Thursday, 27 December 2007


As we squeeze the final days out of another year,
I sit and reflect and thank God for all that has come to pass,

Thanks in part to my travels, my friends and family, the churches I have come to call home, and all the Glory be to God,
In this last year I have grown, been shaped and experienced more than I could have imagined.

So here are just some of the many memories of this year,
A couple favorite photos from each spot.

Walking Like An Egyptian...Round 1

From Egypt I stopped over in Barcelona for a wee bit...

And then there was pain, backpacks, travel and full body burns DO NOT mix

After some rest and relaxation and a lot of Aloe Avera cream, I was on the road again, this time to 'The Pearl of Africa', Uganda, the place that has stolen my heart.

3rd World Bungee...Into the Nile

If anyone tries to tell you goodbyes are easy...they're lying.
But we push on, and there is nothing like some animals and team time to raise the spirits.

And then came the mountain,
The rooftop of Africa, Kilimanjaro,
A big mountain, a lot of elevation and a good friend.

And so the story goes, the mountain was conquered,
Matt and I escaped Tanzania by the skin of our teeth, leaving nothing more then my finger prints behind.

I returned home for what was just over a very short month and then back again to Egypt...
And here I've found myself, basking in Gods glory, found in the most unlikely place.

I'll leave you with a quick word of thank you to all those who have helped make this dream a possiblity through prayer and financial support.
Your love is a huge blessing to me and pray that in the following months I can continue to do you proud by being the hands of feet of Christ here in Egypt.

Here's a couple of clips from Egypt...round 2.

In His Name,
Grace, Peace and Blessings,

Thursday, 20 December 2007

Christmas In Cairo

It is true,
The older you get, the faster the days turn into years.

Christmas is once again on the doorstep,
But it seems, for me, it's not knocking quite a loudly as it has in the past.

Cairo, 19 degrees today and sunny,
The streets look the same as every other day, cleanly swept yet still dusty.
There are no decorations lining the street lamps, no tinsel in the store windows, no "Merry Christmas" sign shamelessly hung from the balconies.
The only lights that are hung are those that have yet to be taken down from Ramadan, but you know what, I'll take it.

Needless to say, Christmas just doesn't seem like Christmas this year.

Now I sit and reflect on that thought and it scares me,
What is Christmas without the decorations, the songs and the friends and family?

Why is it that without all the consumer nonsense, the fancy packages and the flashy lights, without jolly Saint Nick and the tree adorned with presents, why is it that Christmas feels like just another day?

As I walked to work the other day, I bumped into a familiar face,
My neighbours boab, greeted me with a smile and a Merry Christmas!
My first "Merry Christmas" of the year and it was said through broken English by a Muslim...

Did he truely know what it meant?
Probably not, but he knows I am a Christian and it's important to me.

His smile told it all.

I was so caught up in my first Christmas away from home, so caught up in having my host family and Joy (my girlfriend) head back to England, I was so caught up in what I was missing this Christmas, that I had forgotten what I do have.

Shameful really,
A day to remember the birth of Christ, our Savior, God incarnate and I've seemed to forgotten.

Christ was born in Bethlehem, The Son of God, to live as the ultimate role model, to teach us of the Father and His abundance of love and then in the end, demonstrate it to us, obedient to death on the cross.

Christmas is here again, and this year I'm going to focus of the truth, the reason.
I'm going to dig beneath the glitz and the glam and I'm going to find my Savior there.

Merry Christmas Everyone,
May God Bless you abundantly and may you and your families have a moment to reflect on the truth of Christmas.

Grace, Peace and Blessings From Cairo,

Wednesday, 28 November 2007

Battle Cry

"Suit up soldier, We're going to Egypt!"

It's a picture etched in my mind;
God standing there, speaking to my heart and myself eagerly nodding.

I got here to Egypt and dove into things just as eagerly as when I left home,
Things worked, weeks flew by, but I grew tired.
Nothing had changed to my work load, and while yes, it is a challenging place to live sometimes, Egypt itself hadn't changed any since I'd been here.
I got frustrated, I got angry with myself.
I continued to trudge through, not knowing why this tiredness was happening or what had caused it.

I failed to fully recognize that when God sent me here, He didn't send me alone.
I began to grow tired because I was fighting through things under my own strength alone.

Looking back at the picture now, I hear the words, "WE'RE going in."
I hang my head in shame, stupidly I had jumped the gun.
I forgot one of the most important truths of my faith, God is always with me.

I broke ranks, and as soon as I did, I was surrounded, exposed and outnumbered.

Our God is a God that lets us learn our lessons,
He doesn't let us take on more then we can bear.
Our God is great.

Just when I felt helpless, I realized why.
With my mind focused on God's strengths and truths the fighting got easier.
Nothing compares to Gods strength, darkness cowers at His voice.

God has been fighting here much longer than I have,
He has been using others in more powerful ways then I could have imagined,
and that Truth is humbling.

God has lifted my up and set me on a rock now,
I'm spending time with Him and learning more about His character as I do so.
As I spend some time reflecting I go back again to the picture of God instructing me.

"Suit up soldier, We're going in!"

I was suited up, I was strong, but when I stumbled, I found the holes in my armor,
The things I thought were hidden became my weakest points.

With God at my side, I have started on re-crafting my armor.

As part of my internship here, it was required that each of us take "Cell Pastor Training."
A course which focus' on raising up cell group leaders for the purpose of leading new church cells.
An aspect of the church which works on the Upward, Inward, Outward and Forward life of the church body.

Through my time in the course and through this newly focused time with God,
He has made it blatantly clear to me that I need to start a young mens study group within the refugee schools here.

