From Egypt With Love: Stability
We live in a relatively stable country surrounded by war and natural disaster. The Ethiopian civil war was ongoing when we arrived last year. That was to be followed by one in Sudan, and an influx of refugees. Then in September we had the earthquake in Morocco, the floods in Libya, and now the situation in Israel. Had the economic crisis in Egypt not been so bad, perhaps there would be more of a popular effort to get involved. But people are just struggling to get by. In North America one can take for granted our peaceable neighbours and relative prosperity - notwithstanding the lingering effects of the pandemic. But as anyone who has spent time in the Middle East will know, this is far from normal everywhere else in the world. One example of our economic predicament is that we have had power cuts everyday since the summer - power cuts that are only increasing in length. And, while everyone runs their air conditioners, the price is staggering (much more than I would pay at home given the age and inefficiency of the units). And this in addition to the food crisis caused by the war in Ukraine. Anyway, life in Egypt is stable, but we are witnesses of the gradual collapse of global order. Every day I return to Psalm 127, which has guided me through the upheavals of the last few years:
Unless the Lord builds the house,
those who build it labor in vain.
Unless the Lord watches over the city,
the watchman stays awake in vain.
It is in vain that you rise up early
and go late to rest,
eating the bread of anxious toil;
for he gives to his beloved sleep.
The other reason that I turn to Psalm 127 is that it talks about family life as a gift and a blessing. Jenn is pregnant and has just finished the first trimester, but she has miscarried before. So we covet your prayers and look to God for his protection. The Psalm ends:
Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord,
the fruit of the womb a reward.
Like arrows in the hand of a warrior
are the children of one's youth.
Blessed is the man
who fills his quiver with them!
He shall not be put to shame
when he speaks with his enemies in the gate.
Many thanks to the diocese of Dallas for the continued support of our family as we live and minister in Egypt.
Jeff and Jenn