Today was the start of our last week here teaching at Jordan Evangelical Theological Seminary. I taught today from Isaiah 7-35. Another good day and the student who lost her father was back in class just to sit and listen. Pray for Faten who was close to her father.
After class we were invited by Sana'a to come to her home for lunch where her husband, Majed who is fighting bone cancer, and her 10 year old son Samuel met us. She usually takes two different buses to get to JETS and home which takes her about 1 1/2 hours each way. We were able to drive her home (30 minutes) and we took along my good friend Hany to interpret for us. It was obvious that she had been up early this morning (she had to catch the bus at 6:30 am!) preparing a wonderful meal of chicken/rice/vegetables, different vegetables/rice, more vegetables cut up as well as a creamy cucumber and tomato salad and bread and watermelon for dessert! Before this, of course, we had had a small cup of Turkish coffee which every traditional home has ready at all times for guests. After this great big lunch, another cup of coffee and then tea. The tea was made with sage, mint, and another plant (?) from the hills. This Jordanian couple (she is actually from Syria) lives in a small village of 2,000 out in the hills close to the edge of the Medeba Plateau where it drops off into the Dead Sea. The first floor of their home which they have just lived in for 4 months is converted into a small church (see picture of the church that can seat 12-15), Sunday school room, and a room suitable for Arab hospitality. There are two churches in this village, a Catholic and an Orthodox. Sana'a and her husband have been given a vision from the Lord to plant an evangelical church here. Right now they have Bible studies with different groups of people. Most people facing cancer for a second time would withdraw from many responsibilities but this couple is building, painting, teaching, studying, and praying for God to do a work in them and in the village. What a humbling and joyful afternoon we had in their home (I didn't forget what a young boy might like so I brought him a box of candy I had packed from Texas!)
We then walked down the street to a neighbor's home to see a huge cave that is under their home and the street and has been used for centuries or millenniums as a place to live and keep animals. Once we had seen the cave we were "requested" to stay for coffee and tea (the picture is of the village and the fields this man owns)! It is hard to refuse a Jordanians request without offending so two cups of Turkish coffee and three cups of tea later with conversations translated with this older man, his mother and two sisters, as well as a prayer, we were on our way back to Medaba.
In Medaba we stop at my friend Fadi's new coffee shop "Coffee to Go" (Fadi is a friend from the times I have been on bus tours here in Jordan, Recently he resigned from Vision Tours to start his own business). He serves coffee, ice cream, sandwiches and breakfast of waffles etc. I gave him a bottle of Canadian maple syrup I had brought from Canada so he should have sweet, Canadian-tasting waffles tomorrow for breakfast!
Finally I took Steven to St. Georges church in Medaba (which is mentioned in the OT: Num 21:30; 1 Chrn 19:7; Isa 15:2) where the oldest map of the Middle East survives as a mosaic on the floor of what was a Byzantine Church.
Our "afternoon" ended at 7:30 pm when we arrived back in Amman for a good Hardees meal. What a great day of seeing and hearing real Jordanians in their homes and enjoying wonderful Jordanian hospitality which is quite unlike anything I've experienced elsewhere.