The weakness that have been exposed are those that every young man struggles with on some level and with the insight and training that God has been granted me through this experience.
In no way am I set apart for this task, in no way do I have all the answers, but I have some experiences, some mistakes others can learn from.

The goal will be to provide a group in which these young men will feel comfortable in talking about the challenges they are wrestling with and through God's word and body, find restoration and a battle plan against that.

This time I suit up in confidence, with careful consideration for my weak points and a knowledge that God is fighting with me.

Thank you to you Jehovah-Nissi, The banner I carry forward.
Thank you to you Jehovah Shammah, The Lion at my side.

Onwards and Forwards,
Grace, Peace and Blessings,

Sunday, 4 November 2007

The Lonely Wanderers

Welcome back to Egypt,
Allow me to set the scene.

The unforgiving Summer sun has given way to it's meeker Fall counterpart, as a warm breeze gently wafts down the Nile valley.
A vast assembly of vehicals continue to jockey about the tiny streets of the city, time after time sounding their horns in a chours of disapprovement, humbled by nothing less then looming mounds of pavement placed in less then strategic spots admist the streets.
Mosques litter the skyline, spewing opression over the city 5 times a day, shouting skywards to their deaf god.
The streets bustle with smiling people, chatter of Arabic and shouts of, "Welcome to Egypt!"
My replies of "I live here," fall short.

It's a short walk to the church every morning.
Familiar faces, dodging traffic, the little things in life that qualify as routine.

I have long since begun my work with the refugee community here,
And as I've sunk my teeth into the situation, I've realized in many ways, I've bitten off more then I can chew.
I've established relationships within the refugee schools, met with such organizations as the UNHCR, Caritas Egypt and Tadamon group, but the most impacting thing is hearing the personal accounts of war, famine and flight.

Refugees flock to Egypt from all over Africa and the Middle-East, and while each story is similar, they are all unique.
Some have come to escape war and perscution, others thinking Egypt will provide work and opperutnities, while more hope to make the seemingly short jump to Europe or North America, the much anticpated, just out of reach, "lands of milk and honey."

It's the footballer hoping and praying he'll be signed by a major team, each day passing him by as rent and cost of living compound.
The story of a grandmother and her grandchildren, fleeing an never-ending war, hoping for a chance at an education.
The journey of a million people, thinking that Egypt will provide them something more,
A million people, lost in a country, a system, a shattered dream.

It's a sea, a flood, and we've just made a ripple on the surface.

I do not mean to say that all is hopeless however,
Our God is a God who provides, Jehovah Jireh.

Each day it seems a new organization springs to life here in Egypt,
The want to help is strong, but often lost in the sea of despair.

It seems it's much easier to focus on the negitives in life, the faults, the failures, the short-comings.
It's a broken world, it's a more then a sea, more then an ocean and it has a vicious under current.

But God has ordained us, He has set us apart, He's lifted us out and granted us the ability to walk above it all.
Carefully we seemly tread, afraid to fall back in, unsure of the new ground me stand.
And while we may slip, we may begin to sink again but when we cry out Our God lifts us out.

Our God Who Walks With Us, Jehovah Shammah.

While we still remain with the tide beneith us, we are set apart.
And as we stand up straight, we are able to see the amazingness that is this world, the beauty within it, the good, the true and the tested.

The same is true here in Cairo,
In knowing God is true, and seeing the good that He has already accomplished,
The sea seems a little bit smaller.

With countless organizations working towards refugee rights, education and access to healthcare and affordable housing, we can approach the situation from all angles.

And while the stories of hurt and heartbreak will remain memories, may they be numbed by the breaking light on the horizon, the knowledge that someone cares and the peace of Jesus Christ.

No matter where we seem to find ourselves, God is still there with us.

Grace, Peace and Blessings,

Monday, 15 October 2007

Ramadan Halas

The new moon marks the end of fasting and ushers in a time of celebation...
Fire crackers pop, mosques echo and Muslims find satisfaction in a full table.

Ramadan Halas...
Ramadan is over for yet another year.

Let there be eating in the streets,
May there be flowing water,
And let us enter the chaos that is عيد الفطر (Eid ul-Fitr), 'The Festivity of Breaking The Fast'.

For Muslims, this is a week of eating with friends and family and reflecting on god.
For everyone else, 'it's time to get out of Dodge.'

Eid ul-Fitr presents a time of rest for all, as it is a week long holiday for most Muslims.
Meaning most stores and business close.

I took advantage of an opportunity to hike through the mountains and valleys surrounding Mount Sinai.
Climbing with friends, encountering God in the amazingness of His creation.

It was a time of much needed rest, quiet contemplation and fellowship as we weaved our way through dry river valleys, climbed and scampered our way up and over daunting mountains, and discovered the secret beauty of hidden garden oasis'.

Our three days in the mountains was guided by a local Bedouin man, who we affectionately gave the title, "Bad Ass Bedouin."

A man who spent the first day hiking without food or water, never missing a step as he gently tread over loose rock and up steep slopes in nothing more then a humble pair of sandles.
This is a man with feet like leather, hands like asbestos and a worn face that tells the tales of a life in the mountains.

A man that is constantly surrounded by the awe of God's creation and yet continues to bow before idols.

Islam, Lucifers twisted creation, a chilling deception.

How can something point so bluntly towards God and yet be steered so far away.
So far away from His true love, and mercy and sacrifice.

For many here, the end of Ramandan is God's great mercy, a sad extent.

Time on the mountain is reflective, quiet praise and contentment...

*Enter Cairo*

It's nothing short of astonishing...the vast differences and the subtle similarities.

Life here is busy, days are never the same but things are always entertaining...depending on how you spin it.

