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Christmas Appeal: Transforming a Garbage...

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Christmas Appeal: Transforming a Garbage City

Project(s): 11-599

Country/Region: EGYPT

By the time you are reading this, Christmas will be just a few weeks away. Soon our thoughts and worship will be focusing on the star, the shepherds, the angels and the birth of the Lord Jesus.

Egypt: a place of refuge for our Saviour...

But not long after He was born, Mary and Joseph had to take their young child and flee to Egypt to escape the murderous wrath of King Herod.

For two thousand years, Christians in Egypt have delighted in knowing that their homeland once provided a place of refuge for the Saviour.

Over the next few centuries, Egypt became a great stronghold of Christianity, in particular the port of Alexandria which was a centre of Christian learning. But when the Muslim armies conquered in the seventh century, Egyptian Christians began to experience discrimination, oppression and persecution. Many converted to Islam to escape the pressure they were under. But others remained faithful to the Lord, and thus a vibrant, Bible-believing Church exists today in Egypt.

Still suffering for Christ

Christians in Egypt still suffer discrimination and persecution in the twenty-first century. As a result many live in desperate poverty, barely able to feed and clothe their families.

The poorest of all are the thousands of Christians who have no home but the rubbish heaps which surround Cairo, the so-called "garbage cities". Here they are born, live and die. Somehow they eke out a living from the rotting, stinking refuse, sorting it with their bare hands. Ignored by the government and authorities, their only hope is to receive help from fellow Christians.

The photos in this letter were taken at one of the poorest and most crowded of these garbage cities. Here thousands of Christians live in pitiful, heart-breaking and appalling conditions. There are no medical facilities and only one school, which is grossly inadequate for the number of children. There are some 1,200 Christian children living in this garbage city who cannot go to school.

Pillar of Faith School

Barnabas Fund is adopting this garbage city and, with the help of the Lord, will be seeking to bring about the transformation of the lives of the Christian community. As a first project we have pledged to provide the funding needed to build a Christian primary school here. It will be called Pillar of Faith School, a name chosen by the Egyptian Christians to show how important their faith is to them. The plan is for a two-storey building with eight classes of children ranging in age from 4 to 12. As is normal in Egypt, the classes will be large, with 50-60 children in each.

Can you help this Christmas?

As you prepare to celebrate this Christmas season, please remember in your prayers the needs of the garbage city Christians in Cairo.

If the Lord lays it on your heart to make a gift to help the Pillar of Faith School, be assured that your generosity will bring real hope and joy to Christian brothers and sisters in great need.

If you would like to make a gift in lieu of a Christmas present to a friend or relative, we can provide a special gift certificate, indicating that a gift has been made on their behalf to assist suffering Christians.

Yours in the service of the persecuted Church,

Dr Patrick Sookhdeo
International Director

P.S. If you have recently given a gift to Barnabas Fund, please do not feel pressured to give again, but do lift up the garbage city Christians in your prayers.

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christian, persecution, charity, church, persecuted, sookhdeo, Islam

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    • Heavenly Father, we lift up to You today the heartbroken family of Mary Sameh George, a young Christian woman who was killed in an Islamist attack on a church in Egypt. We pray that You will comfort them and give them Your peace. We thank You that Mary was not ashamed to make her allegiance to You known, even taking the risk of provoking murderous anger against herself. We pray also for the families of three others who were killed in this attack at a church in Ain Shams, a suburb of Cairo, on 28 March. Lord God, may the hostility of Muslim Brotherhood supporters towards Christians in Egypt be restrained. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed 16 hours ago

    • Give thanks that as believers in some areas of Egypt continue to be at risk of violence from Islamists, Barnabas Fund is able to provide various kinds of practical help for needy Christians there, especially those most affected by the political turmoil. We are supporting Christian families in Upper Egypt with housing costs, medicines, food and schooling for their children, and 30 Christian students who were on the verge of dropping out of education because of lack of money have received funding to complete their education. Pray for all those receiving this help, that they will also be encouraged spiritually. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Wed, Jul 2014 00:00

    • Give thanks that the authorities in Egypt are pursuing justice for the Christian community following widespread violence against them by supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood last summer. Christians were scapegoated by the Islamists for the downfall of President Mohammed Morsi. On 14 August, mobs torched scores of churches, Christian institutions and private property in what was described as the worst single day of violence against the Egyptian Church since the 14th century. Over 100 Muslims have been charged in connection with the attacks; at the time of writing they were due to stand trial for rioting, attacking citizens and targeting the churches and homes of Christians. Pray that justice will be done and restitution made to churches and individuals who suffered material losses. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Tue, Jul 2014 00:00

    • “I was so happy and treasure this Word of God. It brings me so much peace and hope.” Uu Dee KoMang, an elderly woman in Burma (Myanmar), was one of many Christians who recently received a Kachin Bible through Barnabas Fund. Two years ago the Burmese army entered her village and ordered everyone to leave within the hour. Uu Dee took some clothes and food and ran, but her Bible was too heavy to carry. Now living in a relocation camp, she regretted not taking it, until the Bibles from Barnabas arrived. Pray that God’s Word will comfort and strengthen these believers who have lost so much and will give them encouragement for the future. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Mon, Jul 2014 00:00

    • Pray for three Christian prisoners of conscience in Vietnam who are being denied access to Bibles and other sources of spiritual support. Prison guards in Hanoi and Thanh Hoa province have refused to allow Le Quoc Quan, a lawyer and activist, and bloggers Maria To Phong Tan and Paul Tran Minh Nhat to receive visits from their church leaders and have prevented them from receiving Communion. Maria is serving a ten-year prison sentence in a harsh labour camp; she has been beaten by other inmates. Pray that the Lord will sustain and build up the faith of our brothers and sister as they cry out to Him in their need (Psalm 142:6). Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Sun, Jul 2014 00:00

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