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,