Saturday, October 22, 2016

Thursday, October 13

Thursday morning, we were scheduled to cross the border into Jordan.
As we were heading to breakfast to leave,
we ran into Jeff's wife Ghada in the hotel lobby.
Because of the holiday and border crossing issues,
we had not yet had an opportunity to meet her.
It was such a joy to hug her neck, and spend a few minutes praying with her.

One of the things about traveling with an expectant mother (Nicole, above right) is that you get to stop at all the restrooms along the way.  This particular one did not have a separate room for men and women - Denise thought it was funny that Steve and I were washing our hands together!

We traveled from Bethlehem (Palestine) through the border to Amman, Jordan.
The security checkpoint at the border was quite the experience.

That's a story I have to tell in person.

After we made it through security and several vehicle changes,
we drove through very hilly countryside toward Amman.

It was about a 4 hour drive, in a car with a manual transmission,
so we couldn't run the AC consistently.

I had taken a dramamine on a nearly empty stomach.

I won't go in to too much detail, but it was not fun, nor pretty.

We finally arrived at the beautiful Landmark Hotel in Amman, Jordan, in time to join the Arab Center for Consulting and Training Services for the welcome dinner at their annual meeting.

Women from 12 Middle Eastern countries were represented, and one woman from each country held her flag during the welcoming ceremonies.  Our precious Mallori carried the US flag!

Dr. Barlow gave an address - he is so beloved in this part of the world!

This day proved to be the difficult one, for a variety of reasons.
This was my Facebook post the next morning:
Social media is a highlight reel, and lest you think this trip (or my life) is a series of high points, I should tell you about yesterday. There is no cutepicture collage because it was not pretty, friends. I felt very, very lonely and forgotten. My baby boy is sick and cried for me when we FaceTimed. I took Dramamine on an empty stomach for a 4 hour drive in 100 degree heat through some of the hilliest country I've ever been in, and there was no oil for that kind of sick. I believe jet lag hit me full force, and I felt like someone had drugged me. I was acutely aware of how unworthy I am to sit among heroes of my faith at the Arab Center for Consulting and Training Services. I cried or choked back tears most of the day. It was a difficult day, and at the end of it, I was so beside myself I couldn't even pray well. Jesus is so good, friends. I rested well, and He ministered to my heart as I read His Word. He reminded me, like a good Father does, that nothing I am doing is about me, that even if circumstances are hard for my heart, He is my portion and my cup. His goodness has perhaps ever been more tangible to me than this morning.

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