Jordan, Middle East

JOR02 - Love Into Action (LIA): Partnership Reports

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Report Date: February 28, 2023

Report from BHW Middle East Partnership Facilitator Following Visit December 2022

Partner: Laurence and Sharon Garnett

Recent Events


remote areasOver the last few months, they have been transitioning from ‘setting up’ in Jordan to enhancing the ‘outreach’ initiatives. By outreach it means visits to Bedouin villages to identify needs of families with severely disabled and they have been prioritising this. There are many villages in Jordan without any Christian witness. However, visiting the Bedouin community in the Northeast desert region has proved challenging in various ways. Many families live on dirt tracks away from the main roads and so a priority for them has been to try and source an off-road vehicle to more easily reach these people. They are also keen to find a small base with necessary accommodation facilities to be able to make full use of the times they travel there (450 km round trip).

As the focus is to minister to the disabled who are Jordanian, rather than refugees, they need to develop a team, including Arabic speakers (locals) but also internationals (ex-pats) who fit happily into working with Muslims. Ex-pats would need to have been in the country for two years and have studied Arabic. 

New Profiles

Shadi is a person who has been invaluable to Laurence in this period of settling in at Mafraq. He is ‘a local fixer'; used to be in the Police, is a trouble shooter and great at finding solutions, e.g., in terms of the building permit needed to renovate the building they will soon be using. Shadi opens doors for them and his eyes are being opened to the way that Laurence works, i.e. not authoritarian which is the norm in the local culture with people who are leaders.


Plans for the Future

Laurence has an office in the centre of Mafraq. They have recently been offered the use of an unused government school building where they could set up their interim centre (probably for the next five years), with reception, office for Laurence, rooms for activities. In addition, there is a plan to add an extra floor, providing plenty of space for storing their equipment when it comes from the West Bank (Palestine).

There will be some costs in refurbishing these premises as they are very run down, but the potential is there, and they are already making plans for this in terms of the place being secured.

A piece of land has been offered free, adjacent to a large hospital, but it is an insufficient area for what they would need to set up as the ministry develops. A larger area of land close by has the potential for the vision they have, but that would need to be purchased at a much greater cost.  They will continue to seek God as to which property would best serve their purposes. 


Current Issues and Challenges

For Sharon, home schooling has been hard; and will become harder as the children get older. The British programme the three older ones are following has some gaps or lacks in quality. And with Lucy being only 3, Sharon is aware that she has 16 years of supervising her children’s education, limiting her time to be involved as much in the ministry of LIA. This is quite different to when they were in Bethlehem, with the children being much younger.

For Laurence, a big challenge has been the need to spend huge amounts of time in administration, meetings with Jordanian officials, difficult lawyers, and investigating possibilities with property.  Associated with this, there has been a lot of expense with lawyers' bills, payments at government offices etc.

Dealing with Palestinian authorities in Bethlehem (West Bank) has been frustrating. They are needing to get all their equipment released to be brought across the border to Jordan.

Other challenges include spiritual opposition to their work and the need for building up a team of local Jordanians. 


Prayer and Praise Points


1) As they are in a transition mode from Bethlehem to Jordan pray for them to be finding the right people to be in the Jordan team – local Jordanians and expats.
2) Pray also that the resources that are tied up in Bethlehem will be released for being moved to Mafraq. (There is the need for Palestinian, Israeli and Jordanian authorities to allow for this movement of goods without exorbitant expenses.)
3) Pray that better UK-based educational programmes can be found for the older three children.


1) They are thankful for a clear vision about how the work can proceed.
2) There have been good contacts made with families with disabled children and young people in Ruwaished, a town in the region to the east of Mafraq (towards the Iraqi border). There are thousands of towns and villages without a Christian witness. 
3) Most Christian fellowships in the city are supportive of the ministry, helping with practical needs.



As in the past reports, they expressed again their deep gratitude that during the past few years impacted by Covid, BHW has been one organization (maybe the only one) that continued its financial support. Other organizations, especially some British ones, will only support their ministry to the disabled once it is up and running. If it is a work in a development phase, support is not forthcoming.