Jordan (MNN) — The refugee crisis happening in the Middle East is far from over. People are still seeking refuge in countries like Jordan, where the Program for Theological Education by Extension has its headquarters. While PTEE primarily focuses on education, it teaches its students how to respond to crises, like the refugee crisis, through select courses.
Sharing an example from his church is PTEE’s Robert Miner, who has lived in the Middle East for the past 30 years;
“We have been helping [refugees] just in a very practical sense of everything from heating in the winter, to basic food and basic medical needs.”
Many of the refugees seeking shelter in Jordan have been traumatized by the loss of their homes, their families, their professions, inheritance, and even generational family heirlooms like land. Everything, except the clothes on their backs, has been lost.
However, this painful loss has pushed some to ponder, what will last in this world?
“Here in Jordan, among the Iraqis and Syrian refugees, as well as in Lebanon, we hear reports on many fronts but as well as many, many personal relationships that we’ve experienced here in Jordan, of this openness,” Miner says.
“In the midst of despair, on the basis of much suffering (I don’t want to in any way negate that) but some are finding Christ and new life in Christ. And that is precious.”
A rebirth is happening in the heart and soul of these people. They’re able to have hope. Yet, it’s not a hope in material possessions or their own capabilities, it’s a hope that’s only found and sustained in Christ.
Still, there’s a challenge. Miner says Christians only make up roughly one percent of the population in Jordan. This makes it difficult to minister to needs such as discipleship to large groups of refugees. Plus, most refugees spend more time in Jordan than they’d prefer. Not because they don’t like the country, but because it’s a slow process seeking refuge in Jordan and then immigrating elsewhere. This means there’s a bit of congestion.
Regardless of the challenges, though, Christians in the region are giving what time and resources they can to help those who’ve crossed the border.
“Our local fellowship here in Amman, Jordan, in which we’ve been [attending] for thirty years now, since the flow started to come specifically from Northern Iraq in 2014, we’ve opened English classes, [a] massive visiting and distribution network, discipleship classes leading to the basic truths of following Christ and the work of Jesus,” Miner shares.
It has been encouraging for these Christians to watch as others have come to have a relationship with Christ. In fact, it’s been a blessing. Many passive members of Miner’s church have become active in the process of seeing needs, meeting them, and then seeing God work in the chaos.
Yet, it’s not only Miner’s church reaching out with a helping hand to the refugees in Jordan though, but PTEE’s students as well. Through PTEE, students are being equipped to meet the spiritual and practical needs of refugees. Classes in subjects like “Peace Making” and “Poverty and Community Development” are shaping the skills these students need to reach the refugees in their communities, but then to also lead other Christians in doing the same.
So please, pray for the well-being of these refugees who have fled to Jordan and other areas in the Middle East and North Africa region. Pray for their physical and spiritual needs to be met. Ask God to continue to equip and raise up leaders through PTEE to continue meeting the physical and spiritual needs of their fellow person.
Want to help support students receiving training through PTEE? Then consider donating to PTEE to help provide the funds to educate and equip students in Jordan and abroad.