Greetings from Cairo!
Our full team of 10 arrived safely and we had a great first day in Egypt! We’re all a little jet-lagged, but we enjoyed spending the day at the Sakkara complex, which includes the oldest building in the world to use hard stone, seeing the inside of a pyramid, and the beautiful paintings in the tomb of a noble. And we ended our day with dinner on the Nile.
Even though this is my fifth visit to Egypt, every time I come, I continue to learn more about the beautiful and rich history of Egypt. The Sakkara complex is from the Old Kingdom of Egypt’s Pharaonic Period (approximately 2575-2139 BCE), which is almost a thousand years before God revealed God’s self to Abraham, and promised to bless Abraham and his family and to make them a great nation.
I think sometimes we forget that before God revealed God’s self to Abraham, giving us the roots of our faith tradition, God was still present in the world.
All through the Sakkara complex the images reveal people who are trying to make sense of how the world worked, which led to their understanding of the gods. They noticed many of the things we know to be true, the sun rises each day, the weather comes in seasons (in this case the flood of the Nile), the fields produce in season. And they explained these phenomenas by attributing them to the gods. And from there, the ancient Egyptians developed a system of faith, both for their life on the earth and for the life to come. A faith we saw beautifully illustrated on the walls of the pyramids, temples, and tombs.
And so, while the ancient Egyptians have a very different concept of gods than revealed to us in Scripture, we can see glimpses of God through the history and religious identity of ancient Egypt. And that’s the thing about God, if we look, God can be found anywhere and God is found everywhere.
Though we are thousands of miles away from home, surrounded by an unfamiliar language and unfamiliar customs, God is here. We’ve already seen it, and I’m confident we will continue to see God all around us.
Thanks for your prayers thus far, and for the rest of our travels. We are looking forward to continuing to learn about the rich history of this country and to build connections with the Church here in Egypt! And we can’t wait to share more with you!
Grace and peace,