Living in Egypt these days is like riding a roller coaster. It takes you up gently and slowly in a nice, refreshing, relaxed short ride. That is when you start to feel that hope could still be possible for us to get from a certain man or a new system. Suddenly at a point you don’t expect, at the turn, it speeds up, taking you to the very bottom while some are laughing and many others are screaming loudly in panic.
For many people, such a ride is fun in the beginning, but suffering comes soon after. All day long we are stormed with news of developments, sudden changes, disappointments, rumors, incidents and news of attacks and clashes here or there that are happening around us every single day.
All our expectations and hopes for a new, open country where Christians may gain their long-lost rights are now a goal so far away to reach. The arising Islamic influence in Egypt has significantly increased with the Muslim Brotherhood and Salafist parties jumping into power, leaving small space for civilian and liberal parties. Working hard, mostly underground for almost 80 years, the Muslim Brotherhood movement won the top post in the country in June.
Many people living in Egypt these days are feeling so hopeless, helpless and worried about the future. This includes millions of nominal Christians, and believe it or not, many Muslims as well, who wish to live under a civilian government, not a fundamentalist Islamic-ruled country.
As for me and my family, along with so many committed Christians in Egypt, we have a special joy and peace that only our Father can give. It’s the same joy and peace Daniel had in the lions’ den; that three young men had in the middle of the fiery furnace; and that the disciples had, seeing the shining face of Jesus approaching the boat in the middle of the dark night and the stormy waves.
The question we Christians of Egypt ask ourselves today is a simple one. Is it not better, safer and more comfortable, according to reason and legitimate life needs, to stay outside the lions’ den? Is it not cooler to stay outside the fiery furnace, rather than suffering the burning flames? And is it not more comfortable and assuring to stay dry by the side of the lake around the campfire, enjoying the evening breezes, rather than fighting high waves and struggling desperately to stay alive?
Over the last few months, many Christians have already run away from the den, the furnace and jumped out of the boat.
This is of course heart-breaking news for us. Last month I waved good bye to my lifetime friend and ministry partner, who left to the United States together with his family. It’s really painful.
However, to see the shining and comforting face of Jesus in the middle of trouble, hardship and instability is a unique blessing from above. To hold to the many promises in the Word of God and putting them to action is a heavenly assurance that no man, no system, no wealth and no power can give. Reading the wonderful words of Psalm 91, along with so many other promises, brings true joy and peace to our hearts, because we know that our Father is in control.
This is the reason why my family and I, along with many Christians scattered all over Egypt, in villages, towns and cities, are staying here on the front lines, committed to reflect the shining love of Jesus to our fellow Egyptians, no matter who they are.To read the full blog article, click here. For more information on Egypt’s persecuted Church, visit the Egypt Country Report.