The Energy In Compassion

The Energy In Compassion

“This is a time when we have a great fear amongst us in the city of Amman, and in Jordan. We see it coming[ but] we have an energy among us-it’s an energy of compassion.” Mayor Biltaji

You could have heard a pen drop when Mayor Biltaji began to address the battle of fear and the number of refugees flooding Jordan’s borders. One third of the nation’s population are now refugees from Syriah and Iraq. Jordan is turning no one away. While fear, sadness and uncertainty are stirring in the hearts of people, so is compassion.

As he spoke, he looked off into the distance, weighing his words.

I weighed his words too.

Is the energy of compassion enough to combat the energy of fear? Fear can be a really loud voice-if we let it speak.

Can compassion speak louder than fear? I think so.

Compassion will give way to love and perfect love casts out fear. The closer I get to Jesus, the more compassion turns to a radical love-it’s unrelenting. A love that refuses to give up.

The God of an all consuming love-inside of me-pushes me with an energy that is unexplainable.

There are a lot of thoughts, talk and anger when it comes to the subject of ISIS. But the truth is that the fight is not against a group of people . The fight is against a deep lie that takes life, rapes little girls and produces martyrs on both sides. What is the solution? How can this violence be stopped? I feel helpless at times when I read the news.

And it is not just the Middle East. Recently two little kids in Costa Rica were walking to school, they were kidnapped and raped. One got away. One did not, he died. I felt overwhelmed with sadness at the news all around me. While many emotions have stirred inside of me these past few days- I choose to operate from compassion. It brings peace. It brings ideas. My heart begins to lift-I remember that God is Perfect Love. I have perfect love inside of me.

As love begins to speak louder than fear and sadness-an idea begins to take shape. I pray. A question forms out of prayer-How can the kids in a poor community of Costa Rica use their voice for the kids in Iraq? How can we send love from one side of the world to the other?

I write my friend, Canon Andrew White. His organization, FRRME helps children in Iraq and Jordan.  A partial plan is set into motion. Hope begins to rise and I see that the energy of compassion is loud. It will grow louder from the hearts of our kids here.

Stay tuned. Watch as we shine a light of love from Tres Rios, San Jose, Costa Rica to Iraq and Jordan.

Our little plan of love, details coming soon!

My Jordan Journey-  The  Journey’s  End  (or is it?)

My Jordan Journey-  The  Journey’s  End  (or is it?)

Every day of this trek brought spectacular scenery, incredible food and beautiful hospitality. I came into this trip unsure as to what to expect. I did not know much about Jordan, its culture or its biblical history. Now, I find myself coming away with a love for the nation, its people, food and culture. I learned on a greater magnitude, the heritage of my faith and the birthing of Christianity. I discovered that as a Christian, I could feel safe and accepted in a predominantly muslim Jordan.

On one particular day as we were out seeing the sites, our tour guide announced that there had been a change in our schedule-we were crashing a wedding! Okay, technically we were last minute invited guests but it is so much more exciting to say we “crashed” the wedding. Time only permitted us to attend the ceremony but it was fascinating. My favorite part was when the bride arrived, everyone was outside the church waiting-including the groom. Upon her arrival, he went out to greet her and walked her to the church. I have never seen that before and it was beautiful.

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( photos courtesy of http://denisebossert.com/ )

 

In our final leg of the trip, we took a jeep ride through the desert of Wadi Rum, also known as, “The Valley of the Moon.” We drove through miles of desert and took in the various Bedouin camps, stopping at one for lunch.          

The only animal I ever saw was a camel! So much of the vast, open space seemed virtually untouched by anyone. God is an amazing artist and I couldn’t help but dwell on that fact as we drove around.

The exciting part of the day came as we pulled over to a group of men and a pack of camels. And the opportunity I had been hoping for came-I could ride a camel through the desert.

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Later on. we took a little hike up to Herod’s Hill. Also known as the location where John the Baptist was held and beheaded. I took a moment to sit on top of the hill and take in the quiet scene laid out before me. I could hear sheep in the distance and the wind as it lazily blew across the fields.

Our journey came to an end with a few days spent at the Dead Sea-World’s Largest (natural) Spa. We had time to explore, rest, write and fellowship with one another.

When one visits the Dead Sea- a mud bath is a must!

I covered myself in mud, waited until it was dry (such a weird feeling) and then I washed it off in the sea. It was the best and cheapest spa day I have ever experienced.

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This sunset was such a perfect ending to a spectacular journey.The people I met, the stories I heard and the places I stood are forever etched into my heart. Jordan was life changing and while the “My Jordan Journey” segment of the blog is done-I have a few more posts coming with final thoughts and reflections of lessons learned.

My Jordan Journey

My Jordan Journey

When I was a little girl my sister (Rachel) and I loved to watch “The Greatest Adventure”,  a cartoon series. The show was about two archeologists who discover an ancient cave that allows them to travel back in time to biblical days. Each episode contained a famous bible story in which the archeologist would take part in the story. We watched as they witnessed the building of the Ark, the parting of the Red Sea and David slaying Goliath. I remember one particular day, my sister and I joined hands, closed our eyes and made a wish to travel back in time to some of our favorite bible stories. To our dismay, we opened our eyes and discovered we were still in the family room in front of the TV.

I am happy to write that in some small way that wish is coming true for me. In roughly 48 hours (give or take) I will board a plane heading for Jordan. Wow, did I really just type that sentence???!!! I am going as a guest of the Jordan Tourism Board on a Religious Blogger Press Tour. I am joining up with 12 other writers as we visit the biblical sites of Jordan from both the Old and New Testament.

I will visit Mt. Nebo where God showed Moses the promised land that he would never enter. I’ll journey in time as I visit the hill in which Elijah ascended to heaven on a chariot of fire. I will walk by the Jordan River where Jesus was baptized. These are just a few of the incredible things I will get to see from biblical times!

On our itinerary is the lost city of Petra and from pictures, it is breathtaking, I can’t imagine what it will be like in person! A fun fact about Petra: the Treasury can be seen briefly in the last scene, posed as a secret temple lost for hundreds of years in the movie, Indiana Jones-The Last Crusade.

Another part of our tour, we will meet local NGO leaders who are doing amazing work with Iraqi and Syrian refugees. I will also have the opportunity to visit the work being done by my good friend, Cannon Andrew White and his organization FRRME in Jordan. I am hoping to visit the FRRME school for children who are Iraqi refugees. As so many of you know, my life’s work has been to see that children receive a safer, better and brighter future.

I will be blogging, as well as posting on Facebook, Instagram (@annamichelle) and Twitter (@annamcarroll) while  I am there.

Will you join me as I travel in and out of time throughout the country of Jordan?