Sunday, August 07, 2011

Mabruuk! (Congratulations)

Dear Husband completed his Master of Divinity degree just days before we traveled to the States last June. At the time, life was a swirl of activity as Active Son graduated from high school and we helped him wrap up his life in Jordan in preparation of moving to the States from college--not to mention transitioning our family back to the US for seven months--and so we assumed that Dear Husband would not walk in the graduation ceremony to be held later that summer. No matter--what was important was that he was finished!

The opportunity to complete his MDiv was a gift from God: Dear Husband had completed a three-year masters of biblical studies + ministry degree 23 years prior, however it wasn't accredited. Dr. David Martin, who was the academic dean at Jordan Evangelical Theological Seminary (JETS) at the time Dear Husband approached the seminary about working on a degree, gathered up some of Dear Husband's academic work done in the States and some done in Middle East in the interim years, had him sit for some language tests, and then awarded him 48 of the 96 credits needed for his MDiv.

Dear Husband plugged away, part-time, on the remaining credits, taking regular and intensive courses from Jordanian and visiting US and European professors as time allowed. His favorite classes were Old Testament courses and Hebrew--much easier now that he knows Arabic, he says. He was allowed to submit papers in English but about half of his course work (reading, exams) was completed in Arabic. Dear Husband's very last course was Eschatology, in Arabic. Working so hard to keep up and succeed in this course, he was waking up at 4:30am with the dawn call to prayer--not voluntarily--and wasn't able to fall back asleep.

Due to circumstances, JETS didn't hold their graduation last summer, so last year's graduates were invited to walk this summer. With Dear Husband's completion of his degree a year past, there wasn't much motivation on his part for participating in a graduation ceremony. Dear Husband even contemplated missing it for a softball game (and the boys would have except that the other team providentially forfeited the day before). In the end, it was an unexpected celebration and official recognition of all the hard work of study that Dear Husband had so diligently completed and I am so glad that we were able to attend the graduation together.

The proud, though small family

I had Tatya grab this shot to contrast the Arab family shot with our own. It looked like the grandmothers came in from the village (note the head scarves). This young graduate had the largest family in attendance and thus received the loudest applause, yells, and undulations. Our dear friend undulated (shrill celebratory noise made by rolling the tongue) for Dear Husband so we weren't completely pathetic.

Wayne Grudem's Systematic Theology in Arabic

This was Dear Husband's graduation present from a church in Texas who donated them to JETS. He says he looks forward to reading them.


jlt said...

What a splendid accomplishment! Many congratulations to your husband. I know how much hard work that was.

Grudem in Arabic! Wow! I'm impressed. :)

stephanie said...

Hi there! Mabruuk indeed to your husband. I started reading your blog about a year ago when I was preparing to move to Jordan for a year and found you via Google.

I have since returned to America but still get your posts in my feed--and I was pleasantly surprised to see the second picture of the "large Arab family" in this post! That very blessed graduate was someone I had the privilege of serving with during the past year and a real asset to the local body. What a small world ;) Just had to comment!

Quotidian Life said...

Thank you, Joy and Stephanie, for the congratulations. Stephanie, I'm sorry I didn't meet you in Jordan but hope you had a good year here. I didn't know the young man in the picture and my husband didn't know him well either as he was working on his undergrad degree however this man did win the award for the highest GPA of any graduate. My husband says he is known as a very bright and promising seminarian. So nice to know that he is not only intelligent but a great servant to the local body. I'm glad you commented!

Woman of the House said...

Congratulations to your husband! It takes a lot of discipline and dedication to earn a degree while also working and being the head of a family. I'm happy for you all!

Anonymous said...

I'm desperately seeking a source for the arabic version of Grudem's Systematic Theology. Please contact me at Thank you!