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God Used Me, I Know He Did

There were times when I thought I would never make it, times when I missed home so much and times when I thought I was useless. But there was joy, and wonderful times, too.
By: Anne Dubois

It started with a thought, “why don’t you...?” and I ended up going as a volunteer for ten months to the Middle East.

My CV's were sent to various places between December and January, one of which was Jordan, and soon after, Levon Maksoudian, the president of the East Mediterranean field, replied giving me details about the position. I was happy, but for two reasons I didn't want to accept the post. First, because it was to start in August-I wanted to leave as soon as possible-and then because I was supposed to teach-I didn't believe I could teach. I decided I would try to find something else, so from January until the end of May I searched, but nothing. There were doors that at first seemed to open but then they ended up closing. Finally, when the end of May came and I still had nowhere to go I decided to write to Levon to ask if the position was still available. I told him that if so I would be willing to come. He replied saying that he was really glad I was coming! I was surprised, delighted, afraid, many things. And in addition to this, since I was only leaving in August, I was able to attend the teaching course at Newbold College, which was from mid June to mid July. I realized that God knew what He was doing.

Jeremiah 29:112: "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

Before I arrived in Jordan, I was told that I was going to a Care Home to take care of eleven boys and teach at the Adventist school there. At the Care Home I was supposed to be something close to a mother and a big sister combined together, but one that doesn't speak their language and who is from a completely different culture, too. The boys were from six to sixteen. It wasn't always easy but I enjoyed it very much. I know I gave them and taught them many things, but man, did I learn from them too! I was taught what it means and takes to be a mother. They're were times when I was really exhausted and down and they would cheer me up with their smiles, jokes and songs. They are such good singers!

At the school, it was quite an adventure, too. When I was still in England, I was told I would be teaching English and the Bible. When I arrived in Jordan, Tawfic Madanat, the principal of the school, told me I would only teach Bible to the older students. But the first day of school the English teacher hadn't come so they asked me to take the classes - unprepared. Did I panic? Yes, I did, no matter how hard I tried to tell myself not to. For about a month, I was moved from one position to another and it wasn't easy - to say the least. At that time, I read some texts that really helped me:

2 Corinthians1:9: "…But it so happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God."

Colossians 1:29: To this end I labour, struggling with all HIS energy, which so powerfully works in me."

Everything eventually settled down and I was assigned to teach the Bible. I shared the Bible classes with Ammar, the man who was working at the Care Home and the school before me. I taught mostly primary classes. Most of the students I taught didn't speak or understand English. It was a real challenge! God showed me new sides of myself, one of which was creativity.

Philippians 4:13: "I can do everything through Him who gives me strength."

Although I was supposed to stay in Jordan for the whole ten months, I was asked to go to Lebanon after four and a half months (both countries are part of the same field). They needed someone to teach French and Bible in the Adventist school there. So Ammar took my place and I went to Lebanon.

There, I was teaching French to elementary classes and Bible to secondary classes. The students were very much undisciplined and they had absolutely no respect for their teachers. They taught me to be firm and to set limits. I learned many teaching skills the hard way, but it was good training. It also gave me the opportunity to know whether I should teach and what age group I preferred with.

God used me. I know He did. I helped in the Care Home, in schools and churches. I made a difference in the lives of the boys, the children in schools and other people. But they taught me many things and truly touched my life too. I discovered a bit more of who I am and I got to know my Lord better too. I realized a little more how much He loves me and cares for me.

There were times when I thought I would never make it, times when I missed home so much and times when I thought I was useless. But there was joy, and wonderful times, too. I got to know the culture, the places and a little Arabic, too. I got attached to the children and also made some really good friends. Believe it or not, when the end of June came, I did not want to leave.

It was a great experience!

By: Anne Dubois.

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Ann (center) pictured here with her boys.