The only things you can rely on here are your friends and call to prayer.

The echo from a dozen minarets encompasses the sounds below.

I never knew God was hard of hearing... until I arrived here. (Excuse my sarcasim)

The sound of's scary how to some, it sounds like freedom.

God is always good though, and while their god refuses to act,
Mine is constantly at work, constantly pursuing, standing ever faithful, and loving.
My God hears my whispers and humbles me at my shouts...I need not shout,
While their god sends only prophets, mine sent Himself and remains with me still.

Who could ask for more?

Saturday, 29 September 2007

Reason's Gone...Damage Stays

An eerie screetch...laughter ceases...a scream...a crying child...headlights...horns....
Life in slow motion.

There lays a woman in a heap at the side of the road, her baby in the middle of the highway...a car speeds off.

I run...we run into traffic, traffic which continues to race by, slowing in the slightest.

Another cry of pain turns the stomach as we dart across the 3 laned highway.

The woman stirs, a dim hope.

The baby stirs as cars pass by him closely...prayers.

More cars, I slam their trucks as they pass...anger.

In Egypt crosswalks are non-exsistant, religion is law, and life just is not fair.

Crossing streets here is gambling with your life, car rarely slow, traffic swerves around those who drive with caution and lanes are non-exsistant.
A careful eye and some blissful ignorance allows forgieners to cross the congested streets and the occasional close call gives an added thrill.
Egyptians cross the street to get to the other side, simple.
They know the risks of taking your time, they've experianced the real danger of a misjudged step, this is their life and it's not a game.
44 people die for every 100,000 KM driven in Egypt, and when an estimate 80.5 Million people live in Egypt with roughly a third of them being drivers...statistics scare me.

The night is dark, there are few headlights.
She is dressed in a full veil, view restricted, black as the night...She takes that step.

Religion is law here,
It dictates everything from how time is spent to attire.

The black figure flies over the hood, and rolls off the windshield and comes to rest in a black rumbled heap.

A child, dressed in red, thrown into tired, hectic traffic.

A car speeds away...

Here lies a woman and a child, faced with the very real danger of death.

Still not a sound from the child, though he stirs.

We do what comes instictively...
Some run away, while others run to, or stand strong and pray.

I pluck the child from the road, while two other interns block traffic.
I hold the child close to my chest as tears well in our eyes,

Suddenly there comes a cry from his mouth, a realization that not all is well...shock has worn off as quickly as it set in.

I check him quickly from broken bones, torn skin or bruises...nothing.

Mircles happen every day, I have witnessed this.

*God is good!*

The crowd around the woman is large now, many yell in Arabic and hustle about...I don't understand.
Cell is on it's way.

I walk with the child in my arms down the center divider...away from the chaos, he doesn't need to see or hear this.

He trembles as I bounce him in my arms, I whisper.

I look up to the side of the street...a dozen Christians pray.

*God is merciful.*

Minutes go by...

A man comes and places his hand on my shoulder, his face is soft.
He says something in Arabic, and motions to the child.
Sometimes don't need a translation, I hand the child off to him with a quick whisper.

I move towards the woman, she lay moaning, trying to right herself, others kneel beside her.

I take up spot and stand directing traffic with the others,

The crowd grows, traffic grinds to a's time to go.

We move through the traffic towards our friends on the sidewalk,

Hugs, tears and encouragements...

We walk to some taxis, and drive away.

An ambulance races past us.

More prayers....

A driver now sits at home, his car parked on the street below his flat...damaged, a haunting reminder.

He sits up tonight, He doesn't know the outcome of the accident, he doesn't know that the child lived, he doesn't know that the woman never got up again under her own weight.
His life is changed...He didn't stop.

Tuesday, 25 September 2007

The Ugly Puppet Show

The curtain opens and there you stand,
A puppet on strings, a ventriloquist doll or a beautifully creative artist?

One who goes about life holding on by a string,
One who speaks only what they are told to speak, without a second though,
Or one who crafts something which is both pleasing to the Creator and spectator?

As the dust settled I grew strings, strings which were used to both hold me down, and steer me away from what I saw as right.
As the dust has begun to clear, I have noticed the ugly hooks which remain in myself,
And while the strings have been severed, still remains the potential for something to grab hold of me from the outside.

Hooks, embedded deep within the flesh, ugly things which cause the affected to oouze discontentment, discouragement, fear and sin.
Slowly I have begun to work the hooks I have found outwards...out of my being.
To tear is to damage, wounds become infected.

*Praise be to You, Jehovah Raphah*

The thought of being controlled by something other than God, terrifies me to my core.
I am not a puppet, not even God uses us as one.

We are listen and discern.

*Praise be to You, Jehovah Shalom*

The depiction of man on strings is a scary but often real representation of life here...and all across the globe.

All the world is a stage...
A fanciful cliche, or a scary truth?

Tuesday, 11 September 2007

As The Dust Settles

Desert sand coats everything here.
If you let anything sit long enough, either inside or out, it collects a flim of girtty flith.
Even now as I write, I sit atop a dust caked chair on a belcony overlooking the suburb of Maadi.

I have been here in Egypt two weeks now...
I have since left jet-leg in the wake of a fast paced life style, full of language classes, meetings, tasks and homework.
However, despite the lack consitant intermissions, Egypt has begun to feel like home to me and when the opportunity to surface and rest presents itself, I have found myself in the sweet embrace of the couch and a pizza box.

God has been both the forefront and distant longing in my heart over the last couple months.

Since arriving home from Africa in July, I retreated from myself.
I told the story of my travels but never really processed it, and I went from a "Spiritual high" into a cement wall.
I still was around God but never came before Him, never really focused on Him...
Dust settled.

