“And do not forget to do good for others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased” (Heb. 13:16).
Inspired by this verse, the ministry team at Zarqa Baptist Church in Jordan responded to God’s call to serve their community. Two years later, in March of 2007, they began doing just that through a free medical clinic. Since that time, four additional areas of service have been established to provide physical and spiritual healing in their community and beyond.
The original medical providers were a dentist, a nurse and a clinic manager. But in 2013, circumstances changed dramatically as their work expanded to include thousands of refugees crossing into Jordan from Syria.
With an increasing number of patients, an average of 2,500 people per month, the working team added two physicians, a general practitioner, a family doctor and nine nurses. A pharmacy was eventually added, and they began doing minor surgeries and emergency operations followed by hospital referrals.
Because Pastor Samer is humbled and grateful to God for blessing their efforts, providing supporters and raising up prayer partners, the church began planning a building dedication and invited BMA Missions personnel to attend.
An Urgent Need
As they began medical services to Syrian refugees, it was increasingly obvious that the mostly women and children who fled their war-torn country needed help beyond the physical. Pastor Samer says, “We treat them through a post-trauma recovery program as many of them have lost their husbands, children and all their property in the war. We support them psychologically and financially, and we help with training.”
Another goal of the recovery ministry is to teach life skills so they can eventually sustain themselves. They are taught sewing, embroidery, culinary arts, soap making, computer/administrative skills and learn how to market and sell their products.
An Educational Need
Many refugee children have lost both parents and either have a lapse in their schooling or have never attended, so there is a critical need to educate children in two refugee camps near the Syrian border. Through the ministry of Zarqa church, they now have that opportunity.
Two schools have been established for refugee children ¾ ages 6 to 14 ¾ and each one offers Arabic, English and math instruction. Their teachers say the education gap is closing gradually, and they can now read and write, which creates an obvious growth in their confidence, self-esteem and attitudes.
In addition to the two refugee schools, there is another one at Zarqa church that serves the community’s children, bringing the total number of schoolchildren to 200. There are also free monthly medical services and distribution of other daily needs to people living in refugee camps near the Jordan/Syria border.
A Marginalized Group
Although Jordan is taking many steps forward with better workplace and inheritance laws, some women find themselves in dire circumstances financially. Bro. Samer says, “We support several services that help people be financially self-sufficient. One of those groups began when our ladies started visiting and caring for widows, divorced and single women with medical and spiritual help. By God’s grace, we have dedicated one floor as a women’s center to provide medical, spiritual and psychological help in a safe, comfortable environment.”
Bro. Samer’s wife, Suzan manages the group and helps provide training for these women who want to be self-supporting despite their brokenness. Along with training women in sewing, making crafts and cooking to pay their living expenses, the women of Zarqa Baptist Church make regular home visits to those who can’t get out.
A Bible Training Initiative
In addition to these services, ministry leaders at Zarqa church have responded to a spiritual call to teach and train those they serve who want to understand Christianity and the Bible. According to their stated goals, the Theological Training Center was established “to prepare and develop new leaders for the progression and prosperity of the gospel message.”
Through small group Bible studies, individual discipleship and specialized programs conducted by certified trainers, they have established the Theological Training Center. For those who desire deeper theological teaching, local seminary teachers volunteer their time, and some theological subjects are taught by professors.
A Blessing of Provision
Except for on-site refugee services, God has blessed the church with a five-floor building for these areas of service. Pastor Samer and ministry leaders are very grateful for those who partnered with them.
On Nov. 4, 2021, a BMA Missions team attended the inauguration and dedication of the five-story ministry center to be used, as Pastor Samer says, “for God’s glory alone.” It was a time to praise God for those who were involved in this kingdom work and thank Him for providing supporters for their vision. For Zarqa Baptist Church, the ministry center’s goal is always to be salt and light for the lost and broken.
Please pray for BMA churches in Jordan and the broader Middle East as they take the gospel to their communities and beyond.