Monday, July 26, 2010

Missions and Evangelism in Egypt

Here is a wonderful report from Antony Simon, one of the HeartCry missionaries in Jerusalem

We traveled with seven people including myself and my two sons. We left Jerusalem after our Saturday night meeting at 11PM and arrived at the border of Eilat about four hours later. We crossed the border, and found a taxi going to Cairo. Usually it takes a long time for a taxi after all the bargaining, but we had a young lady with us who has epilepsy. We prayed that it would be quick, and it was. Taxis in Egypt are a blessing. They help us to learn to always pray and trust in the Lord. If one is weak in faith, he should visit Egypt. So many near misses, the horn sounds, it seems like they drive with the horn as a second gas peddle!

When we arrived in Cairo, we took the metro to the center of Cairo to the hotel we usually stay in. The people there know us very well. The government security at the entrance of the hotel also knew us and asked lots of questions, to which I always answer I don't know because with the Lord there are no fixed plans. We don't always know what he has planned for us. We arrived on a Sunday so the Bible society was closed. What we usually do is buy Arabic New Testaments immediately. We went for a walk to find a church to get a couple of NTs until we could buy them the next day. We found a Coptic church with a book shop and purchased 50 NTs and had a good conversation with a young Coptic man who had a great desire for spiritual things. We sent him to look at the shocking message by Paul Washer on Youtube. By the way, Paul washer is not a good man, but he like us has a great Savior.

Afterward we went to the garbage city to look at the church in the Rock and to distribute some literature. We gave out most of our New Testaments. I gave a Muslim man a NT, and a christian woman took it from him. It ended up with some other person. On the third attempt of giving him a NT he took it. In the city we bought ice cream. There was a mistake with the money, and a man translated for us . The difference was not much, just 20 pence or 30 cents, but in the end we discovered the translator was an accountant for the bible society. He invited us to come the next day and get a discount on Bibles!

The next day we were going to travel to Alexandria to meet some people. In the morning, I had a meeting with brother Hani at 10am. He was going to take us to the bible society. On the way to the meeting I got stuck in the Lift (elevator) with two people from the UK (not far from my home town of Manchester) and a Canadian. It was a great opportunity to witness and give these people the Gospel. They were not very open, but they did hear the message. They had no where to run!

Hani was late, and I was actually on time despite the delay. Hani then took me and another 3 people with him. On the Metro we had an opportunity to witness to some Muslims, and Hani translated. You can tell religious Muslims in Egypt because they have the mark of Cain (or the beast) or something on their foreheads as a result of praying and banging their heads on the ground. I think many of them do it not from praying but on their own as a sign that they are very religious and that people think they are religious. We got some bibles from the Bible Society, and we also learned of some of their needs. They need to print Bibles in Eritrean and also Somalian language as there are many refugees and such a big need.


We then left for Alexandria. We traveled by shared Taxis and left literature in the seats for others to read. Everywhere we went we left presents for people, and people received them gladly; only a few refused. We stayed in a church hotel in Alexandria. There we had many opportunities to hand out bibles and witness. In the Evening we went to a Bible study for youth, and I was able to say a few words.

The next day I arranged to meet a brother at 5 pm. Meanwhile, we went out to hand out literature. We met brother Rafaat, who is very busy in his ministry. He has not been very healthy recently and would value your prayers. He is involved in ministry translating the Bible into spoken Arabic and also prepares lots of material for children. He is also involved in establishing house churches throughout Egypt. We were with him last time. He told us that after we left his neighbors and owner of his house were angry with him and paid someone to kill him. The hit man did not carry out the contract because when he saw Rafaat he recognized him as the hit man was helped by Rafaat's brother in the past. The hit man ended up attacking those who hired him. It got to the police, and the police believed Rafaat but he dropped the charges and forgave them. After we met Rafaat we went for a long walk and handed out lots of literature among the Muslims.

The next day our travel group had a meeting in the morning. Every day we had a prayer meeting once or twice a day. That morning an Egyptian girl attended our meeting, and now she wants to go to the church of a friend of ours called George.

On the Wednesday we met George and went back to Cairo. On the way to the bus we met a lawyer who helped us to the bus and ended up getting a gift from us. Being lost not knowing where we are is a lesson in patience and part of our service to our God. We arrived in Cairo and then went to a Bible study in a house of believers. At the hotel after checking in the manager came up to me and asked if I was a Christian and what I was doing in Egypt. I told him, and he said be careful. He asked some members of our group to pray for him.


On the way to the Bible study we got to witness to Muslims on the metro. It is good when people are curious about these strangers, and you can find a translator to give the gospel. My translator told me off. He told me not to do this here I said, "I am FREE, and no one will stop me." Thanks be to our living God who helps us in our weaknesses and gives strength and boldness. The Bible study went well, and at the end we had questions. Just before we went to the Bible study we met a man in the street. We gave him the NT. When we left he asked for another one for his friend. Our friends drove us back to our Hotel and on the way we stopped for gas. We nearly had a collision with a woman and her children at the gas station. We gave her a book, the life of Christ in Arabic. She took it, but our driver told us be careful, as you have no protection. That's how the Middle East works; you need a friend to help you if you get into trouble. I said that I am not afraid. God is sovereign, and He is my protection.

The next day we went to the Pyramids and handed out the rest of our literature and took the taxis back to Taba (the border with Israel). We are so thankful to the Lord who gave us many opportunities as we were moving around and that we could give out so much literature. Please Pray for us as we are about to begin three weeks of Gospel.

On the 16th August I leave with Joshua and Yoel to meet Dona and Rachel in the UK.

We printed 4000 Nts in Tigrinyan through the Bible society. Pray for the woman's house. Pray for provision to obtain the New Testament in Arabic on MP3 players for the illiterate in Egypt. Pray for Friday nights in Tel Aviv

Next week on Sunday we go to Eilat for two days to evangelize the foreign refugees from Sudan and Eritrea .

May you be blessed,
Antony Simon