The thing about dust is, unless it's on a hard, flat surface, it doesn't come out easily.
It collects in groves and poors and it piles up...

God didn't make us hard, nor did He make us flat.
It says that God shaped us and He continues to mold us.

We are incrediably detailed, carefully constructed beings and it's because we are so detailed, that it's so difficult to get all the dust out when it gathers.

My prayer life began to suffer, my want for more for decreased and God felt distant.

I know He never was, nor will He ever be, but I felt cut off, choaked in dust.
I was too embarrassed and too stubborn to ask for help.

And so I was off to Egypt...on a plane this first time more alone then ever.

I continued to struggle,
At prayer meetings I felt as though I was talking to God through a wall,
Alone I found it hard to come before God, I felt ashamed.

God is Good...All the time.

It was at church this weekend that some of the dust came off,

The amazing thing is we don't have to let dust settle, God doesn't want us to let it settle because when it does, it masks how beautiful we are and makes it impossible to continue to grow.

All the time...God is Good

Grace, Peace and Blessings,

Sunday, 2 September 2007

A Comfortable Discomfort

It's funny how...
No matter how far away you are from home, no matter how different the place you're in, or no matter what surrounds you, you still have the choice whether or not to engage or stay at arms length.

I'm in Egypt,
It's dirty, it's hot and it's dusty.
The language is problematic, the culture is forgein and call to prayer brings everything to a stop.
It's different here, but it's beautiful all the same.

I love it here in Egypt, it's stretching, it's not always easy but it's nessesary.

This internship I have chosen to take part in subjects us to the harsh reality that is a broken world.
We are given the opportunity to engage a part of life, a part of this world which brings us beyond our comfort zone, and in some cases shocks us to our core.

It shakes us to our moral core, and brings in to questions what really is right and what is wrong and what is "wrong" because we just don't want to face it.

It seems a lot of time to face something, to question some things, allows God to present us with an opportunity to change.

Am I being blunt, or criptic?

One persons negatives are anothers way of life.

Who am I to ask for a change which better suits me and my western ideals?

I have been presented with a beautiful home here in Egypt. Thanks to the beautiful family I am staying with and the items from home which I have brought, I could chose to be very comfort and trust me, there will be days in which I will chose to.
To stretch too far is to break but to make a habit of it is to ignore God and His calling on our lives.

Grace, Peace and Blessings,

Monday, 27 August 2007

Smooth Sailing

With a title like that I shouldn;t have to write much else.

I am here...or there, which ever way you care to look at it.

I landed in Cairo, Egypt at 12:41AM Egyptian time...10:41PM Yesturday for you folks on the West-coast.
Unlike my last journey, I made it soundly through security, picked-up my bags and my bike and met my friend outside the gates.
The wash of desert heat covered me as I stepped into the night air, it's not something you can really prepare for. At 1 in the morning, the 25 degree heat messes with your senses.

We loaded up the car and drove towards Maadi, through the streets crawling with night life.
Traffic, no stop lights, blarring horns, and yelling. Welcome back to chaos.

I'm staying with a young family here in Maadi. They have two cats, a 11 month old little girl and one on the way.
They were asleep when I arrived, and we tip-toed around the apartment as not to wake them...They returned the favour in the morning.
I was to sleep on the couch for the first few days, they had guests. It won't be long untill I move into the currently occupied penthouse apartment.
The family left me a note, some water and a granola bar and after devouring all but the note, I went to bed.

I awoke at quarter to 12 in the morning to the sound of the maid, busily cleaning the house.
I dressed introduced myself and then headed out towards the church.

40 degree heat greeted me outside.

The church is a short walk away, maybe 10 minutes...I got lost.
I met many new staff and saw many more familiar faces.

Once arriving home again, I finally met the family. A very friendly American couple, and a very cute, very talkitive little baby.
We sat and ate dinner together and learned a little about eachother.

It's a great little set up I have here, a good couple to stay with, a great apartment and some amazing work ahead of me.

I'm looking forward to all the Egypt has in store.
That's all for now.

Grace, Peace and Blessings,

Sunday, 26 August 2007

English Breakfast Anyone?

Once agin I find myself writing to you from London Heathrow Airport...Terminal 4.
After a relatively eventless flight and a sleepless night, I'm on the brink of Egypt...One flight to go.
I've hunkarded down in a little resturant, and I'm greeted by the smell of a traditional English breakfast...with a chocolate milkshake, my own little twist.

I'm tempted by the Enlgish chocolate the lines the hallways of the airport, and a flash of Prision Break Season 2 in the window of HMV has caught my attention.

From all over the world, different languages, saying good-bye, shouting hello.
There's fear, stress, nervousness and excitment. Whether it's seperate or mixed, it hangs in these halls.

I'm beginning to feel as if I'm a veteran of traveling now...this is my fourteenth flight in the last 4 months.
I haven't quite decided what I'm feeling just yet, but I think it can be described as the "in-transit".
I'm not yet excited, it's on hold untill I arrive, there's still things to deal with.
I'm not nervous, though I'm sure when I land in Egypt I will be...if not right away then as soon as we get in the car, driving there is a test of nerves for anyone.
It's just the sense of what needs to be done, check-in, get on the flight, get my visa, get my bags, get to my ride...and then I can breathe.

For now I'm going to dig into my breakfast and wonder these halls.
I'll post again shortly after reaching Egypt.
For now,
Grace, Peace and Blessings,

Tuesday, 7 August 2007

Walk Like An Egyptian

Dear family and friends,

And there you go, already your minds are racing, ‘a generic greeting, followed by a corny joke. He never sends us letters, he’s must be asking for something again.’

