Posted by: Omar C. Garcia | June 30, 2014

Bound for Jordan

En route to Amman via Istanbul

In March 2011, a group of demonstrators took to the streets of Deraa in Syria. These peaceful demonstrators demanded the release of fourteen school children who had been arrested for expressing sympathy with Arab Spring protestors in Tunisia and Egypt. President Assad’s security forces opened fire on the demonstrators and killed four people. That incident became the spark that ignited a civil war in Syria that has resulted in thousands of deaths and more than a million people displaced from their homes.

At a hospital for Syrian refugee at Zaatari Refugee Camp in northern Jordan.

Hospital for Syrian refugees | 17 April 13 | Zaatari Refugee Camp | Northern Jordan

In the years since the firestorm was ignited in Deraa, hundreds of thousands of Syrians have fled to Turkey, Lebanon, and Jordan in search of safety. All of these individuals have suffered some kind of loss — everything from property to the deaths of family and neighbors. I have personally visited many Syrian refugee families in Jordan over the past couple of years to pray with them and to provide much-needed humanitarian relief. Many have expressed deep interest in knowing what would motivate a Christ-follower to help Muslim families in distress.

Our team at Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston.

Our team at Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston.

Today, I am leading a group of our high school graduates to Jordan to reach out to Syrian refugees. These students will have the remarkable opportunity to engage in ministry to people they’ve only heard about on the evening news. By moving in the direction of people in need, our students will gain deeper insight into current events in the Middle East. They will meet Syrian parents who want nothing more than to provide for the needs of their families and kids who long for a safe place to live and an opportunity for a brighter future.

While in Jordan, I will take our students to Mount Nebo, the mountain east of the Jordan River from which Moses viewed the Promised Land. On the night before he was assassinated, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. preached a message entitled “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop” in which he used Moses’ experience on Mount Nebo as a figure for his own life. That night he spoke these prophetic words:

We’ve got some difficult days ahead. But it really doesn’t matter with me now, because I’ve been to the mountaintop. And I don’t mind. Like anybody, I would like to live a long life — longevity has its place. But I’m not concerned about that now. I just want to do God’s will. And He’s allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I’ve looked over, and I’ve seen the Promised Land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the Promised Land. And so I’m happy tonight; I’m not worried about anything; I’m not fearing any man. Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord.

Ten hours later, Martin Luther King, Jr. was dead. But his legacy lives on and has changed our world forever.

King said something else in that speech that is at the heart of why we are taking our students to Jordan and sending hundreds of other Kingsland students to serve around the world this month. He challenged his listeners to “develop a kind of dangerous unselfishness” — like that demonstrated by the Good Samaritan. “The Levite asked, ‘If I stop to help this man, what will happen to me?’ But the Good Samaritan reversed the question: ‘If I do not stop to help this man, what will happen to him?’ That’s the question before you tonight.”

As we continue to equip the generations at Kingsland to love God and love people, we want for our students to “develop a kind of dangerous unselfishness” by living incarnationally — being the hands and feet of Jesus among those in need and in pain. That is why we are bound for Jordan. Thanks for your prayers for my team and for the more than 400 other Kingsland students and adults who will serve around the world this month.


Responses

  1. Thank you, Omar, for leading the students on this journey! We will be back home “rejoicing, praying continually and giving thanks” for all of you!

    • Thanks, Carla. It is a privilege to lead this team of students. Looking forward to a great trip. Thanks for your prayers.


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