Jessica Boy, CRWM’s placement advisor for Canada, recently joined six others from North America on the Egypt Vision Trip 2017. She shares her emotions and experiences here.
Travelling to the Middle East was not on my radar. The modern-day stories of violence and atrocities against women that permeate North American news kept me away. But something twinged in me when the Egypt Vision Trip was introduced. I heard a small voice say “you’re going on this” and I responded with reserved delight.
Upon arriving, our guide posed the question “Where was Moses raised?” With that question ringing in our ears, we visited the pyramids where we spent the day under the desert sands to find expansive chambers filled with mind-blowing artistry.
Out of the ancient world we entered the much newer world of Coptic Christian Cairo. We explored an Egypt that is known as the first Christian nation. Walking the streets, we met surprises at every turn. From Coptic Christian youth singing praises to carefully crafted mosaics and paintings depicting Jesus’ life adorning the walls of temples and streets.
As we ventured into modern day Egypt, we were introduced to some challenges faced by the Christian community. Our host arranged a visit with the largely underfunded public Christian ‘Salaam’ schools to meet with teachers and help them practice their English. What a privilege to hear their stories and attempt to encourage them in our small way.
We also met men who have left the Muslim faith. For these men to choose Jesus is to choose a life on the run with a price on their heads, with no law to protect them. Yet, for the men we met, they declared it was worth it. They asked us not to pray for their protection, but instead for their spouses – for their families to come to the Lord, to have companionship on this life journey. It was a sober reminder of the qualities that make each of our lives and our faith more bearable.
We spoke with a man whose God-given passion for Egypt results in his daily sunrise prayer over the city. He believes revival is imminent in Egypt and has pages of names sent with requests for prayer. As we prayed with him, he added our names to the growing list.
Egypt was filled with so many surprises, so many beautiful encounters, and a rich Christian heritage. I cannot express my experience in a way that feels justifiable. The Middle East is teeming with life that is largely overridden in the news that reaches North America.
To have the privilege to witness this raw refined faith, to encourage those tired on their journey, and to be encouraged in turn leaves me continually in awe. My faith has been deeply impacted, my witness expanded, and my heart broken by knowing that we belong to such a brave and courageous family of believers.
May we have the eyes to see and the ears to hear all that is happening in Egypt. As God continues to call each of us deeper into His work, I ask you to consider how He is calling you to participate in the work happening in the Middle East.