Encouraged by the Faith of Brothers and Sisters in Egypt
Egypt has at times presented us with realities that don't fit with the boxes we normally put things in. Today brought one such occurrence. We were visiting the church in Adaima, about an hour and a half south of Luxor. Pastor Shenouda and some church members welcomed us as we arrived. It was especially joyful for them, since two of our group are from the West Hills Presbyterian Church in Omaha. That church has had a relationship with Al Adaima, and members have visited a couple of times before.
After greeting one another and having tea, we went downstairs for a time of worship with church members. You can see some of the ladies in the accompanying picture. No, those are not Muslim ladies – they are Christians. That attire is traditional dress for women here and in other Arab countries, going back many, many years. Some more conservative as well as radical Muslims have taken it to be what is required of Muslim women, but other Muslims say this isn't what Mohammed referred to and is not required in Islam! We finished our worship together by getting into small groups of Americans and Egyptians and praying for one another, a very special time.
Some things may not fit our boxes, but other things do. On the way back we also visited a small, struggling church in Al Maries. Their building is nearly 100 years old and in bad shape. They have about 30-35 in worship. Their worship and Sunday School are led by a team from the Luxor church, which also sends teams to another small church and a new church development. Al Maries is similar to many small churches in the U.S., that struggle to survive and flourish. The difference is that, if Al Maries doesn't succeed, the government will take their land, and the Presbyterians (as well as other Christians) will never get it back.
As we continue to see what God is doing, we also continue to be encouraged and challenged by the faith of our brothers and sisters in difficult circumstances. Join us in praying with and for them.
ECO Director of Global Engagement