It seems I just returned from one of my adventures, it’s true. I still haven’t begun to process all that God has shown me from my two and a half months on the continent of Africa. However, the truth of the matter is, I do not think I will ever be able to wrap my mind around those experiences, as brief as they were.

During my time in Egypt I was invited to apply for an internship offered by Maadi Community Church. The position would be in the Outreach and Development department of the church, at which I will start as a general intern until I begin to shape and focus my interests and heart on to one particular project or ministry.
I was accepted and given time to re-evaluate my commitment to this opportunity.
I spent several weeks in talks with God, as well as friends, family and mentors, discerning where my heart truly lay.
I have decided it would not only be in my own best interest to go to Egypt for this year, but I believe it is also in God’s plans for my life.

That said, having spent a month in Egypt previously, I can already safely say my interests will be focused on the Sudanese Refugee Schools in the Maadi area.
I witnessed first hand the struggles these children faced in attaining a proper education in a setting which is both nurturing and inviting.
I feel that no child should have to fear going to school, nor miss meals to provide the funds for education.
You can not teach hungry, scared children.

Yes, I may sound naive to some. I know I can not change the whole world at once, however I can fight to better parts of it, over time.

I believe Maadi Community Church is the perfect place to facilitate my ideas and drive, while providing a sound Christian community and teachings for my foundation.

Having said all that, this is the interactive part of the letter.
I can humbly say that I cannot walk this path alone. Both the financial and spiritual commitments are too heavy for me to bear alone.
I am asking for your help.
The cost of this internship will be $9,000 CAN, which will include my flights to and from Cairo and all my costs for the year in Maadi. All donations are tax-deductible if made out to “Maadi Community Church” with “Brent White’s Internship” labeled in the memo slot.

While money is an important matter, it is only a temporary thing. Above all else, I would value your prayers while I am gone.
I know this will be a time of deep spiritual learning and shaping and I ask that you would continue to pray that God use me and mold me towards the man he wants me to be.

Off one plane and on to another.
God has called me, and I have been blessed to be called at such an early stage in my life.
I have been more so blessed to have such a strong, loving base of family and friends.

Thank you for your prayers and support and most of all for your friendship.
May God Bless you and keep you,
Grace, Peace and Blessings,

Brent White


A letter can only say so much. I would love to hear from you in person. Please feel free to give me a call anytime at 604-836-2082 or email me at I will also be continuing my blog while in Egypt, the address is

Saturday, 21 July 2007

A Troubled Mind

I've been avoiding this...

I've been home now for just over a week, embraced once again by North American culture.
I sit now, at home, warm, healthy, feed...but uncomfortable.

I think the greatest irony lies in this fact:

I just spent 2 and a half months in Africa. A place where creature comforts are the way of a distant world, a light that shine on the horizon, a hope for future generation.
I slept in a tent, I was hungry at times, at night I was cold...and yet I was comfortable.
I was more then comfortable, I loved it.

Life continues now, it's good to be home, but I hate it at the same time.

Don't get me wrong, my home life is great. My family amazing, as are my's just that almost indescribable want for more.

I knew the transition was going to be tough, I've been here before, but it's safe to say as each day goes by, it increases my longing to go back to Africa, more specifically Uganda.

Not a day goes by where I fail to see the smiling face of one those perecious kids, nor where I forget the love, the welcome, the longing for God.

There is something about Africa, something about the uncentainity, the unrelaible, the lack of much.

I've have been offered an internship at Maadi Community Church in Egypt, and after much thought, prayer and council, I have decided to accept it.

I'll be away from home for a year, positioned in the Outreach and Developement department of the church.
I'll be working along side of the Sudanese refugees, the forgotten people in Egypt.

It is an amazing oppertunity, and I would be foolish to pass it up.

I'll need to raise support for my year away to cover such things as food, room and board and other such expensis.

I leave at the end of August.

This is my first firm step towards my goal of becoming a Missionary in Africa.

I'm standing at the beginning of my future...

Grace, Peace and Blessings,

Sunday, 8 July 2007

Hell and High Altittudes...

Won't slow us down.
Matt and I are safely back at base level after an amazing 5 days on the tallest mountain in Africa.
Needless to say we are both a wee bit knackard, however we are both in high spirits.

