right. I feel like we did more communing with the Holy Spirit and more intercession on behalf of people we had met than I’d ever done on a trip before. In fact, I think that God taught me more about the importance of prayer on this trip than anything else.

The guys and I get to be a part of “the harvest” a lot. We are blessed to get to be a part of kids giving their lives to the Lord, and it’s amazing. However, we don’t get to be a part of the process leading up to that point very often. In our prayer walking and praying silently for the people we had dinner with, conversations with, or even cab rides from, I learned how important it is to plow the ground before it’s sown, and how important it is to sow the seed before the harvest. The harvest gets a lot of attention from our churches. It’s celebrated… and it should be. But what we often forget are the people and their prayers that come before that. It was humbling and character-building to be a part of that process. I think it has helped me view people (and how I pray for people) differently.

This was my third trip overseas and I think every time I go, I realize it more and more: I have so much… Americans have so much. Most of the world does not live like we do, and I often take that for granted until I’m faced with a filthy two year old boy selling rocks to tourists on the trail at Petra. I was told by one of our hosts, that a Bedouin family with a herd of goats, can easily live off of 15 denar a month (about $21). There was most certainly wealth there. The Mercedes Benz was the car of choice, but there was also poverty. It’s hard for me to sit here on my laptop with wireless internet, in my air conditioned house and adequately describe what I was feeling when I encountered it, but poverty was there.

I think that if I choose to love, I inherently choose to live differently. It’s not necessarily a switch that I can turn on, but more of a process of learning what I really need, and what I selfishly want. I’m learning. I’m figuring out that living in communion with God and people requires me to think above and beyond what the world tells me that should be. Being around people who have a different value system than you do certainly helps bring a different perspective.

We ate our fill of falafel & humus, rode camels, and camped in the desert where David hid from Saul. It was an incredible 15 days. I can’t wait to go back someday!

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