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By WT in Jordan

I want to tell you two stories by painting two pictures in your mind. The first might not catch your attention, but continue to read, the second will.

Imagine a living room.

We are sitting around a coffee table that is filled to the edges with food and I have a cup of tea in my hand. I sit with my friend whom I am staying with as well as a husband and wife who, after several years of marriage and five children, clearly still adore one another. We talk about their children, how each of us makes a living, what church they attend and how important it is in their lives. We talk about where they last lived and why they moved. We talk about how their three oldest daughters attend a local private Christian school. We talk about how their three-year old son stays at home with mom and the youngest daughter at four months old is happy and loves to eat.

You probably pictured a family nestled in a suburb somewhere. They probably look something like yourself and speak your same language. You were probably sipping Lipton or Celestial Seasonings tea and eating familiar food.

Take note the first picture your mind had created, and at the end of this post, mentally compare your two mental pictures.

Because now I am going to paint the second picture for you. The real picture.

I am sitting on a sofa on the 4th floor of an apartment in Amman, Jordan. I am sipping Chai—that’s what almost all black tea is called. This one is unique because it is from Iraq and spiced with their traditional spices. The food I am eating is amazingly delicious, though I cannot really pronounce the names of most of it or tell you what it is. But there are the crunchy and watery cucumbers, cheeses, pita bread to pair with a mix of eggs, meat, onions and some more ingredients and spices that I cannot name nor know even existed probably.

But I keep spooning more of the delicious mixture onto my bit of bread and popping it into my mouth. There are more foods on the table like sweet or spiced breads that the wife had made herself. The people I am talking to are Iraqi refugees. The husband through his broken English, Arabic, and of course some hand motions, explained that he realized his children had grown accustomed to the violence they saw every day in their hometown. He mentioned how it was normal for the children there to draw their pictures, but with guns and weapons in them.
And he knew, this was not normal. He desired a better and safer life for his family.

They came to Jordan two years ago. He taught me about how Abraham from the Bible was from the same tribe that he is from. He is an electrician, and he and his wife are hoping to move their family to Australia to be reunited with the rest of their family. At the end of our shared breakfast, he prayed over my friend and me, and we walked away with full bellies and hearts.

Now compare your two mental pictures. See the differences?

You may be asking why I lead you astray with the first picture, but I wanted to make a point. A very important point.

Our family of Christians, evangelicals, believers, Jesus-followers, brothers, and disciples are incredibly diverse! And that’s the way God intended it! He even rejoices over it! His life may look vastly different from your own, but that in no way makes it wrong. He is a man that desires to follow after God while also providing a safe environment for his family to grow and thrive. You probably desire similar things.

Pray for our brothers and sisters in Christ that live in these areas or have had to flee their homes in search of safety or freedom. Pray for the ones that hide their faith. Pray they will continue to seek God and His plans in this incredibly challenging time. Pray for those that persecute them, that they will see the lives of the people risking to follow after Him and that their hearts will soften and be changed.

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