I’m not entirely sure what day it is…or what time it is…I’m writing from the airport in Paris, awaiting my final flight to Cairo. I’ve been traveling for somewhere around 24 hours, with about another 12 still to go.
But by the time you read this, I’ll be in Cairo, hopefully with a little more sleep and united with my team, and ready to begin this adventure. Our team will spend most of Thursday visiting the beautiful churches of Old Christian Cairo, including the place rumored to be where Joseph, Mary and Jesus slept, for at least a night, while in Egypt.
And then, on Friday, we start visiting churches! And actually, I’ll be preaching at one of those churches Friday afternoon. Preaching in Egypt is always a privilege, and I don’t take lightly the invitation to enter the pulpit and the responsibility of proclaiming good news and hope.
It is always a joy to share in worship with the church in Egypt. Even when we don’t share the same language, the spirit and joy of worship transcends the language barrier. It’s a tiny glimpse of what I think Pentecost might have bene like.
I’m particularly excited about preaching in this particular church, El Shihk Zayed. Seven years ago, on my first trip to Egypt, we met the brand-new pastor of the church and drove to see the land they had been given to build a church. At the time, having a church and having a building, were just a dream. In fact, I have a picture of our group holding the dirt of that land, praying that the hope and dream of planting a church in the community of El Shihk Zayed would come to fruition.
I haven’t returned to that church since, but I know I’m preaching in a building. For the last seven years God has been up to something. So, I’m excited to get the details and hear the story of how the church went from some dirt on a parcel of land to a building filled with people.
Because I’m struck by that kind of hope and imagination. I’m struck by the faith it takes to show up, dream a dream, and do something new.
That’s the kind of faith, hope and imagination I long to have.
Thank you for your prayers as we travel. I’ll do my best to get posts up to Facebook as we journey, but I promise I will share plenty of stories on my return.
Grace and peace
P.S. Stay warm in Montana, I probably shouldn’t brag about the beautiful 70+ degrees it will be in Egypt.