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.
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.