Our Life in Sweden

Jonathan & Sofia Morgan

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Author: Sofia (page 1 of 15)

Snapshot from a visit

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As part of our language and culture learning we go and visit peoples homes. Many of the families we’ve gotten to know are refugees from Palestine, Syria and Iraq. I took this photo the other day when we visited a family who recently fled one of the ongoing wars. It’s an amazing privilege learning language this way, through hearing stories from these peoples life. Stories of loss, trauma but also of great courage and faith.

Springtime

Spring has arrived! Here's a picture of The Citadel, a large roman ruin right in the heart of Amman. As you can see this time of year it's surrounded by grass and spring flowers. This is definitely our favorite season yet, the city and it's hills are green and the temperature is about 20 C warm.

Spring has arrived! Here’s a picture of The Citadel, a large roman ruin right in the heart of Amman. As you can see this time of year it’s surrounded by grass and spring flowers. This is definitely our favorite season yet, the city and it’s hills are green and the temperature is about 20 C warm.

 

30 minutes from Amman lies a smaller city called Madaba, known to be an ancient christian city. The other weekend we had a lovely picnic on the fields surrounded by olive trees.

30 minutes from Amman lies a smaller city called Madaba, known to be an ancient christian city. The other weekend we had a lovely picnic on the fields surrounded by olive trees.

Wadi Rum – Exploring the desert

Due to language learning and settling into life here we haven’t really shared any pictures from the trips we’ve done. So here are some pics from when we stayed over night in Wadi Rum (desert area in Jordan) in September to celebrate my 30th Birthday. We rode camels, met shepherd boys on donkeys, ate tasty bedouin food that was cooked under the sand, listen to our two bedouin hosts playing arabic songs next to the fire, under a starlit sky. All in all a magical experience!

 

 

Här är några foton från en utflykt vi gjorde i September för att fira min 30 årsdag. Vi övernattade i Wadi Rum, ett ökenområde i Jordanien, ca 4 timmar från Amman. Vi åkte sandjeep, red kamel, åt traditionell beduin mat som kokats i sanden, satt under stjärnklar himmel bredvid en eld och lyssnade på våra guider som sjöng arabiska sånger, allt mitt ute i djupaste öknen. En magisk och oförglömlig upplevelse.

Wes Anderson – World Refugee Day

It’s World Refugee Day today!

Here’s is clip with one of our favorite movie directors, Wes Anderson, sharing a few wise thoughts on refugees. We recently went to see his latest movie, Grand Budapest Hotel, and absolutely loved it.

If you’d like to partner with us when we move to Jordan in August to study arabic and work with Syrian refugees please visit this site!

Things we’ve learned

This year we have some big changes ahead of us, which we’ll fill you in on in another blog post. All this talk of change got us reflecting on the lessons we’ve learned in the two and a half years since we left Europe. Here are some of the big ones:

Coaching vs Handouts

One of the big assumptions that we westerners make about the majority world is that they just need more stuff (money, clothes, etc). Oftentimes these places are rich in resources but poor in education and good leadership. Coaching encourages people to ask ‘what do I have’ instead of ‘what do I lack?’ and sets them on a course towards seeing themselves as agents of change.

Work yourself out of a job

It’s challenging to be surrounded by so much need and it’s easy to start to think that you are the answer, especially when you might have been privileged with education, experience and skills. We’ve learned that if you want to see lasting change, it’s better to go slow and make sure you pass on your knowledge to someone who’s going to be around long after your visa expires. Preferably someone from the community who speaks the language and knows the culture.

Never stop learning

When working in a culture that’s not our own we’ve realized it’s important to have the attitude of a learner. That means asking questions more than you try to give answers. It also means spending a lot of time hanging out with people, although it doesn’t always feel “productive.” One of the things we wish we’d done from day 1 is to have learned one of the local languages. Doing this would have helped us build deeper relationships and understand the culture better.

Bottom-up change

The best, most long lasting change is bottom-up, rather than top-down. It’s when people and communities take responsibility for the neighbours and circumstances around them. Top-down change is about coercion, about doing something because there’s a rule that says “you must…” Bottom-up change encourages communities to grow. It draws out leaders on a micro level.

Servant leadership

We’ve already touched on it a little, but our favourite type of leadership is servant leadership. It’s no mistake that Jesus told his disciples that the one who wants to be first should be the servant of all. He knew that leading through humility, through putting others first, has power. It speaks into people’s hearts rather than just their sense of obligation.

Have fun

It felt as if we moved to Kommetjie just at the right time. A hectic work season, intense house situation as well as having lived in a township – where you can’t escape the harshness of poverty, all got too much for us. Our surfing friends here inspired us to enjoy life to it’s full and we realized that we couldn’t sustain our work if we didn’t have an outlet. Now we try to look for fun and adventure wherever we go.

Pray a lot

We’ve prayed a lot more this year for the things that have been on our hearts. It’s been a wild journey and we’ve re-learned that change happens when we pray with passion. Although we’ve seen many answered prayers, circumstances changed dramatically, the best lesson has been that we’ve experienced a change inside of ourselves – new perspectives, clarity, peace, hope and joy have all come as a result of praying. God is good!

 

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