Our journey began 5 days ago.
The two of us, 4 porters, one cook, an assistant guide and our guide, Safiel, piled into a van and drove to the Muchme gates.
There we unloaded, signed in, met some other teams and finally started our much antisipated hike to the 'rooftop of Africa'.
4 hours of relatively easy hiking through lushous rainforest, we were at camp...
We were shocked, the climb was going to be easy if this is all Kili had in store for us...
It wasn't.
6 AM wake up call the next morning, breakfast and then started our grulling uphill hike some 2000 metres. We left well ahead of our porters, as they had to pack up but not an hour into the hike they passed us.
These porters are amazing, they carry everything on their heads, sometimes some 50pounds, as they navigate the wyndy and sometimes quite challanging trails.
Matt and I arrived first at the camp, it was quite the stroke to our egos, the mountain was ours for the taking...
6AM day three quickly changed our minds. Hiking up to a lava tower some 4,600 metres up, then back down through a valley to our camp, which lay 600 metres below...
Both Matt and I were not excited for the slow decent through the glacier fed valley to the camp, knowing that every step down ment we would have to climb again tomorrow.
The camp site was amazing, they all were, but this one especially. The glaciers lay above us, looming some 2000metres above, and the forest below, what seemed like 4000metres straight down.
We were awe struck and spent some much needed time in God's presense as we gazed at His emense creation.
Our guide snapped us out of it a little while later while explaining our route the next day, all he had to do was point to the monsterous wall beside us and both Matt and I felt like mush.
It was one of those trails you should be tied in for, and as we embarked it the next moring we both hugged close to the walls.
The wall climbed what looked like a vertical 200metres above the campsite, with the only thing to break your fall being the forest canopy the 4000metres down.
We made it however, and the view was amazing.
From there it was another 3 hour push to the next campsite. The longest day in my books and much of it was strenous uphill, meet by hazardous downhill, and then again more uphill.
Some 20 mintues from camp however we stopped for a much needed game of target practice on some rock trail markers.
We made it to camp, napped, ate and were awoke at 11 sharp for our summit attempt.
Headlamps ready we snaked our way up the switchbacks from our camp, we passed some other groups but everyone was set one watching their feetwork and keeping their minds off the cold, biting winds.
It was 4:00AM when we reached the top, it was time for the final push to the summit, Uhuru Peak, the tallest point in all of Africa.
We pushed for another 30 minutes fighting fatique, -20 degree winds and he slippery glacier which lay below our feet.
We fought and won,but it hurt.
The mountain stripped us of most of our pride and we made a hasty gateway after a few photos.
Altitude sickness hits hard and fast. Matt started to feel it near the summitt and we needed to get down.
We decended back down to camp, skating along scree slopes, the accent took 5 hours, the decent not even an hour.
From there we headed quickly to the basecamp.
27,500 feet in just over 12 hours,
We're both back in the hotel now, one day early but very thankful.
The high altitude camping, freezing temperaters and rock hard beds are the things that memories are made of, however we're quite happy to be resting our heads in a hotel tonight.
We have a couple days in town yet, we fly on the 11th, home on the 12th.
We're both ready to be heading home.
We're both feeling well, kings of our own worlds and are getting along great.
That's all for now.
Grace, Peace and Blessings,
Brent (& Matt)

Tuesday, 3 July 2007

The Rooftop Of Africa

Let the final leg of this african adventure begin...
Matt and I are now safe and sound at the base of Kilimanjaro, we start climbing tomorrow morning.
We left the team last night at Nairobi airport, and it was really then that life began to get a wee bit hectic.
I checked in with my confirmation number and found out I was bumped from the flight. Needless to say I wasn't impressed.
After a little bit of prayer from both Matt and I, the Kenya Airways rep came back and said he could put me on a flight from Nairobi to Mumbasa and then down to Kili.
I would arrive an hour later then Matt...not ideal but the best we could do...and I only had 15 minutes to catch it.
Matt and I relucantly and frantically parted ways and I hustled to catch the flight.
I arrived in Mumbasa at conecting flight was at 9:30AM, it was time to hunker down again.
The airport is almost completely outdoors and at 12:30 in the morning everything was closed, safe one cafe.
I grabbed my bags, and lay down in the corner of the outdoor cafe.
I was awoke many times by staff, "The mosiquitos will bite you," they would say.
At 3 in the morning I woke to a security guard offering to buy me food, it was shift break and a bunch of them stood around chuckling at the 'fuchio muzugu' (crazy muzungu).
I thanked him but opted for some more sleep.
The airport began to come alive around 5:30AM with many people standing in cue for a flight to London.
The cafe owner woke me again to check if this was my flight, and when I said no she instead bought me breakfast...I was very grateful as the ATM's were broken.
I checked in and went upstairs to the lounge, hopped on the internet awhile and waited for my flight.
At 9AM, half an hour before my flight was suppose to leave, a Kenya Airways rep came in and told me they had cancelled my flight.
They instead gave me more tickets, I would reach Kilimanjaro International Airport by 3:30PM...but Matt was expecting me at 10AM.
I had them call for him in Kili and inform him of the change of plans.
I now boarded a flight bound, first for Zanzibar then Dar Es Salam before changing flight to bounce up to Kilimanjaro.
5 Airports in 24 hours...just a small feat.
Upon ariving in Kilimanjaro Internation Airport I frantically searched for Matt, asked if anyone knew if the message had been passed along, or if there was a message for me...Nothing.
Should I go to Moshi? Or Should I stay and see if Matt would show?
I opted for the first option and headed out to the car park for the free shuttle.
A taxi driver spotted me and asked why I looked so worried.
I told him the story and he had just so happened been at thye ifo desk when Matt asked for our company.
He took me to the place where he was staying.
After about 45mins of driving, I arrived, was informed that yes indeed Matt was there.
We were both very happy to see each other, all he was told is that my flight was cancelled.
At 5 we sat down for a briefing on the Mountain, went and grabbed some gear and here we sit now.
7:30, dinner time.
We climb tomorrow at 8:30AM.
The mountain look gorgeous and we are both very much excited, but almost ready for home.
6 days on the mountain and a couple of flights later we will be in Vancouver at 3:30 on the 12th.
For now,
Grace, Peace and Blessings,
Brent (& Matt)

Friday, 22 June 2007

Alive And Well

Alright so I've come up for some air,
I figured a couple weeks without any blog activity may have caused a couple people to start worrying (ie. my parents)
First of all, sorry for the lack of communication, I have not found myself with a lot of time to sit at a computer.
Secondly, internet here is very slow.
I've tried postng a couple times but the posts and emails have timed out.

So a quick update from Uganda.

I spent my first two weeks here with the Jeff and Shannon and their three little ones.
I ventured into Jinja for a five days to visit, raft and bungee into the Nile river and oh wow do I have some'll have to wait for.

The time spent at the 10 acres was preping for not only the arrival of the team but also 20 young kids which now call Suubi house their new home. (Until I find a way to sneak them home.)

