Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Facinating Amman!

Sometimes serving our Lord in a distant country without your family is hard. I miss my wife Sharon, my grandkids (Madelin, Soren and Marlow) and my adult kids and their spouses. But it is a privilege to serve our God and I sense that right now he wants me over here in Jordan. I'm having a great time teaching some YWAM students (with some interesting discussions at times), I've enjoyed speaking at chapel at the Jordan Evangelical Theological Seminary and at the Nazarene Church.
I also enjoy traveling around Jordan. The driving can be an adventure (I just about ran out of gas along the Dead Sea and there were no gas stations until the north end! The last three days have included:

Touring Central (Hesbon, Arnon, Machaerus, Madeba, Mt Nebo, Dead Sea
Touring North (farm, Deir Alla, Pella, Um Quis, Jerash, Jabbok)
Touring South (Kerak Castle [think "Kingdom of Heaven" movie], Bozrah [main city of Edom], Sela [10,000 Edomite men killed here by King of Judah], Lot’s Cave [incest from which we get the Moabites and Ammonites], Muja River [outlet of Arnon River but all the water is captured before it can reach the Dead Sea)
And I enjoy the experience of living and driving in Amman, a city of over 2 million people with too many cars and not enough streets! As I was sitting here looking out the window (a conference call I was having with the Board of Directors of Insight for Living had just been dropped due to the weak signal here) I decided to take a picture of a "normal" scene outside my second story window at 7 pm in the evening on the main street in the downtown of Amman.

#1 A man is pushing a cart loaded with something slowly down the street.
#2 A van pulled up behind him. As I kept looking I realized this van had decided to stop and buy/do something on the other side of the "fence" along the street. This fence is to protect the pedestrians from the cars (See picture below).
Downtown Amman at 7 pm, 15 seconds after above picture
#3 A van is stopped, double-parked and is now backing up.
#4 A mini-van is delivering a number of bags and a man from the store is coming out with his cart to unload the van.
#5 A couple of men have apparently decided the sidewalk is too crowded (it often is) and so they are walking out in the street.
#6 A man is about to enter an oil-covered crosswalk and it is my experience no one will stop for him so he will have to dodge his way across the street (I do this at this exact spot a couple of times each day and it increases my prayer life each and every time.) If you step in front of a car they are polite not to drive over you but you have to step out in front first to find this out (and hope it is not some tourist who will run you over)!
Skype is a wonderful invention and I enjoy seeing my grandkids (hint to Joshua and Haleigh) every few days.
Notice the mannequin standing in the street in front of the parked silver car and the sugar cane stalks standing just behind the white truck ready to be squeezed into sugar can juice.
Friday we leave for Bethlehem. Today they closed the central crossing (across from Jericho) for some reason so I'd appreciate prayers for our crossing this Friday. Friday is also the first day of Ramadan, the month-long Muslim holiday so I'm not sure how all the details will come together. Praise God we serve a God who we can trust.

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