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Volunteers join Jordanian Baptists in tackling Iraq’s rebuilding needs

RICHMOND, Va. (BP)–Southern Baptist volunteers are beginning to make some headway in helping Iraqis rebuild their country.

A team of students from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas, arrived in northern Iraq the first week of June to partner with the Jordanian Baptist Society on three projects: remodeling a school auditorium, laying groundwork for a women’s literacy training project and installing computers in an Internet café.

Both school children and local government leaders will benefit from the school auditorium-remodeling project. Not only will the pupils’ educational opportunities be advanced, but the auditorium also serves as the meeting place for local leaders, who are working to bring stability and order to the country following the war.

One of Iraq’s pressing problems is illiteracy among Iraqi women. An estimated 76.7 percent of the country’s 12.4 million women cannot read or write. The volunteers will lay the groundwork for a women’s literacy training project.

The Americans and Jordanians also have joined forces to install computers in a new Internet café that is being opened. Internet access will provide information-hungry Iraqis with a portal to the outside world.

Southern Baptists who have given to the International Mission Board’s Iraq relief fund have made all the rebuilding projects possible.

“It’s going to take time, and it’s going to take a lot of effort,” said one observer. “It’s also going to take Southern Baptists like these students who are willing to come here and stand in the gap and share the love of Jesus Christ.

“But the results will have an eternal impact.”
(BP) photo posted in the BP Photo Library at http://www.bpnews.net. Photo title: OPENING DOORS TO INFORMATION.

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  • Mark Kelly