After a long wait due to Covid-19, the Nazarene Compassionate Ministries conference for the Eastern Mediterranean Field took place this past weekend! Over 50 Nazarene leaders representing seven countries came to Jordan to participate in the event. Held about an hour north of the capital city of Amman, the conference provided space for fellowship, learning, dreaming, and vision casting. Through various workshops, participants explored ways to make an impact in their communities through active listening, tapping into the strengths of the local church, and developing practical and impactful vision plans.

Nazarene leaders in the Middle East represent a wealth of skills and experience, and an immense desire to serve those in need in their localities. Throughout the conference there were countless examples of ways in which local congregations extend compassion to those around them – both in terms of emergency relief, but also longer-term community development initiatives.

Included in the participants was the principal of Ashrafieh Nazarene School in Amman, Jordan. Before the conference, many international guests were treated to a campus tour and a short presentation by a small group of students of different ages and classrooms. Many of the students discussed the school and staff’s positive impact on themselves and their families.

Ashrafieh Nazarene School has a current enrolment of 124 students, including children from Jordan, Syria, Egypt, Lebanon, Iraq, and other countries. In operation since the 1950s, the school has served thousands of families in Jordan with a safe space in which to learn and develop. We give thanks for the school administration and teachers who managed to keep the school functioning throughout COVID-19, with high quality online-learning opportunities. Their dedication to continue providing education in such a difficult environment was inspiring. The school faces a number of challenges with the aging facility. Thankfully, through faithful giving and the work of NCM International and NCM Canada, the school has recently been able to update the student restrooms and science lab and repair the privacy walls between neighboring buildings. However, additional work is needed to continue to improve this facility.

Please continue to pray for the Ashrafieh Nazarene School and the work of Nazarene Compassionate Ministries. Together they are making a positive impact in Amman, Jordan, by living into the vision of the principal and her staff: raising up young leaders from across the Middle East to shine a light in the community.

Story and photos by Kristin & Joel Burchfiel, serving the Church of the Nazarene on the Eastern Mediterranean Field.