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  • Writer's pictureJonny Nelson

Egypt 2015

JSAW in Egypt

There is a place in north eastern Africa where Pharoahs once ruled with glory, the people worshiped numerous gods, and the Nile was lush with wild life and greenery. Although many things have changed, Egypt is still full of culture. In Cairo, the capital of Egypt, the population is approximately 7.8 million people. Of that 1/3 of those people are 15 years old or younger. That’s 2,666,667 kids in Cairo. It is known as “the city of a thousand minarets,” and according to a Minaret is “a lofty, often slender tower or turret attached to a mosque, surrounded by or furnished with one or more balconies, from which the muezzin calls the people to prayer.” It is no wonder the most prominent religion is Islam with over 1,000 mosques in it’s city. The next biggest religion is Christianity, with about 10 percent of Cairo’s people attending churches. One of those churches is Kasr El-Dobara. It is the largest evangelical church in the Middle East, located in the middle of Cairo, with around 10,000 people attending various services. A program the church supports is a sports camp half way between Cairo and Alexandria. The camp is called Wadi sports camp and their vision is to see the youth of Egypt change into knowing and loving Jesus. They build long term relationships with their kids and over time are able to see this change take place.

As a team, a few of us here from JSAW were able to go to the camp and coach the kids (ages 10-12) through skateboarding. Or at least Ryan and Josh coached skating. The camp ended up needing me as a basketball coach, and all though I had never done that before, it was a really fun way to connect with the kids. The top two other ways we got to connect with kids was through pool time and on the high ropes course/zip line. During pool time the kids’ favorite things to do was either climb on our shoulders for chicken fights, or try to pick us up on their shoulders. During this time we were able to ask them questions about their lives and they were able to do the same. One of my experiences during this time was with an 11 year old boy. His dad was a police officer that lost his life during the revolution. He now lives with his mom and grandma and is strongly being influenced for Islam. I won’t forget my encounters with him and am grateful to have been a part of his life for a short period of time. As a leader, managing the high ropes course and zip line was nerve racking, considering it was our responsibility to ensure the kids’ safety and help them complete the obstacles.

Overall, our role was to build relationships with these Egyptian kids and reveal Christ through our interactions with them. It was amazing to see how much God is at work in Egypt, and even better to be a part of it.

Thank you all for your support and being a part of this trip as well! Continue to pray for the students that we interacted with, Kasr El-Dobara church, and Wadi sports camp as they seek to reach Egyptian youth for Christ.

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