During the School of Revival in 2019, one of our teams spent four days in Jordan. We quickly learned once being there, that there are around 4 million refugees in Jordan. That makes up about 43% of the country’s population.
Our team partnered with a local ministry that works with refugees and provides humanitarian aid to families that are in difficult situations. They also hire refugees and teach them different skills in order to provide for their families. We got to serve the ministry by taking groceries to some of the refugee families and visit them in their homes.
We navigated the narrow, busy streets with our local translator, and came to a tall apartment building. Carrying heavy bags full of groceries, we followed our new friend up multiple flights of stairs until we reached the very top flat of the building. The small room was actually on top of the roof, and seemed to be an add-on to the original building.
We knocked on the door and a small but strong looking sudanese woman answered. She greeted us with a shy but warm smile and welcomed us in. She wore a long black dress with a delicate blue scarf carefully wrapped around her head and neck so that only her gentle face showed.
The small room we entered had a single bed and a few chairs. There was a smaller room to the left of the entrance and a tiny kitchen on the opposite side. She had us come in and sit on the chairs as she took a seat on her bed. She then quickly stood back up again, asking if she could serve us tea or water.
Our translator told her that she did not need to busy herself in serving us because our purpose in being there was to build friendship with her, hear her story and talk with her about Jesus. She smiled and sat back down again, relaxing a little and interested in talking with us.
She told us her story of survival and fleeing for her life from war that was sweeping across her country. She escaped with her two small children to Jordan with hopes of finding work and refuge from a war torn land. Meanwhile, we could hear a hoarse cough coming from the small room next to us. She quickly got up and retrieved her little girl who was sick with a fever and held her close as she continued telling her story.
Now she finds herself alone with her two children in a new country, with a job as a household maid to a Jordanian family that barely pays enough for them to get by. The suffering and hardship this woman had to endure was greater than we could comprehend, but it made us so thankful for the ministry that found her and is helping meet many of her practical needs.
After hearing her story and learning more about her, we asked if we could share the most important reason why we had come. And that was the message of hope. It is so important to be able to meet practical needs, but it is just as important to give the greatest gift of all that will last long after we leave. Jesus.
For the next two hours our team had the opportunity to share the entire gospel. We started by telling the story of Adam and Eve and how sin separated us from perfect union with God. Then we slowly explained the scriptures of God desperately wanting relationship once more with His people, and how that resulted in Him sending His only Son into the world to die on the cross for us. We told her what Jesus was like and the character and nature of a perfect, holy, loving, relational God. We shared how He rose from the grave and even death could not contain His great love.
She asked questions as we explained. Most of her questions were from what she knew from Islam. But her questions became less and less as she was met with this story of a loving God who is after her heart and wants to give her peace. Her demeanor changed from the start of the conversation and we could tell her heart was softening and she was deeply contemplating what we had to say.
Many on our team also received words of knowledge that touched her heart and made her so open to what we were saying. When she began to argue against something we said because of an Islamic belief she had, the Holy Spirit seemed to instantly drop an answer in one of our minds and we were able to give an answer. Often times our team looked at each other feeling stunned at the answers we were giving, and how we were all in unity sharing the exact same analogy or answer to best describe what she was questioning.
The Presence of God felt so tangible and real in that tiny room that it felt as though Jesus Himself might walk in through the front door. Our hearts felt this desperation for her to encounter God for herself, and to know what we were saying was truth. We realized that desperation we were feeling was actually a small glimpse of the desperation the Father feels to encounter His daughter. The longing of the heart of God for His lost child seemed overwhelming. There was also a deep confidence our team felt from the Lord that His ability to encounter her and change her life is not dependent on us. God was after her heart, and that was enough.
We ended our time by praying for her and praying for peace, hope and healing. She told us that she felt peace when we prayed for her and wanted us to come back again. Even though our team would not be there to continue building friendship and having conversation about Jesus with her, the ministry we went with would. They continue to bring her groceries, help meet some of her practical needs, share the gospel with her and pray for her.
We know that Jesus is after her heart and cares about her deeply. She is not forgotten to Him and we continue to trust and pray that her heart would open more and more to the man Jesus, and would continue to encounter His peace and love for her.