Jordan, an unexpected kind of persecution

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So here we are, dear friends. After driving southbound in a taxi, and enjoying some amazing views of the desert, we finally arrived to the border control in Aqaba, a point from which Egyptian and Saudi Arabian territories can be spotted. After a not very friendly border control in Israel and the paying of fees, we left Israel and had to walk about 300 meters to the Jordanian border control.

Interesting to see that there is no way to go elsewhere, since left and right is full of landmines (fortunately signalized). Once in there, we were checked by the soldiers and police officers of King Abdulah. We got in quite some excitement when they found the recording equipment and microphones of our camera crew, which added some 30 minutes of waiting. Our poor camera men were already used to get checked at every airport and border control due to their gear.

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If you are wondering about it, the man on the picture behind me is King Abdulah, the leader of Jordan

Then, after having some fun with the police officers over an Arab music video, we were warmly received by a tough-looking American brother, a brother who has established himself just across the border. Let’s call him Peter. His wife had seen the videos of the Pioneer School a couple of years ago, and was really looking forward to meeting us.

As I mentioned before, in this country it is officially not a problem to be a Christian. You are free to believe what you want, and even to come together. The problem is when you evangelize Muslims. Then you will get arrested, and at best deported. For the local Muslims it’s much worse. If they convert and believe in Jesus they will be terribly persecuted and shunned from their families and clans (they have still a very tribal society in Jordan), and if they get baptized then they will be executed for blasphemy against Islam, which is an official crime in Jordan.

So we are absorbing all this information from Peter, trying to get the feeling of the nation. Now we knew street work would be risky, and after dropping our stuff at Peter’s apartment building and meeting other American families that were also living there, we headed to the streets to look around. The feeling was very different from Israel, we didn’t see one single tourist and felt a bit out of place. It was interesting to see all the women at the beach wearing burkas, and most of the men avoiding showing their knees. They were all quite happy, and enjoyed the beautiful weather with their families. Sometimes we thought we could be in danger, but it wasn’t so. We walked a lot, and returned to our bedrooms.

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That night, they were going to hold a meeting with other Americans living there. We were invited to join and share what we were doing. So we went, and it was amazing! The house was full of people, many of them elderly pensioners, and we could share what we do. They were so excited! Some couldn’t hold applauding or saying Amen with a loud voice. Torben and I shared some teaching and testimonies, and then we began to pray for people.

Many things happened: a lady with MS stood up for the first time in years, many were healed of different illnesses, we could also give words of knowledge to different people, and so on. We were busy for about 20 minutes ministering to them. The next day we were going to train some of them, and we were very excited to figure out what we could do in this city for Jesus.

After the meeting, I noticed that some of them were not accepting what we said, and some had acted in a bit unfriendly way towards us, but that is something that usually happens within large Christian groups: some love what we do, some strongly disagree. So we went to bed, happy about what we could do for all those who were hungry and open. We were really looking forward to the next day.

The next morning we had a delicious breakfast, but I was told that someone came in secret and warned that some or someone was about to call the police and accuse us of being missionaries. So he told us to please leave immediately. So we packed our stuff, said an unexpected good-bye to our very friendly hosts, walked fast out of the building with quite an odd feeling, and left to the city of Amman, our last destination on this journey. This was a surprise to us all.

I haven’t been able to confirm if what we were told was true, of course. We just hope it wasn’t, since who knows we might come back there some day and we would like to do it without suspicions or fear.

So we left, thinking about this, but rejoicing about what God did there. We went to Petra, were we had an incredible experience, and then to Amman, where we met with a church of Iraqi refugees, but more on that on my next post.

15 thoughts on “Jordan, an unexpected kind of persecution

  1. Amazing, really. We are going to Jordan for a visit in Dec. They are family and they are Christians. We would LIKE to go on the streets but after reading this, do not know how anymore. I will trust the Holy Spirit to lead us. We do not want this to be just a family trip.
    And happy to read that all are ok and happy.

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    1. Thanks, NZ! Keep me updated of what happens there, and indeed, be lead by Him! He will put the right people on your path, and keep your eyes open!

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  2. Since I have been so discussed about in all these replies and mention in the blog, I think everyone should know that I was told lay down 3 times by the healer. I thought that it was something I had to do to be healed so I did it. As far as getting up off the floor I was helped by my husband and the healer and I was assisted by my husband to the chair. At which time the healer told me that the Holy Spirit was in me and he said you do not have to worry you have the Holy Spirit in you. I know that everyday that I see more healing in body take place. I KNOW that I will be totally healed in Abba time in Abba way. Praise YHVH!