I've been busy, God is good and I am healthy.

Lots of things to think through and process however.

The team is here and busy, it's a great team and they are thriving.

Time is running out.

Will post again soon.

Grace, Peace and Blessings ,


Sunday, 3 June 2007


I sit now, overlooking the lush green hills of Mpigi Uganda.
I'm surrounded by the sound of happy children, light african music and boda boda drivers yelling, "hey Mzungu, you need ride?"

The smell is the same, the smiles are the same but much has changed.

I flew in under the cover of darkness once again, landing in Entebbe airport at the un-godly hour of 3:45.

After much work (and a long story) at customs, I was on my way out the doors, greeted by the tired yet smiling faces of Jeff Dyck and Malumba!
After a warm welcome we hopped in Micheal's car and we were off to Mpigi, a 2 hour drive along the dark, the pot hole invested streets. Jeff handled the car well though and we arrived unscathed, (had I been driving it could have been a different story.)

After sleeping in the on site Medical Clinic for all of 2 hours I awoke to the sound of the Dyck children and Rebekah in the doorway, it was time to get up and prepare for church.

One of the first must do's was visiting the childrens homes.. there are two full homes now, and a third one which will be filled when the team arrives in two weeks.
The kids have grown so much, so remembered me, some did not, but it is amazing to see them all again healthy and happy.

A quick greeting to the church, many happy encounters with old friends and a renovation of sorts I write to you now as the sun sets on my first day returning to Uganda.

I must go now, but I am safe, I am very happy and I am ready for my next adventure.
More to come soon.

Grace, Peace and Blessings,

Friday, 1 June 2007

A Long, Expensive Contemplation

I sit, writing to you now as I wait for a plane out of Madrid.
I've been hunkard down here for the last two days, trying to get out, but to no avial.
I arrived two days ago by train via Barcelona, the plane was to fly stand-by on the next flight to didn't work. Instead, I had to seek refugue in a hotel on the outskirts of Madrid, waiting for my schedualled flight out.
I would have rather spent a couple days extra in Cairo before departing for Uganda. It would have been considerably cheaper, more exciting and fun, but God has a funny way of working.

Until two days ago, I had been constantly busy, on the move, with people. I had not had time to sit and reflect on my experiances thus far, I hadn't been able to soak it all in.

Now drop yourself in Madrid, alone, with nothing to do but sit and wait...and reflect.

Things become almost overwhelming.

Looking back on the past month was all one big blur, a series of leasons, events jammed into a rather short amount of time.

Don't get me wrong, in no way is this a bad thing, quite the opposite really.

I've learned more about myself, my God and life in these last weeks then ever before.

I've in these last two days, I've slowly been able to make sense of God's calling on my life and the person I am.

Have I figured it all out?

Of course not, I think it takes a life time, but little by little things seem to clear up.

Life has been relatively easy for me but I understand that Life is rarely easy, nor should it be.

Where would we be if not for the pitfalls?

The times when we've had to pick ourselves up, or needed someone else to pick us up.
The times were it felt like we've crawled on our knees to get through a day, let alone a week, or even a year.
The times were we needed to sit, reflect and lick our wounds before pressing on.

Is it worth it to sit in the comforts of this world and never let yourself be broken?

“ Blessed are the poor in spirit,
For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4 Blessed are those who mourn,
For they shall be comforted.
5 Blessed are the meek,
For they shall inherit the earth.
6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
For they shall be filled.
7 Blessed are the merciful,
For they shall obtain mercy.
8 Blessed are the pure in heart,
For they shall see God.
9 Blessed are the peacemakers,
For they shall be called sons of God.
10 Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake,
For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11 Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. 12 Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you."

Matthew 5:3 (NKJV)

Is it worth it?

