Archives for the month of: January, 2016

2016-1-11 Father Haddad at the Center

Father Nabil Haddad of the Catholic Church. He was happy to stand in front of the LDSC sign for the photo attached. He’s a highly respected Christian here in jordan, and was invited to General Conference, had tours of BYU and humanitarian centers—last October. He loves LDS people because of their values and morals and wants his own daughter to go there. Father Haddad was so impressed with what he saw during his visit to Utah last October, especially the happiness exhibited by those he met at General Conference and at BYU, that he openly and quite literally has a testimony of family values taught by the Church. We’re doing some humanitarian projects with him and his church. Lots of planning for the upcoming World Interfaith Harmony Week the first week of February.

2016-1-7 Phillips presenting check to Father Kildani

Martyrs of Jordan Church Water Harvest

We visited with Father Kildani and delivered $5K bank check to him as a down payment for his water cistern project–a cistern to collect water in their parking area to help with water storage for the shortage in this country. He said he will immediately schedule the engineer to draw up the plans. He suspects it can be done in 2-3 months. We will continue to monitor the progress.

Father Kildani gave us two books on the biblical and historical background of Jordan correlated with current geography. We had fresh squeezed orange juice and did a photo op. He loves to talk about nutrition and his new weight loss program which is something we can comfortably discuss because of Sandi’s graduate nutritional background



We met with GUVS (General Union of Voluntary Societies on Jan 10. This organization has imported six shipments of wheelchairs over the past three years. They have experienced issues with licenses, bills of lading, etc. Average cost of wheelchairs is under US$100.

2016-1-19 GUVS and LDSC Teams

GUVS and LDSC Teams

2016-1-19 Cullimores and GUVS President

Cullimores and GUVS President

2016-1-19 AHS Wheelchair fitting E Cullimore and Phillips

Elder Cullimore and Elder Phillips


We were able to host Elder and Sister Cullimore for several days. We took them to the Al Hussein Society (AHS) to observe the placement of some beneficiaries in wheelchairs that have been provided by LDSC (LDS Charities). This was our first experience seeing the fruits of the wheelchair project, and it was quite fulfilling. On this distribution day, about 15 people were fitted with new wheelchairs.

The little boy seen in the photos below was being lifted into his first wheelchair. The Physical Therapists measured him for the correct size chair and seat bottom cushion, then lifted him into position. He is lucky to have a mother and father who care about him, despite being poor. Heretofore, his parents had to carry him everywhere he needed to go. He was apprehensive at first, but look at the happiness on his face as he got put into position! He thinks the wheelchair is a very special toy. He clapped his hands as best he could. I had to turn away for a minute to get composure as I was overwhelmed with joy.

2016-1-19 AHS Wheelchair fitting 32016-1-19 AHS Wheelchair fitting 22016-1-19 AHS Wheelchair fitting 42016-1-19 AHS Wheelchair fitting 72016-1-19 AHS Wheelchair fitting 1

What a wonderful experience we will have over the next 22 months!



We have been very busy these first few weeks in January. Its exciting to think that we have already been on our mission for over a month! We have been sending out lots of emails and Natalee is trying to consolidate them on our blog. Some photos and snippets from our updates are below. Please let us know if you have any questions or if you would like to know more specifics about any of our projects. We love and miss you all! Thanks for reading our blog.

2016-1-3 My view

Reed’s view from our apartment window. Quite a bit different from what he looked at from our home in Inkom!

2016-1-8 Center Construction 4

Major construction going on in front of our apartment each day. They are turning this into a high speed roadway, so there will be no more parking spaces in front of the center.

From Sandra’s e-mail on January 7:

We got a new GPS for the car that runs 30% faster. That’s probably why we’re driving so confidently! We’ve made multiple visits to the fruit market, meat market and dry cleaners.

We start teaching institute next Tuesday and will probably open it up to the ward.This year for Institute, we’re going to discuss histories on each of the 50 Arabic hymns—one each week. We’ll then sing it in two languages, I’ll play, we’ll practice conducting, and have a treat related to it (like Johnny Cakes for Come, Come ye saints, etc.). We want it to be really interactive, practice leading, language and singing, learn some history and hopefully feel the spirit. I am playing just “okay” for the Arabic branch, and conducting in the English branch alternating with two other sisters.

