Why did we choose to name the school, Roy and Dora Whitman Academy?
Roy and Dora Whitman were a godly couple who were pioneer Christian workers in Jordan.
Roy Whitman came to the Middle East in 1925. He first went to Jerusalem to study Arabic and then a year later came to Jordan to the city of Salt and then moved to the capital.
Roy himself was a Third Culture Kid. His father was an American, and his mother was Portuguese/Black African. His parents met on a ship carrying them to do Christian work in the Congo.
When Roy was six, his parents began a life of Christian service in Nigeria and sent Roy away to a boarding school in England. He did not have the advantage of going to a school in the country where his parents were working.
Those of us who knew Roy felt that he was more British than American in his way of speaking and manner. He was excellent in Arabic and was a great preacher. He was often invited to travel to a neighboring Arab country to preach.
Dora Whitman grew up in England. The two first met at a spiritual life conference in England in 1922 and later began corresponding when Roy moved to the Middle East in 1925. But Dora felt called to Japan. Later God touched her heart for the Middle East. They married in1935 and came back to Jordan.
Roy and Dora had one child who survived only an hour and a half after he was born. They never could have any other children. They invested their lives in people, and many believers view them as their spiritual parents. When you mention the name of Roy and Dora Whitman Academy, many people from the Christian community will tell you a story about knowing him.
The Whitman’s lived a very frugal life. Most of the money that they received from supporters they gave away to others. They had a love for refugees, the poor, the blind, and the Bedouin. But most of all they wanted people to know Jesus.
Roy died on Christmas Day in 1992 in Mafraq, Jordan, at the age of 88. Dora died in the summer of 1994 just a month shy of her 89th birthday.
A book on Roy Whitman has been written in Arabic by one of the Jordanian believers who did many hours of personal interviews with the Whitman’s and with those they influenced. This book has been translated into English by George Kelsey.