Tuesday, June 16, 2009
A Death and also Pastor Lo'ay
This morning I arrived at class to discover a number of students upset due to the death of the father of one of the Jordanian students (her name is Faten). He died suddenly last night and the funeral was held this afternoon. A number of students wanted to go to support her so I offered to end the class early at 12 noon. I spend the 3+ hours (8:15-12:00) teaching Amos 3–9. What a joy to seeing students listening, writing, asking questions in Arabic. When I gave them the chance to share and pray with each other over a number of challenging items I had discussed in class they began immediately and, often with arms around another person, shared and prayed. By the way, when I ask a student to open the class in prayer it is no 10 second prayer! With great passion they pray, often loudly building to peaks, with many agreeing with "amens" and "hallelujah." I don't know what they are saying since I don't want to interrupt the prayer with translation but I am convinced that our Lord is hearing some heartful prayers.
Late in the afternoon I drove to an older section of Amman, near the Roman theater area, and had a great time of fellowship with Lo'ay Abou-Layth, his wife Wafa' (a Syrian) and their four year old son Layth. Lo'ay was in my class two years ago and is a pastor of a Nazarene church in addition to being a student at JETS. He has faithfully been building this church body over the last 6-7 years and now there are new members and young people coming. They renovated the building (including AC!) and as you can see there are about 60-70 seats in a beautiful, modern looking sanctury. They live above the church and the meal Wafa' prepared was great, including fruit and ice-cream for dessert! Lo'ay translated for his wife. I bring small gifts for both the adults and children when I visit and the Nerds candy for Layth was a big hit!
We got back to the guest rooms at 8:30 pm after driving through the most challenging traffic you could care to find! I told Steven that I want him to take a picture out the car window for another blog and he asked me if I wanted him to lose a limb! They have traffic circles here and it is every man for himself. Pray for me! The nice thing about driving here however, is I get to use my horn to let people know I'm here, nobody gets upset, and I have yet to see an accident — though no car is without wounds!
Tomorrow is teaching 3 sesssions on Hosea from 8:15 am to 12 noon followed by chapel.