Egypt Update: Monday in Upper Egypt
We began this Monday morning by loading the van in the morning and heading an hour north to the village of Qus. The Presbyterian church there is one of the three oldest in the country, It was founded on 1869, At that time it was very large, but has shrunk in recent years to only five people without much pastoral leadership for twenty years. All of that has changed with the arrival of lay pastor Wallid. He began serving the Qus Church while entered in the lay pastor program at Evangelical Theological Seminary in Cairo and has now been there for three years. He has worked actively at visitation and the church is growing by leaps and bounds. Best of all, they understand their need to serve the immunity. Wallid was hit by a vehicle in December and now sports a large metal brace on his leg. Please keep him in prayer. We boarded a ferry boat in Qus to cross the Nile to head to our next stop. It cost us all of two pounds each...less than 40 cents. It was the most authentic Egyptian experience possible. The boat resembled the one from "The African Queen" and included a shaggy calf and some interesting people. As we chugged along we saw women washing clothes on the bank, men fishing with nets, and one man attempting to wash a sheep.
We landed at Negada and visited the church there. This church is served by a pastor that is aging and in need of new leadership with new vision. A wonderful elder named Usama met with us. He and others are trying to make a difference. We prayed with him just as we do with all of those with whom we meet.
Next stop was the Swiss Mission Hospital in Negada. This hospital was opened five years ago by Swiss Christians. They are self-sustained, and offering excellent medical care including specialized surgeries at a nominal cost. They do this all in the name of Christ.
We ended the day with a cultural experience as we visited the temple of Queen Hatchepsut. This queen ruled about 4,000 years ago, having usurped the thrown from her stepson...but he later got back at her in an early history case of vandalism in which he attempted to damage or remove her image wherever it appeared at the temple. In spite of this, it is absolutely magnificent.
We thank you for your prayers. We are quite safe, and learning a lot...especially about God's power and presence.