New Church Development in Egypt - May 2019 Update
Then he said to me [Ezekiel], "Prophesy to these bones and say to them, `Dry bones, hear the word of the LORD! This is what the Sovereign LORD says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life.’”
A ninety minute drive south of Luxor, along muddy canals and through sleepy villages, brings you to Adaima, a place that, like much of rural Egypt, seems a bewildering mix of past and present: a languid donkey “parked” alongside a dusty Toyota in front of a farm stand selling Pepsi and plump pomegranates, batteries, and bananas…
We pull up to a colorless, three-story mud-brick façade, where the only obvious clue that we have arrived at the Presbyterian Church is the equally colorless cross over the well-worn courtyard door. The door swings open and out bursts Rev. Shenouda Girgis to greet our Outreach Foundation team – we have arrived at our family-by-faith!
Established in 1909 by the American Mission, the congregation would not have its first building until 1934 after an elder donated a plot of land. For decades, only missionaries and visiting pastors served the church until 1992 when Rev. Reda Farag came. His nineteen years of sacrificial service here nurtured and shepherded this small “flock” until Rev. Shenouda arrived in 2010 with a renewing vision and energy that is guided by the Synod of the Nile’s church revitalization project. They now have sixty members, but more than two hundred people are involved in the ministries of the church: Bible studies, Sunday School, a university fellowship, home prayer groups, outreach to a neighboring village. The Adaima Church is also partnering with the Islamic Community Group in service projects that “build love and understanding.”
One of the biggest challenges for the Adaima congregation has been the small, crumbling building which has little space for gatherings or meetings and whose “ancient” infrastructure is well beyond repair. Thankfully, the Synod of the Nile has found funds to rebuild the church, helped, in part, by The Outreach Foundation, and the work is now well underway.
Recently, Rev. Sheouda joyfully shared photos of the renovation now underway: not only will there be a sturdy and spacious new sanctuary but a large meeting space which will allow them to host small conferences that will equip and encourage Christians from the surrounding villages. He is so eager to see this work completed that he is working alongside the builders!
On our most recent stop in Adaima, Rev. Shenouda shared that “Adaima” means “bones,” and referenced Ezekiel’s question “can these dry bones live?” Thanks be to God; we saw the answer all around us!
Associate Director for Partnership Development
Read more about New Church Development in Egypt HERE.
The Outreach Foundation is seeking $7,000 a month to support the planting/revitalization of Presbyterian churches in Egypt. Make a gift HERE or by sending a check to our office.