I've Moved!

My new blog is called Reflections from a Global Nomad, in order to acknowledge that we no longer live in Maadi and that we are, in fact, global nomads, not staying in one place longer than two or three years. Please join me at http://DeborahReflections.blogspot.com

Friday, February 27, 2009


And Jesus answered them, “Have faith in God. Truly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will come to pass, it will be done for him. Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.
-Mark 11: 22-24 (ESV)

Jesus, in this passage of Scripture, tells us in no uncertain terms that prayer is effective for those who believe. In Matthew 18: 19-20, Jesus says, "Again I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them" (ESV). There are a few things, then, about which I would ask you Jesus-followers to pray.

Maher Ahmad El-Mo’otahssem Bellah El-Gohary

In my post "Imagine," from 15 January 2009, I told you about this gentleman and his attempts to change his official religion from Islam to Christianity. At that time, his case was in limbo. Now, he continues to struggle to get the Egyptian courts to recognize legally what already has occurred in his heart, but he faces a new challenge. Islamic lawyers are pressuring the court to declare him an apostate from Islam and sentence him to death. He is in hiding at this time, but he will have to come out of hiding for his next court appearance. He tried to have legal documents drawn up that would have allowed his lawyer to represent him without his presence in court, but staff members at the registry office swore at him and beat him when he appeared. Therefore, he is unable to allow his lawyer to handle the case. He will be in danger when he appears publicly for court. His lawyer also is hindered in how he can proceed with this case. The arguments against this man are based on Islamic law, and in this part of the world, you must be very careful in what you say about Islam and Islamic law. Anything considered misrepresentation or insult is punished severely. Further details are available here. Please pray for safety for this man and his family, for God to be in the midst of all court proceedings, and for this family to be allowed to leave Egypt if and when that becomes the best course of action for them.

Maadi Community Church

MCC truly has become our church home here. It is a shining light in this community, providing a place where expats and Egyptian Christians can worship together and reach out to help the less advantaged. However, MCC itself is in need of prayer. We currently have the great privilege of meeting on property that belongs to The Church of St. John the Baptist. St. John's has been gracious in allowing us to meet on their property for a number of years (I'm not sure how many), but our presence has made it difficult for them to grow, due in part to the need to coordinate schedules. It is becoming more and more apparent that the time is fast approaching when MCC will need to meet elsewhere. The church leadership is working on possible solutions, but details are not yet being made public, as publicity for church initiatives sometimes do more harm than good in this region of the world. Please pray that God will open the doors He wants us to walk through and close those doors that are not His provision for us at this time.

Also, there are staffing needs. I have seen local advertisements for a director of administration, and the website contains information regarding two pastoral vacancies: a pastor of youth ministries and a pastor of community life. Please pray that God will draw the people of His choice to these vacancies and that He will tear down all obstacles to filling these positions. Also pray that until these vacancies are filled, God will strengthen and equip those who are trying to fill the gaps.

Caritas Egypt

This week when I went to the baby wash, we had a special treat: a short tour of the other projects that occur in that location. It turns out that the baby wash is a part of Caritas Egypt, a social justice outreach of the Catholic Church. The building that houses baby wash also houses a clinic and daycare. Just across the street is a building that is used as a day center and school for street children. Those who want education attend the school; others simply "hang out" at the day center to avoid being arrested for vagrancy on the streets. Nearby is a facility where street children who are in the process of rehabilitation can sleep at night.

Children begin living on the streets for a myriad of factors, usually including poverty and/or abuse at home. Once they are on the street, they often become involved in drug abuse, fall prey to sexual predators, and develop other behaviors which make it impossible for them to re-enter society. Caritas helps to rehabilitate these children, but once they are rehabilitated, they still face problems. Often the families refuse to allow the children to come home, fearing the influence these former street children would have on younger siblings. Many people refuse to allow rehabilitated street children into schools or jobs. The leaders at Caritas want to open a community outreach center to educate the public about successful rehabilitation of street children in order to alleviate these problems.

There is a piece of property that is for sale and that would be suitable for the community outreach center. Please pray that God will provide clear leadership regarding the possible purchase of this land and that if it is His will for them to buy it, that He will knock down any obstacles. Also pray that He will continue to bless the ministry of Caritas Egypt and that He will provide the funding that is necessary both for continuing operations and for expansion, if that is His will for this ministry.

I don't often ask for visitors to this blog to do anything; I simply share what's been happening in my life. However, those people who are involved in these situations need all the prayer support they can get. So I humbly ask you, if you are a believer, to pray about these situations. None of us as individuals are powerful enough to make any significant difference, but through prayer, we can draw on a much greater source.

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