King Abdullah II of Jordan story — why Wheaton people are amazing

Dear Reader,

This last week, I wrote a story which ended up being titled, “King Abdullah II’s approval high, students say.” I was pleased with the title because it simultaneously captures the subject, the event, who I interviewed and how it applies to the student body.

It was published in The Wheaton Record’s Feb. 13 issue 20, and you can read it online here.

I learned about the event during a car ride to Minneapolis, MN — the editor in chief and the managing editor were discussing the week’s upcoming issue during the 6-hour trip — and knew that I wanted to write about it. Here’s how our managing editor pitched the idea:

“So the King of Jordan said that he’s going to personally lead airstrikes against ISIS!” (Or something close to that.)

How could I not be interested? Imagine Barack Obama picking up a rifle or jumping in a cockpit to teach the IS a lesson! If the leader of Jordan was going to be spearheading a bombing run, it meant something huge about the difference in value placed on honor and military displays of power between the US and Jordan.

Those rumors turned out to be false, but still pointed to the level of approval that King Abdullah II enjoyed.

The story also promised great interviews with students who studied or worked abroad in Jordan over the last few semesters (our managing editor being one of them — shh!) so I took on the story and was not disappointed with the material I collected from the dialogues.

Perhaps the most substantial lesson I learned from writing this story is that Wheaton has some amazing people. Four of these students travelled to the water-poor and threatened state of Jordan to pursue what they individually loved. Terrorist activity is high in Jordan — mostly targeted against US citizens — and violent demonstrations break out frequently. But Wheaton was still willing to send them there — one student went through a HNGR (Human Needs and Global Resources) internship, which means that Wheaton trained her specifically for her experience in Jordan. For all the talk about Wheaton being the safest place in the world, it sends its students to some of the unsafest places for the sake of experience, learning and spreading the gospel.

Much respect, Wheaton.

-Kirk

Photo credits to The Royal Correspondent

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