I have built a magnificent temple for you, a place for you to dwell forever.” (2 Chronicles 6:2)
The day Friday, February 24, 2023 was a day to remember. It is a historic day that marked the inauguration of a new church in Al-Wahadneh, Ajloun Governorate, northern Jordan, which is referred to as "the Township of the living St. Elijah". On this day, people flocked from all parts of Jordan to Al-Wahadneh township to celebrate a great event in the history of Christianity in Jordan.
What is outstanding and significant in this inauguration is that this church was financially designed and renovated by Fr. Emanuel Bader. Building this church was the brainchild of Fr. Manuel Bader who has returned from Germany after serving for 46 years in the Archdiocese of Paderborn. After being away for so many years, he wanted to offer something to his hometown and the town of his childhood, namely Al-Wahadneh. He mostly wanted to present to the Christian community in Jordan something tangible that would consolidate faith in Lord Jesus Christ as well as help entrench peace and love among the residents of the area.
He says that after he returned to his beloved township, namely Al-Wahadneh, he looked for undertaking a suitable project that he would finance in toto. He says that he proposed financing several projects as some of which were rejected while others did not seem feasible until the time when he entered the dilapidated condolence hall in Al-Wahadneh township which would collapse any time. He thought of transforming it into a church. He was personally convinced that this was a feasible project to turn the site into a church. So at a time when this hall that was about to crumble, it later turned into a beautiful church that significantly provide cogent evidence that faith in the Lord is still enrooted in this region where Prophet Elijah stayed preaching faith in the great Lord Who was incarnated and was given the noblest name ever, namely Jesus Christ.
Fr. Manuel says, "This project provides cogent evidence that my love for the Church had been unshakable as well as my faith in my Creator Who accompanied me all the time and protected me in all paths of life."
He says that the money spent on the construction is not important, for what is actually important is to go to this church and pray. He adds, "I fully covered the expenses of building this church for the glory of the Lord Who stood by me during my 46 years is the diaspora."
During the inauguration ceremony, Fr. Manuel Bader enthusiastically delivered a welcoming address and noted how the idea of building this church, named 'The Church of the Christian Cemetery in Al-Wahadneh' and converting it from a ruined hall into an official church, came to his mind. He added that he presents this church to all his family members and relatives of Al-Wahadneh township. He also explained the symbols he used to establish this church, namely Jacob's ladder at the entrance of the church, the big cross on its southern side, in addition to the appropriate renovations, including the marble floor, the staircase, the balustrade, and the wonderful temple area as well as the tiles which add beauty to the church.
Latin Patriarchal Vicar for Jordan Bishop Jamal D'aibes thanked Fr. Manuel for this initiative and blessed the church built in the Christian cemetery. A Holy Mass was celebrated which started by the bishop sprinkling blessed water on the walls of the church from the inside and the outside, while all believers sang Psalm 50: “Have mercy on me, O God, according to your great mercy.”
Many thanks go to Fr. Emanuel Bader as the project he has financially shouldered in toto is something to proud of, as the Holy Bible states, "Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God. (Hebrews 13:16)
By Munir Bayouk/ en.abouna.org