Grace, Peace and Blessings,

Saturday, 26 May 2007

Sleepless In Barcelona

And there you have it, I'm in Barcelona.
I arrived yesturday morning at 4:30AM, the airport was quiet and the sun still hidden.
I hunkerd down in the airport, waiting for the world to wake. I didn't have a hostel for the night, and there was no point in venturing into the city at that ridiculous hour. So there I waited, trying to catch so valuable hours, if not minutes of sleep...but sleep never came.
The airport slowly began to come alive around 7:30,
I had decided I was going to tent it on the beach, the Mediterranian waves crashing, stars shining. Besides it was only for one night, I had a hostel booked for the next few nights. However after a few long exhausting hours in an airport, camping under the stars doesn't sound so appealing, and I still had the rest of the day to look forward to. I quickly hopped on the internet and began the frantic search for a hostel in the downtown area...they were all booked.
Perhaps a hotel then, slightly more expensive but it would be worth it for a hot shower and a comfy bed.
I had to pick up the girls at the train station downtown so I found a hotel near there, grabbed a few euros at an exchange hut, jumped in a taxi and away I went.
The hotel was a literal 50metres from the train station and they just so happened to have a relatively cheap, (in comparison to other hotels) room ready for me.
The hotel was beautiful, The Torre Catalunya Gran Hotel, The room came equiped with a two showers, a bath tub, two double beds, a television and view of half of Barcelona city. It wasn't too bad ;).
After settling in I began to explore the rest of the hotel, it was then thatI discovered the resturant on the top floor.
Situated on the top floor, the entire outside wall consists of windows, providing an amazing view of the entire city and surrounding area. And it just so happened to be serving an all you can eat breakfast, equiped with every breakfast to brunch food you could possibly imagine.
Everything from hashbrowns, to freshly cut deli meats, to chocolate covered pastries, to fresh fruit lay before my greedy little eyes and hungry stomach.
Needless to say I got my moneys worth.
I retired to my room catching a valuable hour of sleep before my requested wake-up call did just that.
It was time to venture over to the train station and find a meeting spot.
After much work (I vastly regret not taking Spanish in highschool) I finally found the train platform and it wasn't long before Kristin and her friend Kerry appeared.
After a short greeting we found our way to the underground system and went on our way to their hostel.
The underground ride was quiet as sleep remained a distant dream for all of us.
We soon found their hostel, they got settled and we decided on a night of exploring this forgien city.
We walked and talked, trading stories, getting increasing lost in the streets of Barcelona and enjoying each others company.
After much aimless walking we found a Starbucks, (a much needed stop) as well as a Subway. We decided dinner was much needed and grabbed a couple subs.
We continued our walk after dinner and spotted some spotlights in the sky, instictively we decided to head towards them, and after much walking, we discovered the source. A fantastic parliment like building with a large fountain in front of it.
The fountain had drawn quite a crowd as it threw water about in step with classic music which was being belted out from the center of it. It was quite amazing.
After the show we decided it was time for bed, so we hopped on the metro system, I dropped off the girls and I headed back to my hotel.
I checked out the next morning and made my way over to the downtown core, grabbed a bite to eat at a cafe and waited for the girls before checking into my new home for 4 nights.
That day we continued to explore, hopping on a tourist bus and seeing some of the "must see" sights of Barcelona.
This place is a very beautiful city. (Pictures to come).
That night we ate at the Hard Rock Cafe just off the main strip and enjoyed a very "Americana" meal after which it was time for sleep.
I have enjoyed sleeping in Barcelona, I didn't sleep much in Egypt, so I seem to be making up for it here.
Yesturday was beach day, we hopped on a train for 45mins to a place called Sitges, where the beaches are beautiful and the Medditerainian waves pound the shore.
I spent most of the day frying myself to a deep red colour, both on the beach and in the ocean.
I paying for it today.
After several hours out in the lovely town of Sitges, we came back to Barcelona for dinner, a couple drinks and more sleep.
And today here I sit, my final full day in Barcelona.
The ladies travel tomorrow bright and early and my goal is to bump up my flight to Egypt.
I am suppose to fly out of Madrid on the 1st of June, spend 24 hours in Cairo again and finally hop on another flight down to Entebbe.
If possible though, I would love to fly out either tomorrow night or on the 31st, spend a couple extra days in Egypt and then head down to Uganda.
We'll see what my travel agent has to say however.
Alright, this is it for now.
Grace, Peace and Blessings,

Thursday, 24 May 2007

Parting Is Such Sweet Sorrow

So here I stand, bags packed, friends behind me, ready to board a plane again.

I've fallen in love with the work I have been doing here in Egypt, with the friends that I have made here and now I'm boarding another plane and leaving.

Was three weeks enough time here?

Not by any stretch of the imagination, it was just long enough to get a small taste of what Egypt has in store.
There are so many flavours here, only God could have dreamt up such a place as this...and now I'm leaving.

They say you should never look back because you never know what lies ahead, but it's impossible not to, just as it was impossible not to when leaving home.

Am I excited to keep traveling?

Yes of course. I know I have so many more adventures ahead of me, so many more chances to grow within myself and within my relationship with God. I want to continue traveling, exploring the world and walking the path that God has set before me but I also want to return to Egypt.

I have applied for an internship here within the Outreach and Development department at Maddi Community Church, and I have been praying that God will give me the chance to fulfill that role, it's just a waiting game now. Waiting and praying.

As I stand again at the edge of comfort I can take knowledge in the fact that God will never lead me astray, He has His hand in my life and as long as I chose to go where He leads I will be Blessed.

Please continue to pray for me as I embark on my next journey.

Grace, Peace and Blessings,

Friday, 18 May 2007

Lost In The Moment

It seems a lot of my posts have been rather serious lately,
I'm not going to apologize about that, however, I think it is time to lighten the mood for a moment.

I can't say it enough, Egypt is continuing to grow me and shape me and I'm beginning to love it here. I know God is doing some amazing things here at Maadi Community Church and I very much want to see that.

I've been indulging in many adventurous activities here as well, it's not all fact, there has been a very healthy balance of play as well.
I've taken dinner cruises down the Nile river,

I have sailed on a couple Faluccas down the river,

I've been to the Giza pyramids 5 times including once on camel back.

I;ve crept into the heart of these monsterous structures and seen people of all cultures conversing in which once was someones overgrown tomb.

I;ve ventured through tombs, seen mummies, and seen their life stories written out in hyrogiphs.

I've driven through cities of garbage, and cities of crypts.

I've seen churches carved into the walls of a canyon.

I;ve ridden horses through the desert, at night. Watched the pyramid light show from the sand dunes, on horse back.

(Pictures to come)

I've wined and dinned with the who's who at the British Embassy.
I've dodged Egyptian traffic, biked my way through a maze of streets and cars.

I;ve climbed my way up and elevator shaft to the top of my building just to take photos.

I've eaten at more resturants then I can count, eaten the Egyptain staple foods, and the delicousies, including bird tounge soup.

I've made friends with ex-hit men, diamond smugglers, Marines, military, security officials and taxi drivers.

I've enjoyed everything I've seen and done here in Egypt but it seems as if you would need a full life time to see and do it all. I've hardly ventured outside of Maadi and Cairo and I still haven't see it all here.
Mount Sinai is here, the valley of the Kings and Queens, Luxor dam, all recommended, however it's just too far and I;m too busy to get down there.

The history in the place is amazing, the people in the place are awesome and God is doing some amazing things.

Please pray for Egypt,

Grace, Peace and Blessings,