have passed the latest heat wave, the thermometer next to the
computer tells me that it is now a bearable 30 Degrees (88F).
A couple of weeks ago reports stated that it reached 43 C in some
areas and I can believe it.
three days last week I went to a conference centre called "Beyt
El Khalarse" (house of the saved) on the outskirts of Alexandria.
The conference was attended by about 130 Sunday School teachers
mainly from Upper Egypt. I was invited by an Egyptian lady who
is involved in full-time children's work and she wanted me to
introduce fresh ideas and techniques to the delegates. I've attended
conferences like this before but usually as a daily event.
never liked speaking to adults, I find it so bland compared to
speaking with children. Children are enthusiastic, eager to learn
and show their emotions freely; adults just sit and stare and
I often wonder if I'm getting through. Speaking to Sunday School
teachers is different since I just treat them like children! I
say that I'm going to show them a presentation that I do for the
children then do it! No extra preparation involved. They loved
the presentations since they are so different to what they are
used to doing.
typical Sunday School lesson in a Protestant Church would be singing,
followed by a bible story then a memory verse. The main emphasis
is on memorising the facts but little on the application to their
lives or the day-to-day living out of His word. Visual aids and
object lessons are seldom used. Of course this is completely different
to how it's done in the West but I've come to understand that
there's lessons to be learnt on both sides- the Egyptian children's
bible knowledge is surprising when compared with their counterparts
surprising thing about Sunday School teachers in Egypt is that
nearly all of them are in their late teens or early twenties,
and once they get married they finish. I didn't meet any married
Sunday School teachers at the conference- this means that there
is a frequent turnover of teachers in each of the churches- when
the older ones leave they take their knowledge and experience
with them and it's up to the new teachers to learn over again.
This is why there are frequent conferences and seminars for the
teachers and the new generation is ready for new ideas.
the conference I had a number of opportunities to show various
presentations using the sketchboard along with various card and
rope tricks. Afterwards I taught them how the tricks were done
and encouraged them to do them for the children and use the sketchboard
ideas by using marker pens and large sheets of paper. After the
first presentation I was mobbed- many wanted their photo taken
with me, others wanted me to give them ideas on how to do various
lessons. After this I couldn't walk out of my room without being
surrounded. To be honest I found the attention stifling- the Egyptians
are always warm and hospitable but this was a bit over the top!
Nevertheless I was happy to be their to serve them. Many of these
teachers later become pastors and leaders in the church and so
I know that the wider church will be served as a result.
big advantage to the location of the conference was that it was
next to the Mediterranean Sea- literally meters away! This is
possible because presumably there are no tides or severe storms
in the area. The weather was much cooler and for the first time
since leaving England 6 weeks ago I slept with a blanket over
that I'm back in Cairo I've had to get used to the heat again-
but it's nice to be with Alison and the girls.
all for this week,
Return to Cairo