passes- less than 2 weeks to go but Alison is still in one piece.
She is still quite compact; many people here are surprised when
she says that the baby is due in two weeks.
week was rather quiet, now that the number of meetings have been
cut back for the immanent arrival it seems that things aren't
so rushed. I took a meeting last Monday in a different part of
the city. Many of the children were from the streets, from what
I understand there is a group of Orthodox believers who work with
these children to clothe them and teach them and their parents
basic hygiene and self-care. They also have S School classes for
them. I heard that some of the children's parents had been killed
by M extremists.
were about 70 children present, the lady who translated asked
me to take care over certain "theological" differences between
the Protestant and orthodox beliefs- a bit like comparing us with
Catholics in Britain. The lady who translates works with children
full time and she is very good at what she does. Her English needs
a lot of improvement, so her translation is usually more of a
rough "interpretation" of what she thought that I said!
spoke to the children about Barabbas, and the fact that he was
expecting to die for all of the wrong things that he did. But
of course the crowds chose Jesus instead, so Barabbas would have
looked at the cross and thought "He died in my place". Of course
Jesus died for all of us, but Barabbas was probably the first
person to look at the cross and see his redeemer.
illustrated the point further with a trick with 3 wooden balls
with holes in them. Basically the gold ball represents God, the
green one represents us, and the black one represents Sin. The
balls are threaded with the black one in the middle to show how
sin separates us from God. I spoke about the fact that the sin
had to be punished but when Jesus died on the cross he took the
punishment for us, then I "removed" the black ball from the rope.
When this happened the room burst in spontaneous applause, not
because of the trick but in thanks to God! I could see by the
look on their faces that many of them understood the gospel for
the first time.
the translator spoke some more. Usually at this point she would
ask for a show of hands for those that made a "decision" but she
was unable to do this because of the theological differences.
Instead she asked the children to pray and thank Jesus for what
he did for them. The children simultaneously raised their hands
and gave thanks out loud together. I was really surprised by this
because this kind of thing isn't usually done by children of this
background (can you imagine children doing this from a Catholic
background in Britain?).
has given me the motivation to concentrate more of my talks on
the children outside the Church. To the Church children much of
what I say sounds familiar, but to these children much of what
I said was new- I could tell by looking at their faces. Some looked
shocked, some looked close to tears and others were overjoyed.
@@The work here is going well. I'm looking forward to sharing
in much more detail when I visit in April.
for your many "thoughts", they are always appreciated and frequently
Alison and Hannah
Apologies to some of you who haven't received this update for
a few weeks. Somehow the addresses in my Mailbox got mixed-up
and your names were replaced. No idea how it happened but it has
now been recified . . .
Return to Cairo