I write this as I am returning from Egypt. The past week of my life spent in Cairo and in Luxor, Egypt, has taught me so much and has left me with a full spirit. When I landed in Cairo, I had no idea what to except from Egypt or from its beautiful people; this was my first time in Egypt, and in Northern Africa generally, and I was expectant for what the Lord had in store for the week. And in true divine fashion, the Lord did not disappoint.
After a day spent in Cairo, two of our contacts and I travelled south to the city of Luxor, where for the next 6 days we conducted leader meetings with a group of local church leaders, as well as ministered in local churches in the area. This group of leaders that we ministered to travelled from the cities of Cairo and Minya, Egypt, and they were expectant as well for what the Lord had in store for the week.
During the opening service the very first night, I felt the presence of the Holy Spirit in that place, and he was moving in my own heart and in the hearts of these young leaders. The Holy Spirit’s work continued throughout the entirety of the week! The following evening we ministered in a close-by village, just outside of Luxor. The tiny church was filled to the brim with primarily women and children, and the worship that filled that place was sweet and true. After teaching on the healing of the woman with the issue of blood in Mark chapter 5, I invited the many women in the church to, in the same way, reach out for the robe of Jesus in faith that he could and would heal them physically, emotionally, and mentally. After a time of prayer and laying on of hands, we had a handful of women share in front of the church about how the healing work of the Holy Spirit had worked inside their bodies and their hearts.
Throughout the rest of the week, as I had the opportunity to worship alongside of and to teach the leaders from around the area, I was so deeply touched by their hospitality and love—not only shown to me, but to one another. The Holy Spirit-inspired unity we are called to possess within the Body of Christ was truly evident among this group of believers and leaders, and I was blown away by it; I was also truly blessed by the fact that they wholeheartedly welcomed me into their community. By the end of the week spent with them, I considered them true friends and brothers and sisters in Christ. That is one of the most beautiful aspects of this faith that we share—the love of Christ spans culture, country, language, and ethnicity and joins together every tribe, nation, and tongue within the family of God. As I was able to pray individually for each of the leaders on the last day of the conference, I truly felt the Holy Spirit ministering uniquely to each one; and to end the entire conference, these leaders gathered around me, laid their hands on me, and prayed. I was overwhelmed by their Christ-like love and acceptance.
On the very night that I flew out of Cairo to head back home, I had the honor of preaching in the church of our contact in Cairo; I realized in this church service the true faith in and love for Christ that these Egyptians have. At this point in history, and at this precise location in the world, being a Christian is not an easy thing whatsoever. These Christian brothers and sisters of ours face hostility and persecution; their faithfulness to the truth of the Gospel and to Christ reminds me of the faithfulness portrayed in Hebrews chapter 11, where such heroes as Noah, Abraham, and Moses were able to live out their lives with undying trust in God, because they considered him faithful to his promises!
I pray that each and every one of us would emulate such faithfulness to Christ as well; also, let us never forget the sacrifices of these brothers and sisters in Christ, and to continually remember them in our prayers. To be able to minister to these ministers and congregations that daily face the reality of persecution is an honor. It is also such a blessing to be able to encourage them evangelistically, as they live in this harsh Muslim culture. The need for the Gospel in Egypt is great, and because of your prayers and partnership, we were able to infiltrate this dark part of the world with the Gospel and to encourage those believers already there to remain strong in the faith and be emboldened to share it with their Muslim neighbors as well.
One final thing. As you read this, my father is currently in Ethiopia, about to return from an outstanding crusade in rural Ethiopia, Africa. We give God glory for what He did at that crusade as well and look forward to sharing with you the stories from his trip next month! Thank you for your continued prayer and financial support that is helping us to take the Gospel to the ends of the earth.
For the Lost,