8th Dec 2012 – Jordan Trip , short report – Travels, a short trip.
We crossed the border , I had to get a stamp in my British passport which they don’t like doing but I was persistent and finally got it done.
We got a taxi to Amman with a young driver who drove his chariot furiously , very furiously…. that driver helped me turn to The Lord and pray and trust in my God. On leaving the taxi at the 7th circle in Amman we gave the driver an tip (A New Testament ) and hopped into another taxi to save money which also allowed us yet another chance to witness. We got off at rainbow street at the first circle and immediately entered the Christian book shop to buy some ammunition ( New Testaments ), and also call a few people to organize our time. We had come to Jordan to buy the MacArthur Study Bible in Arabic but because of the time difference in Jordan, which we did not realize was a hour a head , when we did eventually get to the Bible Society it was closed.
Whatever time we have we use it well and there is always things to do. On the way to the Bible Society we had met a secular Muslim with a small dog so we got to talk to him. I like talking to secular Muslim people in the middle east, Why?, because they are more open, much more open than it is in Europe, where talking about any religious matters is almost taboo. This young man took the New Testament with psalms with interest gratefully. We eventually got to the Bible Society, finding it closed, but we used the opportunity to talk to another brother who works in Iraq for the Bible Society.
We had decided to purchase less Bibles in Jordan, around fifty, because they are leather and more expensive, and use the extra monies to buy Bibles for pastors in Iraq, where they are much cheaper, and the pastors much poorer than in Jordan.
After leaving the Bible Society we met a man in white, a Palestinian from Nablus( Neopolis-Shekem), we had had a good conversation with him and on departing offered him the New Testament which he gladly accepted. We then went back to the Christian book shop and on leaving it the second time we happened to meet a friend, a 23 year old young man, he was in a rush and only had a few minutes. He told us he was not going to church any more but meets with believing friends, and as he was rushed we agreed to meet him later the next day.
It was late and we decided to go and eat in an Indian restaurant where we had eaten over a year before . I remembered the area but did not remember where it was , so we went into a store to ask directions and got to speak a little about the gospel to the store owner and hand out a New Testament…….. it’s great being lost….. it always brings opportunities. We were on the right street and we asked a man who gave us the exact directions and were able to give him a gift also. Getting there the waiter remembered me and the New Testament I had given him the year before, he told me that he was reading it but because it is in English (the only one I had on me at the time) and his English not so good, it was tough and slow going. Happily I just had on hand an Arabic version so we gave him one which made him smile.
Later on we had a meeting with a friend and were running a little late but still managed to get there on time only to find him talking with an Australian, whom I thought, from hearing the topic of conversation was a Christian friend, but who turned out to be a lecturer on comparative religion and far from Christian. We joined the conversation and I got to give him a true representation of the gospel message while he argued his own case, that all religions are the same. He told me that when Jesus said I am the way the truth and the life and that no man comes to the father but by me, that in the Greek it does not mean exclusivity, I stopped him and asked him if he knew Greek that well which he affirmed he did. So I opened my Greek New Testament (which I always have with me, on my phone) to John 14 and said let’s read it then. It became apparent that he did not know Greek quite as well as he professed so I read it to him explaining the text, ….no one is able to come unto the Father except through me. Right away he took offence and said I am guilty of being dogmatic, to which I replied that he is dogmatic too in his opposite position. It is so sad how people twist Scripture to defend a lie so they can have a message that embraces all things and everything but not the truth but no conversation is useless no matter the outcome or tense, He uses all.
We returned to the bookshop and who do u think we met ? Lord, you are amazing , awesome in the Bible way. Our friend was standing right in front of us. We got to talk to him for more time and it is sad that he is far away from the Lord but he does not want to be a hypocrite which is a good thing. So we tried to encourage him to go to church and read his bible, pray, and be in the company of godly men, but it is hard when you are in a country where many people are more interested in building big buildings that hold a thousand people for a congregation of hundred than in living a godly life and spreading the gospel. On leaving the bookshop we were standing outside and our friend pointed to a man and said ..he’s Muslim and I gave him the Shack…an anti Christian book, in my friend’s confused mind and with his doubts wavering he has been open to all. I said I will give him the New Testament so I approached the man but he was on the phone so he kind of ignored me, so I thought that maybe I am not supposed to give it to him, but when he finished his call he came to us seeing his friend and I managed to give him one which he took gladly. Please pray for this young man, that the Lord will protect him while he finds his way. Leaving them both we had to find a hotel and met in the hotel someone from Wadi Musa near Petra , I knew some people that he knew ,and he was also secular and so we spoke for around an hour and before leaving he he took a New Testament.
It was a great day and now we are beginning a new day , Lord Help us and use us for your glory .
The next day was a blessing, we were able to buy fifty MacArthur Study Bibles which will be going to pastors and preachers. We also gave the rest of the funds for Iraqi pastors. There is still a big need in Iraq, we met the head of the Bible Society and want to try and help with this project, getting the MacArthur study bible into the hands of the pastors. We met two Muslim brothers who both converted from Islam and were able to minister and encourage them putting them in touch with someone who can encourage them on a regular basis, they also helped us witness and hand out New Testaments. In the end we handed out around 25 in 2 and a half day in a Muslim country, in Europe this would be much more difficult, contrary to what you might think, these countries are more spiritually open and many are searching.
Pray that the seed sown will bear fruit and the Lord will use are all labour to bring people into his kingdom.
May The Lord bless you and give you opportunities over these holidays to bear witness to the truth
Antony and Dona Simon