Today I woke up to find my computer "ringing" beside me and when I opened it who should appear but my lovely wife Sharon! It is amazing that with Skype I can see and hear my wife from over 7,000 miles away and I don't have to pay long distance charges which speaks to my Scottish background (thanks Mom)! It was 6:30 am Sunday morning here but 10:30 pm Saturday night in Texas.
We (Steven Anderson and myself) went to the Christian Missionary Alliance Church at the 2nd Circle here in Amman for Sunday worship. It was a well attended service although Sunday here is a normal work day for many people. The largest service here at the church is on Thursday evening. The pastor preaches 3 different services a week and there are another 14 services for people of different nationalities, children, youth, women's etc. The service today was all in Arabic but a translator sat beside us in the balcony and translated for us. The service contained a number of great, energetic songs and hymns (accompanied by organ, piano, and electric keyboard), a solo by a young lady, a number of prayers, and then the sermon and closing announcements, offering and prayer. I felt very much at home although not being able to sing in Arabic was a disappointment when I saw how much they were enjoying themselves as they sang. The church is in a beautiful, modern building and has another building beside it where they offer free medical care and English classes as a means of doing good and winning the right to be heard. After church is an hour of coffee and cake before everyone heads home for lunch. After leaving the church we took a drive around Amman (saw one of the largest Starbucks in the world) and noticed that the American Embassy, which is huge, was well guarded (we choose wisely not to try and take pictures!).
Then we went to the Hashweh home for a lunch. I have gotten to know Albert Hashweh over the years (he runs Visions Tours, a Christian tour company in Jordan) and he has always been exceptionally kind and generous with me. The entire Hashweh family was there and so there were about 20 adults for a wonderful meal. The Hawhweh family is a well-known Christian family who has been successful in business and extremely involved and generous to the Christian church here. Besides the three lamb dishes there was chicken, rice, salad, humus, yogurt, corn, and a few other dishes that tasted delicious. It was Albert's 5 year old daughter's birthday and so we celebrated in song and with a fireworks candle in the middle of the dining room!
Now I am back at the guest rooms of JETS preparing for tomorrow's classes. I will teach 3 sessions (two 1 1/2 hours and one 1 1/4 hour) on Amos so pray for me, the translator and especially the students!