Jibstay

Monday, March 05, 2007

Egypt Church??


The main reason Martha and I took a diversion from Kenya home via Cairo was because of a conversation with friends in Santa Barbara last November. Over a relaxing dinner, we met an Egyptian couple who are members of (he is a staf member) of a Presbyterian Church in Cairo that has a membership of about 4,000 and worships with a filled sanctuary every Sunday night. (Night because Sunday is not a recognized day off and Christians must worship after work). When we arrived at 7:00 pm, the sanctuary was already packed with all ages. We were led in Arabic songs by a worship team with words on a screen for about 45 minutes. They sang with a power that puts to shame most of our singing. The speaker was a visiting American (Joe White). One of the pastors recognized me and invited me to give the benediction. Afterwards we hung around and were warmly greeted for about an hour, getting home after 10 pm.

Then today, we visited the Garbage Church (not a post-modern title, but actually on a garbage dump). It began by a Coptic Orthodox monk in the 1970's in a carved out cave and now worships every Thursday night about 2-3,000 people who live in the garbage city, smells and all. The city is about 90% Christian because of this one monk's dedication to the abandoned people. Almost every "home" is filled with diferent types of trash being recylced and re-sold. The smells and aromas are beyond description...but there is the church.

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