Being Strong and Courageous

"Be strong and courageous; do not be frightened or dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”  Joshua 1:9

The church in the Middle East lives by these words of God to Joshua. They are strong and courageous despite their vulnerability. The church in Egypt is no exception.

Christians represent only 10% of the population in Egypt, and Presbyterians are only 10% of the 10%! Nonetheless, they are bold in their witness as they live out the gospel message of loving their neighbors, no matter if the neighbors are Christian or Muslim. Whether a large city church or an old rural village church, they know their purpose is to reach out in love to each other and their neighbors.

 "Amir” standing in the new church, awaiting funds to continue construction .

"Amir” standing in the new church, awaiting funds to continue construction.

The Evangelical (Presbyterian) Church of Egypt is busy planting and revitalizing churches. The Synod has planted 17 new churches this year alone. They are also working hard to construct new churches on parcels of land given to them by the government in new satellite cities. The photo shows a fourth year seminary student, Amir (not his real name) who serves as pastor of the new El Sadat City church, one of the land grant churches. The church currently meets in a house. The photo resembles a destroyed building more than a new church, as it is still under construction. They build until they run out of funds, raise more funds, then begin construction again. 

In conjunction with the Evangelical Theological Seminary of Cairo, the church is sending pastors out, not only in Egypt but also into the world. They recently sent a young pastor to serve the Presbyterian church in Basrah, Iraq. They have also sent pastors to Gaza, Sudan, Ethiopia and other Middle East and European countries.

But most importantly, they are showing the love of Jesus, whether it is through the large Presbyterian church in Alexandria that is financially supporting 40 Syrian refugee families – all extremist Muslims or the small 125 year old Presbyterian church in Fayoum, Egypt, situated in a Muslim extremist area. They, too, reach out by offering a preschool program and a clinic, largely serving Muslim families. The Muslims ask why the church does what it does. Their answer is that Christ told them to love their neighbors like themselves.

Pray for their safety and their unbridled witness in the name of Jesus.

 Outreach Trustee Nancy Fox (R) with the new pastor being sent to the Presbyterian Church in Basrah, Iraq.

Outreach Trustee Nancy Fox (R) with the new pastor being sent to the Presbyterian Church in Basrah, Iraq.

Tom Widmer
Director of Development