For many years now we’ve heard stories of fear, threats, and suspicion coming from the Middle East. That is not what the Azusa Pacific University Jordan Team found in 2005. We found a church that is alive, vibrant, and thirsty to share the Gospel in the heart of the Muslim world. That thirst won’t be quenched soon.
Team Jordan was a team of six people from different backgrounds who trained for six months on issues such as Islam, cross-cultural relationships, and Arabic 101, among others. We partnered for five weeks with the Assemblies of God of Jordan in camps directed at reaching out to troubled Christian youth, inquiring Muslims, and to encourage the existing church body of believers.
Our goal was to serve as a bridge between two cultures that have been divided by war, skepticism, prejudice, ignorance, and hatred. American and Arabic cultures differ on many things such as women’s issues, family values, consumerism, and political and religious ideals, but we were amazed by the partnership as two cultures became one staff team, one family. It was not easy. It took breaking through several barriers, both internal and external, but once over the hill, the Spirit of the Living God took over and did what It does best.
Starting with simple games, crafts, dance demonstrations, and sports and then moving to sharing testimonies, workshops, and sermons, we witnessed the Spirit of God reveal Himself through prophecy, healing, liberation, and the infilling with His Holy Spirit. Five weeks of eating falafel, olive oil, and hummus. Five weeks of living in the desert (the capital city, Amman), fellowshipping and ministering to hundreds of children, teenagers, and young adults. Five weeks of tasting, sweating, experiencing the Arab world, learning about peace, about God, about ourselves. Five weeks of seeing some of the most ancient religious sites of old days like Mount Nebo, Petra, Jesus’ baptism site, Elijah’s ascension site, Dead Sea Scrolls, Red Sea, and Dead Sea. These things, and more, made this trip a lesson in life and a reminder of the power and mercy of God that we will not easily forget. It is our prayer that the Arab side of our team family will maintain the fervor that so lovingly impacted us. Jordan, our hearts cry out for you. Thank you for your love to us.
Posted: October 10, 2005