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      1. This is ‘Peter’ and his wife – even after editing, you still have some real negativity in your article, particularly in the part that still looks to us like an untruth. No one here would call the authorities on you that we know of, and if someone told you that, we would surely like to know who it was so that the community can confront it/him. It would be a lie that someone would actually call the authorities on you and no one needs to be afraid to come to Jordan for fear of something like that happening to them. So, a name would be helpful, since your hosts say you had a ‘leisurely’ breakfast the last morning, they aren’t aware of anyone ‘visiting’ you that morning, and ‘Peter’ was outside when you were loading in a ‘non-frantic’ fashion. We know of one female visitor that morning who said she was only telling you she wouldn’t be going on that ‘pre-planned’ Petra trip with you.
        The article still leaves the impression that you could be in real danger to come here – and from believers. That is a problem. Unless you can produce a name on that issue, we still perceive the statement to be a lie.
        Secondly, as older guidance, you should consider making your testimonials ‘positive’. We have JOY in the Lord. We have victory and overcome obstacles. Even your personal testimony in our home was very negative about people in the past religiously toward you. We have all had negative religious experience if we have lived very long and try to emulate our Master. While you might get support from people because you try to make your reports sound excitingly dangerous, and like you are a victim – you might make MORE if you emphasize your successes and be careful what you report about others in a negative light. We feel sure the Father would be pleased with that, as well.
        Also, when we were directed to your blog, we read the other Jordan blog and were astonished to see that you put the face of the Muslims you reached out to on the blog. This is at the same time you were saying they would be in danger for this. You changed our names, but you did nothing for those people – Jordan is a small country. You did nothing to protect those you tried to help. You need to think with wisdom if you are going to work all around the world.
        You denigrated God’s people in Aqaba, and even though you and they are not on the same path, we can assure you that ‘most’ of the people here are faithfully following their personal and spirit filled walk with HIM.
        Slander is a real ‘sin’, not just ‘against the law’. Because of the light you portrayed our gathered community in, you got an interesting response from Maria Cox. She indicated that she wouldn’t associate with us or anyone who would associate with us and then ‘bellyached’ about not getting an invitation to the meeting. You see, even though you changed our names, everyone knew who you were talking about and your blog caused her response, which you posted, as she further tried to do damage to our reputation. She didn’t say why, but her post was evil speaking and you posted it, further giving credence to the negative blog. While slander may be a tough proof in court as to the extent it hurts your reputation, changing names does not reduce the liability according to the law. You should consider that people in the future you meet may not be as kind as we are to your obvious ignorance in this matter and immaturity.
        You responded to Sue that you would give us an apology, if we felt offended. We feel offended that you gave an evil report about our community, when we only tried to help you, and by ‘inference’, denigrated us, personally, as proved by your blog commenters. We would appreciate you taking down Maria Cox’s post. You gave a forum to someone who loves to slander.
        We wish you well in the future and pray that you consider a little more carefully the negative things you carelessly report to the world about HIS servants.

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      2. Hi brother,
        thanks for writing, in spite of the emotions this post has created both here and there, with respect and maturity.
        I first want to apologize if what I said in any way has offended you. That is not what I meant, and indeed, the first version of this post was ignorant to many facts Sue made me see.
        I haven’t though said anything against you, nor the couple that hosted us. I would give you a name if I had one, but I was told what I wrote, as it is also stated in the post.
        If it was a lie, I would be relieved. But I don’t think there is a way to check it. I am not trying to play victim or make myself look higher or anything like it, but to me that was a very shocking experience and I share it with my readers. I have left on the post only what were facts, and it is mostly positive.
        Thanks for your positive criticism concerning security, I have definitely learned a lot from all your comments. This is the first time I do something like this, and very likely I won’t blog about my next visit to the Middle East to avoid offenses and unnecessary hurt.
        We love you and appreciate you, and you will always be welcome here in Europe.
        Sincere greetings,
        Fabian

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  3. Dear all,
    Due to several observations on what has been stated in this post, I have decided to remove all comments from those who were present that night with us in Aqaba. From 5 comments, 3 have been negative, some offensive, and don’t glorify God. I have reacted in a respectful, decent, brotherly and open manner to them, coming always to a peaceful solution. I have also deleted every part of the post that showed my personal opinions or gave any judgement on people, which was definitely wrong, and for which I sincerely apologize.
    On the other hand, I have decided to leave there what happened, the facts, as I saw and experienced them. That I cannot change since it is what happened. I don’t tell names, except “Peter”, from whom I have not expressed any criticism anywhere on this post, and whom I have not accused of anything since I have no idea of who did what, as the post clearly states.
    If anyone of the people who were there still feel offended by this narration, I am really sorry. I will welcome your observations, but after revising the post several times I don’t see anything anymore that can be taken as an accusation to any person in particular, nor any other piece of information that can be changed.
    I hope this clarification and the changes made on the post will end the tension that has been taken place due to what happened there.
    My greetings to all the brothers and sisters in Aqaba, to those who liked us and those who didn’t. We pray for you all, as I hope you pray for us too.

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