Tuesday, 11 March 2008

The Land Of The Lost

This has been one of the hardest blogs to write.

At risk of sounding negative, over critical or at times, all inclusive, I feel I should tell you that not all, nor are the majority of my adventures in Cairo troublesome.

Sure the occasional taxi catches fire, a few office chairs break and paint can lids aren't fastened tight enough. Sure crossing the street is a test of faith and bartering for everything can be tiresome.

But my life is Cairo is cushy compared to the people I'm here to serve, compared to the sights and sounds I see everyday.

That said, everyone is allow an "I hate Egypt day."
A day of mini melt down and venting.
And provided this is done in an appropriate matter, it can be a major release.
Allowing us to push forward and serve better.

However, misplacing this 'aggression' can be dangerous, as can be holding on to it for too long.

I... have been holding it in for too long,

In a culture that is so oppressed, it makes sense that there would be rebellion.
It might even be justified.

But rebellion against "Allah," is reason enough to be killed here, even rebellion against the teachings of his "prophet Muhammad" would hold a similar fate.

In a country where religion is law and there is no separation, no distinction between "matters of church and matters of state",

In a country that has more than 65,000 mosques and only 5,000 schools.

In a religion where even the term Islam means "submittion" and the term Muslim means "one who submits"

There is no room from new ideas, there is no room for difference, and no room for rebellion.

Agression, frustration, ...misplaced.

A day in the life of,
The spiritual battles, and the physical.

Egypt is a battle ground,
It's the trenches and it's a exhausting, a daunting place for a recruit to be molded and shaped.

Every day I am stretched,
Every day I am grown,
And every day I face the very reality of flautering in the midst of anger or frustrating.

How far and what extent did Jesus really mean "turn the other cheek"?

I step outside the door with Joy at my side and we face reality.

Every day and seemingly every moment,
The perverted stares, the sleazy comments and the attempted gropings build a hatred within me,
And the love of Jesus just seems so far away.

My fists clench and my heart hardens towards these lost,
I'm broken inside

The words spewed from the minarets play a constant reminder to where we are,

الله اكبر اشهد ان لا اله الا اللهاشهد ان محمدا رسول اللهحي على الصلاةحي على الفلاحالله اكبرلا اله الا الله

"Allah Akbar, Ash-hadu allā ilāha illallāh, Ash-hadu anna Muhammadan rasūlullāh, Hayya 'alas-salāt, Hayya 'alal-falāh, Allah u akbar, Lā ilāha illallāh"
"Allah is The Greatest, I bear witness that there is no lord except Allah, I bear witness that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, Make haste towards prayer, Make haste towards welfare [success], Allah is greatest, There is no lord except Allah"

A country, a religion,
Where propaganda, one sidedness, and fear dominate.

I grasp firmly to my Lord, my Savior and my Light.

1 The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.
2 He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,

3 he restores my soul.
He guides me in paths of righteousness
for his name's sake.

4 Even though I walk
through the valley of the shadow of death, [a]
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.

5 You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.

6 Surely goodness and love will follow me
all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the LORD

Surely it will,
And then will come the day where the minarets fall silent,
The day when the ground will shake and the mosques will come tumbling down,
The day when "allah" and his "Mohammed" will tremble and be exposed for the frauds they really are.

And my God, the One True God will reign triumphant.

Untill that day may myself and others find comfort in the love and the presences of Jesus Christ.
May my armour hold steadfast, and may your prayers carry me,
And may I continue to be a witness for Him.

Grace, Peace and Blessings,


Sara said...

Praying hard for you, Brent!!!

“Be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.

Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God...”

I pray the blood of Christ over you, Brent. God has equipped you and has given you power in Christ Jesus our Lord. I pray that you will be wrapped up in the arms of our God, who is the Strong God, who is with you always. I pray that you would be protected from all things that are not from Him and that you would be blessed with His peace.

Scott D. said...

Hey Brent,

Thank the Lord that His power is best demonstrated through our weakness (and not our strength). It's in your humility and honesty and dependency that Jesus will carry you 'with wings as eagles'.

Keep soaring in the power of the Spirit....and if you can't fly...keep running the race....and if you can't run...walk...and if you can't walk....just stand there...and if you fall....that's ok too....He knows that we are but dust.

Grace & Peace,

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Ian said...

A few questions for you:
If Egypt's problem is submission to dogma, how can a new dogma (Christianity) help them?
How is the Muslim concept of submission any different from the responsibility of Christians to defer to the authority of God?
What room is there for "new ideas" in any dogmatic religion, including Christianity?