Egypt Day 5: Living Out Their Faith and Letting Christ's Light Shine
by Patti Gatzke for the team
Early this morning we said goodbye to Cairo and flew south to Luxor in Upper Egypt. It is "Upper Egypt" because it is up river from Cairo - the Nile flows north. It is a beautiful area with many flowers and palm trees. It is my vision of an oasis in the desert. Luxor was the capital of the late Egyptian Empire and there are still many reminders of that great empire here.
We started our day with a drive through rich farm land to the city of Qena to visit the Evangelical church and meet pastors from two other nearby communities. As in our other visits we were humbled and inspired by the passion for Jesus we saw in these men, the elders and the congregation members we met. These servants are all committed to their roles before God not only in their churches but also in their communities. Their care for their members is only surpassed by their concern for their neighbors regardless of their denomination or religion. Reaching out in faith with the love of Jesus is their priority. They all have sports ministries and Sunday Schools to reach children and teens. Most have nurseries to provide care for children while parents are at work. Some establish medical or dental clinics staffed by volunteer doctors and others are planning one. The bottom line is that they show the love of Jesus to everyone around them by their presence and actions and it is driven by their faith in our Almighty God.
As we toured the Luxor Temple this evening we were again reminded of the deep roots of faith in God throughout Egyptian history. Even during Pharaonic times, faith in the God (Amun) was an important part of the lives of all of the people. In the late dynastic period this faith began to falter as the pharaohs sought to make themselves as god. When their humanness became apparent, the faith of the people in their God waned. This was the beginning of the end of the great Egyptian Empire.
Faith in God and the commitment to act on that faith is critical for all societies. The faith in God by Evangelical churches here in Egypt allows the light of Christ to shine to all around them.
"Live as children of light for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth and find out what pleases the Lord." Ephesians 5:8-9
Let us all live in faith and the light of Jesus!!
Patti and Ron Gatzke