Day: February 24, 2024

Egypt

We held our first ministry sessions here in Minya, Egypt, yesterday.

The majority of attendees are from this area. Many of them are related to one another, and their deep familial bonds are evidenced by their warmth and camaraderie towards each other. Many come from a “churched” background, and it is striking to see the same people who interact so vivaciously with one another become stoic once “church” begins. Their worship is filled with Arabic flutes, accordions, and tones unfamiliar to our Western experience, yet beautiful.

After introductions, Brother Asi spoke on repentance as the foundation for the kingdom of God. He reiterated that the church cannot be unified until each “demi-king of self” is removed from the throne and God is allowed to be king over every area of life. 

This setting reframes the whole context of often-used metaphors equating the “world” with “Egypt“ or Satan with the magicians who opposed Moses. It’s a different matter to talk about those historical events while sitting in the very context where they unfolded, among the people who still bear that name. 

Later, Brother Dan spoke about two ways of approaching God: a loving, father-to-son relationship versus analytical observation. He drew heavily from the story of Paul at the Areopagus, highlighting the wrong type of religiosity. He contrasted that with the story of the disciples on their way to Emmaus and their encounter with the Lord, marked by their hearts burning within them. Both sessions prompted a time of boisterous questions, which stand out in marked contrast to the response to worship or to the word of God.

After a break, we convened for a time of worship with a large contingent of youth ages 17-30. Brother Teb shared a moving account of his testimony, illustrating the power of God to accomplish what no degree of human effort can do. Several people testified of the impact it had on them, and it also prompted a time of questions. Although these young folks look identical to any Westerners, they are corralled by the Egyptian Islamic culture around them. Alcohol and drugs of any kind are not available in these parts (although smuggling certainly exists), so their demeanor can be misleading in that they look worldly yet have a smug self-righteousness due to their churched background and the greater Islamic influences around them. That said, they were overjoyed to meet this many foreigners and basically suffocated us in their greetings and well-wishes. You cannot help but love these people.

In a moment, our second day of ministry begins. Please continue to pray for God’s grace, anointing, and insight to pierce the strongholds of Satan and prepare the way for God’s kingdom. May it come, Lord, even now!

With love,

Judah