Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Meeting Dr. Azar

Today, thanks to Nabil & Deborah, we met Dr. Azar at Jordan Hospital (the one across from Plaza for those who know). He's a Stanford-educated OB-GYN with 35 years of experience doing the baby thing. He ran an ultrasound, discussed Suzi's records from America and confirmed our due date as April 15th. He was professional with a dry sense of humor... a perfect match for us. We'll see him again just before Christmas for another tag-in.

We figured Suzi would need a few more blood tests once we got here and he concurred. We popped over to the lab to get poked and were grateful to find a friendly staff and fairly short wait. Because I never seem to remember my blood type, I got poked as well... hopefully I'll remember from now on as that look on my face says, "If I pass out you're gonna have to carry me to the cab and we all know that's gonna be awkward for everyone."

Or something like that.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

20 years ago...

Twenty years ago today, there was a city cloaked in the Gray.
It was once a magical city, full of wonder and mystery, like a fairytale you can touch and feel and taste. But the Gray had blotted out the fantasy and pushed the wonder into dustbins and deep recesses of cabinet drawers in grandmothers' cottages. And the grandmothers didn't open those drawers for fear of what might be said even when their children asked ever so politely.
One cold November day in the city, a group of students met to remember the death of young man. A fellow student, who many years before, like themselves, lived in a gray place where a few men thought they knew what was best for their tiny corner of the world. He gave up his life to oppose them. The students simply wanted to remember him.
Yet something amazing began to occur as the students gathered in the midst of their darkened city. Small bursts of fantasy and wonder began to pop from around them. It was like the swirls of a soap bubble caught in the afternoon light of summer. The students told their friends who then told their friends and soon there were so many colorful bursts coming from the students that the makers of the Gray took notice. They sent Gray Makers out to spread more Gray and to take away the students with the most color. But for every one that disappeared, many more colors appeared in their place!
Do you know what happened next? The Trolley Drivers saw that their trolleys were jolly when the Gray went away. The Factory Men saw the Gray fading and they too, quit their waiting. Grandmothers opened cabinets long shut tight and they all joined the students as they shouted and cheered and their magical city became, well, bright! So, they said to the Gray Makers, "Go Away! Go Away!" And they chanted and swayed and laughed and played in the midst of their magical city.

Tonight, Suzi & I joined a small group in Amman to celebrate the fall of Communism in the Czech Republic. There was a visit from the Royal Family, an exhibit of photographers and their work from Velvet Revolution of 1989 and presentation on the life of former President Vaclav Havel... the brightest color of them all.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Amman International Fellowship

This weekend, Suzi & I were installed as pastors of the Amman International Fellowship. AIF reaches out to the international community in Amman. We have specific services & Bible Studies focused on the Sri Lankan & Filipino communities, as well as services in English that have multiple nationalities in attendance. It's common to have 10 or more different cultures represented in our Friday service.
On Friday we have a Sinhalese service and an international service (translated into Sinhalese) at the church. We also host a Filipino Bible study at the fellowship house. On Sundays, we have a Filipino Bible study at the fellowship house and an international service at the church.
We're grateful to have an awesome team here. We have Filipino men that are reaching out to their coworkers and Sri Lankan translators that host prayer meetings in their homes. Our fellowship house gives Filipinas a safe place to camp out on their off day.
AIF is part of nearly 30 years of ministry in Amman. We're honored and excited to be a part of that deep history. We're expecting to see amazing things happen. The Lord (quite literally) only knows whats going to happen during our 12 month stay here and, later on, what our future holds. Since we've put our lives in His hands, that's all we need to know for now...

Prego... still!

So, what about that "baby bump?"

This is the last shot we had before leaving the States.  Suzi will be working on getting a doctor this week (insh'Allah!) and we'll have some more current shots.  The doctors and hospitals here are top-drawer and we've had a number of suggestions on various places.
We're well into the 2nd trimester and those flutters are starting to be a little more pronounced.  According to, we've got a 1/2 lb, six inch mango dipped in cheese right now.  While the imagery is odd, getting an idea of what's going on in the oven is nice.  Suzi is feeling fine (except for that nasty flu-type thing she just passed on to me).  She's starting show a bit more, although all the Filipinas were disappointed there wasn't more to pat on.  I'm attributing it to all those sit-ups she's done!