Wednesday, February 24, 2016

The Long Way Home

On our way home, this time, we knew that there had been a lot of rains.  We got off the paved road to find the road completely washed away in many places.  There are times when we're traveling, that I am worried, but this was something new altogether!  I was sure we were going to get stuck on the road, or washed away, or even tipped over!! James is an amazing driver, by the way, he navigated so well and picked every place that enabled us to get home!
After being gone for a whole month, we were excited to finally get back home!  Everyone was happy to see us!  It is good to be back.  We are in full swing of projects, and Bible studies, and planning a few conferences this year! Our life looks so different on the opposite sides of the world, but we are sure that God has us where we are supposed to be!  Everything works out to His glory, which is all we want for our lives.  
In the next two months, we will be doing an emphasis on evangelism with all the churches.  They will be learning their testimonies and how to effectively share the Good News.  Every believer needs a refresher in this every now and then just to make sure we're communicating the Gospel clearly, and directly.  This has been good so far, the churches are responding well, we are looking forward to seeing how God is going to use these testimonies to further his Kingdom in Kaputa!
Thank you for praying for us, please continue to pray for the churches that are involved in this study. That God would be glorified through this experience of learning how to share the Gospel effectively.

These guys are seasoned travelers.

The road less traveled.

A few more rains and this might reach the river!

What do you do when the road is impassable? You get stones and put them over the hole so you can drive over and keep going!


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Finally, we must note that not all shaikhs who controlled land in ‘Ajlun derived their status and land from martial qualities. The New Jordans, An important category of shaykhs were those w ho were religious figures. Most of these were sufi leaders, often called fugara (Arabic singular: faqlr, “poor.” The Persian equivalent is dervish). These persons were members of religious brotherhoods associated with the tomb of a saint, called a maqdm or weft, that had acquired control of land surrounding the tomb. The Ottomans sometimes even exempted them from paying taxes in honor of their status, guaranteeing them a profitable return on the lands that they controlled, which they rented out to sharecroppers. The Jarrah family claimed descent from one of the companions of the Prophet Muhammad named ‘Amir bin ‘Abdullah al-Jarrah, nicknamed Abu ‘Ubayda. The family tended his tomb at ‘Ammata in the region of the Jordan Valley that came to be known as Ghawr Abl ‘Ubayda. The family claimed the land as waqf and collected both rents and barakat (Arabic, “blessings”) donated to Abu ‘Ubayda’s memory from nearby cultivators and merchants visiting the nearby summer market. Other religious figures included the Qiyam family, who tended the tomb of Ma‘adh bin Jabal; the ‘Umari, or Massadln, family of Kufr Asad, who used their landholdings surrounding the maqdm of ‘Umar al-‘Az!mI to keep the cultivators of the village in “bondage”; the MalkawT family in Malka, a family of respected sufis associated with the tomb of Shaykh ‘Umar. and the Zu'bi family of al-Ramtha, who tended the tomb of Shaykh Rashid Ibrahim Mustafa al-Zu‘bI.

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