Brotherly Love. Did you know that nearly 2,000 years ago the bustling city of Amman, capital city of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, was called Philadelphia? I cannot think of a better way to describe our experience in all of Jordan. The people we met in this beautiful country truly reflect what it means to love your neighbor as yourself.
The daily exchange of hospitality: warmth, selflessness, the sharing of food, affection, affirmation, and love was so genuine and natural that we couldn’t help but feel welcomed with open arms. That’s just how Jordanians are. And it’s rarer in our world than we would like. We were like sponges, soaking in the warm Middle Eastern sunshine as much as we were wringing out all the love that was oozing into us in order to give it back.
Mohammed, our host coordinate extraordinaire, was right. We were knitting ourselves together as a temporary family, eagerly greeting the days. Laughter was a regular part of our routine, as regular as sage tea. And I haven’t even mentioned the building yet! What a pleasure it was to meet Ali and his wife Amal at the site each day, knowing that we were co-laborers in what eventually would be their family home for generations.
Brother let me be your shelter
Never leave you all alone
I can be the one you call
When you’re low
Brother let me be your fortress
When the night winds are driving on
Be the one to light the way
Bring you home
Listening to these lyrics I immediately thought of our new brothers and sisters in Jordan. We may look different, dress different, and speak different languages, but we are family now all the same. Because when we are at home within ourselves, it’s possible to welcome others in refreshing and unexpected ways.
This is why we build.