Weary faces fill the pews in the stone-hewn basement church in Jordan. Perhaps that’s not surprising as three-quarters of this congregation are refugees, who have fled from neighbouring Iraq. This one church, in the small town of Ma’in, cares for 100 Iraqi families as well as many local people. Also, outside the services, it provides both practical and pastoral support for some 350 Syrian families. The church at Ma’in offers counselling and practical support for refugees. The extraordinary couple at the heart of this work are Pastor Amjad and his wife Sanaa. Bible Society volunteers, they provide Bible-based trauma counselling for adults and children alike. They also distribute much-needed aid: anything from food to bedding, stoves to nappies, Bibles to electric fans. As much as anything else, they pour out the milk of human kindness. So, it’s no wonder the church is full.
Sanaa is originally from Syria, so when people started fleeing her homeland, she wanted to help. Now, the couple have been working with refugees on behalf of Bible Society for seven years. She started to teach the children Arabic, English and Bible stories. “The children started to change,” she says. “The parents asked me, ‘What do you do? The children have changed. They are calmer now.’ I told the parents, This is not my work. It is God’s work. That was a turning point in our lives. The parents started coming to church too.”
With little to do, the ‘negative’ also comes into the lives of the refugees. So, daily visits from Sanaa, Pastor Amjad and others in the church, are supportive and encouraging. Back in the church, the refugee congregation spends 40 minutes singing and praying. When Pastor Amjad preaches he doesn’t gloss over difficulties in life, but seven years of doing this have taken their toll. Pastor Amjad received a cancer diagnosis 17 years ago. He works 7 days a week. “My body is so tired,” he says. “There’s so much pressure because of the refugees, but I feel God is encouraging me to do this job.” And with that, he turns off the church lights, shuts the door and heads off to a funeral.
Source: Christian Today
Bible Study: Nehemiah 1:2-11
DECEMBER PRAISE God for such dedication to love and serve as that shown by Amjad and Sanaa.
PRAY for their strength, health and spiritual encouragement as they persevere in God’s work.