Thursday, 7 May 2009

Found Refuge

In a small, freshly painted office
I sit at a big wooden desk with a bowl of traditional Sudanese lentils in front of me,
There a few food that I hesitate with now, but the sheer appearance of these mashed lentils conjures the contents of my stomach to the brink,

It's rude to refuse food here, and though I've already eaten, the cook stands in anticipation waiting for me to take to first bite,

It took some time, but I found 'Found'.
The Sudanese refugee school has proven elusive this time around, and while I spent most of my time working within it's walls last year, it seemingly disappeared.

Egyptians authorities closed the doors to the makeshift refugee school,
While the sound of the street along side the ground floor apartment can be deafening, apparently the sounds of the children within the walls were cause for complaint,

Such is the life of a refugee in Egypt.

Denied access to public schooling,
Withheld accreditation by the government,
Mocked in the streets,

However, God is good in-spite of the chaos,
And 'Found African Childrens Learn Center' was able to reopen it's doors in a new and improved building,

Education is the basis of development,
Providing these children with a basic education, certified and accredited or not, is a necessary and fundamental step in stemming the hardships that Sudan has faced,

Through a better understanding of the world, science and cultures, partnered with a education based in love, tolerance and Biblical Truths, a new generation of leaders being molded.

And while changed in an already established entity is never easy,
It is no excuse for a lack of trying, especially when change can bring prosperity.

It starts with these children,

'Young Men Alive' is a study I facilitated here in 'Found' during my time here in Cairo,
A chance for prospectives to collide, and understandings to be reached.
A place where these young men, are presented topics, which are otherwise discreet, and given the opportunity to mull them over in a safe environment,

A study which earned me the nickname "Young Man" with the guys,

When I rang the bell for the bell of 'Found' for the first time this year,
The door opened and I was greeted by the hugs, playful punches and calls of "Young Man",
It was like coming home.

I had spoken to the head master here, a dear friend of mine, in advance, to be sure my arriving would not be interrupting,
The response I received has been the most warm since my return to Cairo,
"You are most welcome. You were a part of us"

A community, which has been so devastated by civil war, famine and racism,
A community which has every right to be hard and jaded,
Yet this is a community, were love abounds from,

This is where I will continue to spend my time here in Cairo,
Teaching Bible once a day, and investing in friendships,
Friendships that despite a year apart, continue off where we left off.

Cairo never seizes to amaze me,
And while I continue to take risks and step out,
God rewards.

Not many things are as they appear here,
And for the record, a bowl full of Sudanese are actually quite tasty.

Grace, Peace and Blessings,

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