War is not fun

There I was at two in the morning laying on the bathroom floor waiting to get into the bath tub if the shells hit. Yes, this really happened to both of us. Serving in a place that is at war probably isn’t the smartest thing to do but when God says go you go. Continue reading

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Teaching the Bible

I taught many Bible Studies in different homes while in Jericho. However the biggest one was at the Jesus House on Saturday morning at ten o’clock. We would have ladies that showed up at eight in the morning for the study at ten. We kept the door locked until we had everything set up for the study. We had to set chairs up so they would have a place to sit. Continue reading

Sharing a church building

Last time I told you about working with the Bible Society in Amman, Jordan. While there the church we worked with also had a second congregation that met in the building on Sunday afternoon. I love the idea of sharing a building with different congregations. This congregation was from Somalia. They were refugees. Of course they had a different language than the congregation that met in the morning. They also needed the Bible in their language.

Bibles for the congretion
Bibles for the congregation

The team we were with had purchased Bibles from the Bible Society in the Somali language. We went to the service and put the Bibles on a table and anyone who came to the service could have a Bible if they wanted one. Of course any that were left over we gave to the pastor. Continue reading

Working with different organizations

One of the joys of being a missionary is being able to work with other organizations that also preach the gospel. One of the organizations we have had the privilege of working with is the Jordanian Bible Society. When we were in Jordan they were very helpful. The head of the society in Amman at that time was Jamal Hashweh. He has since left the society and works with a mission that works with refugees.

Jamal at his desk.
Jamal at his desk.

Jamal was very informative about what the Bible Society in Jordan does. Jordan is an Islamic country but anyone who comes to the Bible Society and asks for information on Christianity they can give it to them including a Bible. They told us many stories about people making inquiries and then coming to Jesus. Continue reading

Jacob’s Well

As one visits Israel and The West Bank you can seem to relive Bible stories. In John chapter four we read about Jacob’s well. Jesus was resting near the town of Sychar when a woman comes to the well and Jesus asks her for a drink. There is quite a discussion between her and Jesus and she ends up believing He is the Messiah and runs to the town to tell everyone about Jesus. Continue reading

Summer camp Ukraine style

When we lived overseas we wore many different hats and did many different things. When we lived in the village we decided to have a summer camp for the children of the village. Now in the former Soviet Union camps are a very big thing. It isn’t camp as we think of camp here in the states. It is more like a day camp. It is a place where the children come, have fun and learn about Jesus’ saving power. We were friends with a group from One Mission Society who were ministering in Kiev. We contacted them and asked them if they would come and hold a camp for the kids in our village. Continue reading

Music is the universal language part 2

I told you we had a miracle getting the guitars into Jericho. The next thing we did was go to the home groups and tell them we had guitars and Karen was willing to teach anyone who wanted to learn. We wanted at least one person from each home group. We also told them if they finished then we would give the home group a guitar. They were excited.

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guitar lessons

The next thing that had to be done was scheduling lessons. It seemed the people could not agree on a day that all of them were free. We set up several different lessons to accommodate the people. We had afternoon lessons most days of the week and we had evening lessons. There were some men who had guitars who wanted to come for lessons or just to play with someone else who knew the guitar. Those lessons had to be at night.

I don’t play an instrument so I just stayed in the room and prayed for those who were taking the lessons. There was a young girl who was about eleven or twelve. We had a mother and her two teen age daughters and we had a few older women who had raised their family.

One day toward the end of the lessons our friend Fotma and her sister were there for lessons. Karen had taught a simple song that had one chord change. They decided to play together and sing. The two students started playing and singing but Karen was the only one who changed chords. They just kept playing and singing and the smiles on their faces were amazing. This went on for a time and you could feel the Holy Spirit in our midst. I truly found out what it is to make a joyful noise to the Lord. When they finally quit playing we were all laughing with the joy of the Lord. When they left, Karen and I were still laughing and she told me the music was terrible but the joy of the Lord was amazing.

Fotma receiving a ribbon for completing the lessons
Fotma receiving a ribbon for completing the lessons

When the month was coming to an end we handed out ribbons to those who had completed lessons and gave a guitar to the person from that home group who had finished the lessons. They felt a sense of accomplishment and that was good.

Reham, the youngest student receiving her ribbon and guitar.
Reham, the youngest student receiving her ribbon and guitar.

There is more to this story but I will have to tell it next time.

Continue to Praise our Lord,
Jan