Jordan Trains Iraqi Spiritual Army
“I was born into an Orthodox Iraqi family and was drafted into the army in 1984 during the Iran/Iraq war. Upon my release from the army, I returned home only to find a sign on my house saying that I had died! I was shocked to see the sign, but my friends and family were even more amazed that I was still alive. The incident made me think of what would happen if I had really died. I thought, could it be that God only created me to end up in a coffin at the age of 22?”
As Shant searched for answers to the meaning of life, he met Christians who had a peace he had never known. In time he put his faith in Jesus Christ and began looking for a place to study the Bible.
During this same time, in 1997, Partners International began assisting the growing Jordan Evangelical Theological Seminary (JETS) in Amman, believing in their vision to equip Christians for ministry in the Arab world. We began providing scholarships for students, including Iraqis like Shant, to study at JETS-an important contribution as most students cannot afford four years of seminary training.
“Little did I know that so many Iraqis would respond to my invitation to come and study at JETS,” said Dr. I mad Shehadeh, JETS President.
In fact, most of the current pastors of Iraq’s evangelical churches were trained at JETS on scholarships from Partners. JETS has become the premier evangelical theological training institution in the Middle East and is strategically located in the heart of the Muslim world.
Many of JETS’ 143 graduates from Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Egypt, Sudan, North Africa, Jordan, and Palestine have returned to their home countries and are serving as pastors, teachers, and church planters. Dr. Imad and his staff are planning a new campus that will accommodate triple the current number of students.
They are also supplementing their Baghdad extension campus with a distance education program throughout the Middle East for students who cannot obtain permission from their government to attend JETS. Dr. lmad shares,”We are awed by the privilege of raising up a significant number of people trained in righteousness to become instruments of peace and truth in a region which knows very little of either. Thank you for standing with us.”