Loving your Arab neighbor: An introduction to Redemptive Stories

By September 3, 2018

Jordan (MNN) – Loving your neighbor is a strong theme in Scripture, but what does that really mean? For the organization Redemptive Stories, it means empowering nationals to inject hope into their communities and restore broken relationships and systems within them.

Samuel explains, “We like the Good Samaritan, desire to show acts of love and kindness to our neighbor. In this case, our neighbors are the people that we work with here in the Middle East, our Muslim neighbor.”

Local Outreach

Redemptive Stories primarily works in a single community in Jordan. For many years this community had very little attention or help; today, there’s transformation happening, with the help of Redemptive Stories.

(Photo courtesy of Jean-Pierre Dalbéra on Flickr at https://goo.gl/v2KJm8
Header Photo Courtesy of Dennis Jarvis on Flickr at https://goo.gl/tXJPAa)

“Our main goal is to primarily work with local partnerships.” Samuel says, “And local partnerships mean believers that are from a Muslim background that desire passionately to communicate the love of Jesus Christ to their people and to do that through these vehicles, the vehicle of business development and community development.”

Often these community and business development programs take on different faces. From soccer clubs to start-up businesses, education opportunities, and refugee outreach, Redemptive Stories works with locals to help break poverty cycles and benefit their communities.

Doing Something Wonderful

Through the many facets of their work, Redemptive Stories is seeing the development of a community that is rich in hope, and compassion. As relationships develop, people begin to see their value and worth through different eyes.  The work is exciting and Samuel wants everyone to know it.

“In the Middle East, God is working. And He is making His name known and He is working to build His kingdom and valuable activity is happening here. People are coming to faith, the kingdom is growing and that sometimes what we see on the news isn’t the real story.”

Working Within the Law Where Possible

As amazing as what’s happening is, great care is taken to stay within the law. The government has outlawed proselytization. Christians in Jordan enjoy a relatively high level of religious freedom but there are some who experience pressure from their communities. Is it safe?

Samuel approaches this question from a different direction. “First of all I think the first question we ask as followers of Christ is we don’t need to be asking about the safety question because God never called us to a life of safety and comfort and relaxation. But He calls us to a life of walking with Him in the paths that he leads us to. So I think it’s the wrong question to ask.”

Samuel explains, “when I make decisions about each country, or wherever I live, we understand need to follow the law of the land wherever that does not conflict with our faith. But in those areas of conflict where it does conflict with our faith then we have to challenge that and ask those questions, ‘Okay, how can I do this and still respect the law of the land as much as possible but then also communicate truth and do what I’m called to do.’”

Get Involved

Most people are unaware of Jordan, its history, or its people, so first and foremost, get informed about the issues facing the country. Then, for those who want to make a difference, “[Pray] first and foremost for boldness. That we would be bold in the midst of strife and that we’d be bold in the midst of difficulty that comes along the way for our national partners in particular. They have to walk this balancing act of who I share my faith with, who I don’t, because of the fact that they are illegally doing what they are doing – as all of us are here.”

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