From Egypt with Love: Happy Western Easter

04.03.24 | Homepage

    Western and Eastern Easter is separated by more than a month this year.  Because the Coptic Church is culturally dominant, the Episcopal Church here has chosen to follow Eastern Easter but Western Christmas.  It’s an interesting compromise, and not without confusion since at least the expat evangelical churches and their schools – which our kids attend – follows the Western dates.  You can sort of see why disagreements over the Christian calendar have caused so much debate over the centuries.  When half the people you know one thing, and half do another, who do you follow?

    Anyway, Egypt just saw another major devaluation of its local currency.  Every day we see more and more (mostly old) people begging on the streets.  Whereas people back in Canada (our home country) rack up credit card debt to cope with rising costs, people here are much more hand-to-mouth. 

    At least half of our parish are refugees or migrants from sub-saharan Africa: Kenya, Sudan, South Sudan, Nigeria.  With a visa or a refugee card, one can legally reside in Egypt.  The police regularly check black peoples’ ID, and it is not uncommon in our churches that a member will get arrested (as just happened two weeks ago).  These prisoners aren’t fed well, if at all, and their only way out is to pay for their own deportation, which they often cannot.  It can be difficult to locate these people, and, if they don’t have a passport from their home country, even more difficult to get them out.  Pray for our prison ministers.  

    Life and ministry carries on.  Our Arabic studies as well.  Indeed, I have managed to learn the Creed and the Lord’s Prayer in Arabic.  My Christian Ethics course just started and I seem to have a very bright group of students this semester.  For Eastern Lent I will be offering a talk on Prayer Book spirituality.  Jenn has also been able to do some refugee counseling.  So we have been very busy on that front. 

    Finally, we are busily preparing for a new baby in May.  We are very fortunate to have a bit of help at home with cooks and cleaners.  More than that, we’re glad that Jenn’s mother will be able to visit us again this year to help out.  Thank you for all of your prayers!