Egypt Day 4: Moassat

by Kimmy Briggs for the team

“I am about to do a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?”   Isaiah 43:19

Today the group broke into three groups to visit churches for worship. I had the opportunity to visit the Moassat Church, just outside of Cairo. This was my third visit to Moassat and today, I hardly recognized it when we arrived. The building looks nothing like it once did.

There is now a structure for four floors with much of the first floor nearing completion including a “small” chapel (it was still larger than their rented space, but smaller than the new worship space will be), which is being used for worship, two clinic rooms with some basic equipment, a sanctuary that will eventually seat 500 people, and the beginning of a nursery. 

But what really makes this church is its people. From the moment we entered, we were welcomed by everyone, men, women and children alike. Three young people led lively music, and the congregation sang loudly and boldly. At least five different lay people participated in the service. And at prayer time, multiple congregation members stood and prayed extemporaneously. 

And then we met Elder Moniera, an aging man. When Ekram (the pastor)  began talking about building a church, Moniera, a man who had very little, came to Ekram with a few Egyptian pounds, saying, “this is the money for my coffin. I will give it to the church, because I trust the church will take care of me when I die.”

Another Elder, as we toured the church, pointed out the window to the crosses on a church down the street. He said, “I cannot wait for us to put a cross on our church, so that when I look out my window I will be able to point to my church.”

And then there is Reverend Ekram. From this first time we met, I have been blown away by his faith, vision and dreams. Even before there was a building, Ekram had a vision for a place that would be a Light in the darkness of Moassat. He is passionate and excited about the ministry he is doing. He pours himself into each ministry, whether it is Sunday School for the children or social time for the teens or home visits for the new families. And, even more, he is longing for the day when he and his family will be able to move into their apartment in Moassat, for he wants to live among the people he is called to serve. 

I have often wondered how Ekram has such vision, something often so lacking in our churches at home. I don’t have an answer, but I do know that Ekram’s faith in God is greater than his faith in the things of this world. He has complete confidence that God will provide for every need and that one day, some day, this building will be complete and God will be glorified.

And so I am confident that this is only the beginning. I firmly believe that God has great things in store for the church in Moassat. And I cannot wait to see what new thing God will do next!

May it be so.

Rev. Kimmy Briggs
Clairmont Presbyterian Church