|Posted by gramma on March 20, 2016 at 10:05 AM|
We have completed our first week of a two-week Let's Start Talking project in Amman, Jordan. We are here with Mark and Holly Melton and we have had a very good week of reading. Because Jordan is overwhwlmingly Muslim, for this project we have given our readers the choice of reading our ususl 'Luke' book with texts from the gospel of Luke or a new 'Beginnings' book that contains texts from throughout the Old Testament, beginning with the creation story. Most of the material in the Beginnings book appears in the Qu'ran. About a third of our readers have chosen the Beginnings book.
We have a total of about 38 readers and about half are coming every day so we have already logged over 130 hours of reading sessions. When Steve was here last August, a large majority of our readers were women and most were Muslim. This time the overwhelming majority are men and there are only slightly more Muslims as Christians. Most are Jordanian, but we also have Syrian, Sudanese and .....
About five or six of Steve's readers are recent university graduates and they have been volunteering with and Jordanian NGO (LoYAC) that helps them develop life skills and encourages community service, especially working with the enormous refugee community (mostly Syrian) here in Jordan. In our conversations I have been impressed with how the Jordanians have been trying to meet the needs of refugees.
The four days before we began our project we were blessed to be able travel around the southern part of Jordan, traversing the regions where the Ammonites, Moabites and Edomites lived in Bible times. It was through this region that many of the caravans passed on the way to and from Jerusalem and the Arabian penninsula. It is a desert region that looks much like the deserts of the US Southwest. Periodically we came upon the ruins of Crusader castles that attest to the struggle for control of these lands that continue today.