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.