onething Egypt - day 5

October 19, 2009

After leaving the camp fairly early, we drove to the Monastery of St. Macarius, also in Wadi Al-Natrun. It was founded in 360 A.D. by St. Macarius the Egyptian, who was spiritual father to many monks. Perhaps the most interesting thing about this monastery is that relics of John the Baptist and Elisha were said to be found below the northern wall of the monastery’s main church during renovations in the early 1970’s. John the Baptist was the greatest man born of a woman according to Jesus, so if we did indeed see where some of his relics were held, that would be crazy. Some of the pastors here in Egypt believe that this is fact, but others aren’t sure. Either way, it was still thrilling. We were led on a tour by one older monk and got to talk to another 60-year old monk who had been living there since he was 27. Unbelievable!

After leaving the monastery, we headed to what so many foreigners think of first when they hear about Egypt - the famous Gaza Pyramids. I can’t begin to describe how massive these structures are. It’s unbelievable that these pyramids were constructed with such meticulous detail thousands of years ago. They are much bigger in person than in photos. Each stone used to build the pyramids weighed about 2.5 tons! Imagine trying to move several hundred thousand of them. Apparently it took over 10 years for the largest pyramid’s completion. And that was with thousands and thousands of workers. Wow.

Camelback rides were next on the agenda. As part of the pyramids tour, we drove to the back side of them where camels awaited us. These animals are awesome. They lift you up off the ground much higher than a horse does, and they can go a lot faster than you expect! Everyone on the team rode together in pairs except for Justin, Luke, and Cassie who got to ride solo. Wes Martin and I rode one for about 15 minutes. Check out the pics in the Egypt album on the photos page!

Our lunch today was also a major highlight. We ate at an outdoor restaurant that served some of the best barbecue chicken, hummus, potatoes, and pita bread that I’ve ever had. The portions were hearty and the atmosphere was amazing – we ate underneath a canopy of branches and green leaves. I’m not even sure what the name of the place was, so if you live in Egypt or you know somehow, leave me a comment!

After lunch, we checked into the Shepheard Hotel in downtown Cairo. The hotel overlooks the Nile River and has spectacular views of the downtown. We rested for a few hours before heading to our host church for the Sunday night service where we led a few songs and Dwayne spoke on having passion for Jesus from Philippians 3. The interpreter Dwayne and Wes have had for the week has been so good! He is animated and mimics the expressions, hand motions, and movements of both of them very well.

To finish the day, we had dinner on a boat on the Nile with some of the team from the house of prayer in Egypt. I walked away from our conversation so encouraged to give myself to God more… Jesus is doing amazing things among the church in Egypt!

Tomorrow's agenda includes a trip to the well known "cave church", a homemade lunch, and another prayer meeting at the host church. On Tuesday, we’ll go spend some time at the Red Sea before taking our long flight from Cairo to New York!

Here are some prayer points for the rest of our trip:

  • Continued grace and strength for the last few days of ministry
  • Continued protection physically and spiritually
  • Safe flight home to KC on Wednesday

Thank you so much for praying!

Comments

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BBQ Chicken

Yea, the BBQ chicken place is awesome its name is Andrea. Actually the best thing I love about Egypt is the food. Hope you get to try some more Egyptian plates. I think tonight we're going to eat Egyptian food.

About the conversation, that was amazing. You were really inspiring to me, in every topic we talked in really! I went off thinking yea this is what I really want to give myself to. You're amazing really!!

About the John the Baptist relics, I'm kind of skeptical myself though. But it would be really awesome if it was true.

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