We feel helped as we learn Arabic, and blessed as we associate with the good people in the branches, and as we work with such high quality partners that really value human life and want to eliminate suffering. We are energized as we see their own efforts. The Lord truly cares about the lovely people in this part of his vineyard. Each early morning we walk for 45 minutes in the park and feel the crispness of the air and take in the beauty of the trees and trails, and it reminds us of what a lovely world this can be—no matter where you are. How blessed we are to have good health and (at least partially) functioning minds for our age.

2016-1-7 (l-r) E:S Phillips, Amal Ireifij, Aseel Farraj RHAS

Met with the Director of Programs and the Senior Program Officer at Royal Health Awareness Society (RHAS) to discuss continuing support for diabetes screenings, mobile clinics, etc. LDSC donated $20k to their Healthy Kitchen project last year. We want to do something similar with them this year, as well as work with them on smoking cessation and drug addiction counseling programs.

The photos above are all from our visit to JOHUD (Jordanian Hasemite Fund for Human Development). We were able to meet with Qais Tarawneh, the Director of Social Support Programs. This organization has 57 Community Centers throughout Jordan. They have 5000 volunteers and 600 paid employees. We went to several different centers. One that works with “at risk” children (those who can’t feed their children, often they will marry their young daughters off to older men if they can give them money). These kids are “at risk” of not being educated, thus not being employable, falling into drug abuse and prostitution. One of their biggest challenges is getting the kids from their homes to the center. They have a bus but it doesn’t fit all 300+ program participants. We also visited the Princess Basma resource center, which provides services in East Amman. They teach family life skills, educate, vocational training, morality,they provide medical and dental care to needy families, government and entertainment education as well.

More updates to come soon…

Thank you all for your patience while Natalee gets caught up on our blog. We have been sending her lots of information, and we have been extremely busy so there is lots to report. We are happy, healthy, safe and working hard.

2016-1-5 John Bairuti (l) and Rami Nasar (r) Elder & Sister Phillips at Amman Center

Met with principals from the Schneller School.  They are digging ditches to bury water pipes so fresh drinking water can be streamed to each of their eight houses (of up to 20 people). Currently they have 110 students. The opening ceremony to commemorate this water project is being planned for March.

From Sandra’s E-mail on January 5:

Meeting with officials from the Schneller school where we (LDS Charities)
installed a water filtration system for 150+ orphans last month.
In the photos we are planning the ‘completion’ ceremony, as well as ideas
for their next project (heaters and windows for the rooms). We’ve also
been out to the facility in east Amman and will go again in a few weeks.
20 kids per “family” are housed in each of 8 rooms overseen by a “mother”
caregiver. They want the kids to have a family feeling as much as
possible. They are poor Jordanian kids and Palestinians with no parents,
or parents who don’t want them.
School, activities, eating and personal care all take place as if in a
regular home.
The rooms have no A/C in summer or heat (was 30 degrees 3 days ago) in
winter. Windows won’t close properly. Kids wear shoes, coats, scarfs,
hats, gloves indoors constantly. No proper bathroom for the boys.

The larger man pictured sitting at the table, used to be one of the
orphans, and now directs the whole operation. We gave them a tour of the
Center and I played How Great Thou Art on the piano–something I felt they
would recognize. He was so deeply touched when he saw our chapel, that he
sat down and just looked out over the pews. He asked more questions about
the Church (he’s a Christian). So we shared our testimonies which we’re
allowed to do if they are not a Muslim. He then asked if he could see
“this Book of Mormon in Arabic.” We had one…so I gave it to him. He
asked if he could come to Church Sunday. We’ll see what happens.
Man…so much need here on so many levels.

And we sit in a properly heated lovely room with snacks to make a plan.
Seems incongruent, but I realize it’s the way it is.

I’m especially sensitive to the cold these kids experience because we were
out in it ourselves for several hours on a field trip to another facility,
without proper coats or gloves/hats during that cold snap 3 days ago. I
was cold to the bone for hours. Poor little ones.