On Sunday our team made our way from Cairo to Aswan and have been enjoying our week here. Aswan is much smaller, and much more peaceful, than Cairo. However, everything here is spread out, so there has also been a lot of bus time.
Actually, being in Aswan, and visiting churches in the Aswan Presbytery, isn’t all that different than being in Yellowstone Presbytery. Everything, even churches, are simply spread out. And it takes intentional time and effort to visit and be with those churches.
Today we made a three-hour journey along the agricultural road, through a seemingly endless string of small villages and speed bumps to arrive in the village of Edfu. We began with a visit to the Edfu Temple, enjoying its beautiful scenes and rich history.
We then made our way through town to the church at Edfu, where we were warmly welcomed by its members and quickly ushered around a table for a feast reminiscent of a family Thanksgiving dinner.
Following a delicious lunch, we gathered in the sanctuary to hear from Pastor Rami about the ministry of the church of Edfu. Pastor Rami reflected on the past and present ministry of the church, then concluded with a word of thanks for showing up to visit. Edfu is far from other churches, far from places that visitors often show up. And yet, we showed up.
We came and shared a meal together. We came and gathered for a brief moment of worship. We came and fellowshipped together.
We showed up.
And there is power in showing up.
We’ve spent much of our trip showing up to simply be with people. It often doesn’t seem like enough, perhaps like we should be here building a church or working at the mission hospital, but showing up, the ministry of presence, is enough. There is power in being with people.
Afterall, isn’t that what God did for us? When we could do nothing for ourselves, God sent God’s only Son, Jesus Christ, Immanuel, God with us.
I am grateful for the opportunity to show up and be with church in Egypt, though I also look forward to being home and sharing more of these stories with you all.
Grace and peace,