Greetings from the Land of Cedar to our dear friends and families. We hope you are “flourishing like a palm tree and growing like the cedar of Lebanon.” (Psalm 92:12)
Leadership Development and Pastoral Care Ministry in Egypt
We just finished a 4-day leadership training conference with about 100 people for churches in the Egyptian Baptist Convention. This was the first training of its kind for the Convention, where the pastors and church leaders learn together. This will help the leadership team of each church to dream together and share a common vision. Some churches have already started the process of discernment, where they start to ask some hard questions about the future of their churches. There was also a sense of reunion and unity between different churches after many years of not having such a gathering. There is a deep desire for follow-up and to continue this training in different regions of the country.
Reading the Book of Exodus in a Middle Eastern Context
Unfortunately, our communities used to live under oppressive regimes. With time, we do not question these “realities,” as if nothing can be changed. There is always a sense of “pride” because we have learned to adapt and live in these times of hardships. As we studied the book of Exodus, our students have learned about a God who can deliver his own people from the oppressive Egyptian regime to create “new realities” and he chose a leader like Moses to accomplish his goal. The purpose of this course was to encourage these future leaders of the Arab Church to question the “realities of today” and to envision communities liberated by the mighty hands of God. This vision ignites new hopes in the hearts of these leaders to join God in his liberating activities in our communities today. Our students have also learned how to read the story of the golden calf with their Muslim friends. Usually, students have some concerns about this exercise. They think that the conversation with their Muslim friends might be controversial in nature. After the meeting, one of the students said, “It is not hard to have a conversation with my Muslim friend as I first thought. Indeed, I enjoyed our conversation.” Another stated, “I have learned that reading the Bible with my Muslim friend is simpler than I ever imagined. It is a very powerful tool for discipleship.” It is indeed very encouraging to see that future leaders of the Arab Church are open to read the Word of God with their neighbours and friends.
June was a flourishing month for us as a family. Timmy got baptised, and also graduated from high school. Emad’s parents came from Egypt to celebrate these special events with us. We give praise for these milestones in Timmy’s life.
As a family, we will be going back to Canada from August to November to see as many of you as possible and to visit your churches. We are looking forward to such visits. As you know, there are many things we need to work on as we prepare for this visit. We really appreciate your prayers for us as a family during this time.
We really appreciate your continuous prayers and support. Looking forward to seeing you all in Canada soon.