Fiona and Joel Kelling, Jordan

Fiona and Joel Kelling, Jordan

Working alongside local churches to care for vulnerable groups to strengthen the mission of the Church in the Middle East.

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As a result of regional conflict, the indigenous and migrant Christian populations of the Middle East are in need of support. A third of Jordan’s population are refugees from Syria, Iraq and Palestine, and Jordan has become a regional hub for the response to ongoing humanitarian crises.

Joel works with the Anglican Alliance and the Anglican Province of Jerusalem and the Middle East, covering the dioceses of Cyprus and the Gulf, Egypt and North Africa, Iran, and Jerusalem. He is building the capacity of churches within the region and facilitating the educational, health and youth development activities across the province. He is also strengthening relationships between the diverse Christian communities. Fiona is hoping to use her experience in humanitarian response to support refugee and marginalised populations currently residing in Jordan. She is currently volunteering with the Urban Shalom Society in an administrative role.

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Fiona and Joel’s story

Having both grown up in Christian families, our faith has always influenced our values and career choices. We met in Oxford in 2009 while studying development and emergency practice and began our relationship after travelling to Israel, Palestine and Jordan together. Afterwards, Fiona worked in Haiti following the 2010 earthquake, while Joel completed his architectural qualifications.

We married in 2014 and moved to the Philippines to work with a team responding to Typhoon Haiyan. Arriving in Jerusalem in 2015, Fiona worked with the UN to facilitate the provision of timely and effective shelter assistance in the West Bank and Gaza, while Joel began volunteering at St George’s Anglican Cathedral as the assistant to the dean. This exposed us both to the need to support the indigenous Christian presence within the region, the importance of interfaith exchange and the huge and complex humanitarian needs that exist in the Middle East. Living in Jerusalem has also deepened our faith and understanding, both of the landscape and the call of the gospel.

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