Today, we visited Jordan’s most famous attraction — the Rose City of Petra. In the deep crevaces of the mountains, the ancient Nebateans carved from the rose-colored stones great monuments, tombs, and temples. Walking among them was one of the most awe-inspiring times of my life.

We got a late start, because we had to wait for an official okay from the Jordanian government and the American embassy to leave the hotel. We are under very tight guard now, and there are soldiers everywhere, automatic weapons at the ready. It’s a sad, new reality for this small country — their own 9/11 experience.

We are a subdued group today, not much of the usual teasing and laughter. We spent time talking a lot with Ali, our guide, who asked the question none of us can answer: “What do they want from us?”

No country in all the world has done more to accommodate Palestinian refugees. And in the last two years, countless Iraqi refugees have arrived, and Jordan has welcomed them, too.

What do the terrorists want from Jordan? What do they want from Spain or London or the U.S.? Probably, there are myriad answers to that question, but one thing is certain. They want to create fear and confusion — the kind currently reigning in Amman. The kind being held at bay with great effort in Petra.

We are here, we are staying. We will finish this time in this holy place. To do otherwise is to let the terrorists win.

I ask your prayers again for the people of Jordan, who have worked so hard to create a safe, peaceful, tolerant country of refuge. Please pray for Hatim, our driver, whose wife and children live so near to the Hyatt that they felt the blast of the bomb. Pray for Amahl, whose family in Aljoun worry now for her safety as she travels with the Americans. And pray for Ali, whose wife spent the entire night last night in tears as she watched over their two young sons, praying for peace in her country and for her husband’s safety.

I am grateful for your prayers and emails. And despite the devastation of last night and the tense situation of today, I am so very grateful to be here.

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