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Christmas Appeal: Transforming a Garbage...

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Christmas Appeal: Transforming a Garbage City

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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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Daily prayer

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  • Praise God for the release of John Short, an Australian missionary who was detained in North Korea for distributing Christian leaflets. John, who is 75 and based in Hong Kong, was reported to security officials in Pyongyang after he was spotted leaving a Christian leaflet at a Buddhist temple, an act that is illegal in North Korea. Further Korean-language Christian pamphlets were subsequently found in his hotel room. John, who was released on 3 March after two weeks in custody, was required to sign a confession probably scripted by the authorities. Other foreign missionaries arrested in North Korea have been given long prison sentences. Give thanks to God that John has escaped further punishment, and pray for him as he recovers from his traumatic ordeal. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed 18 hours ago

  • Pray for Barnabas Fund partners in South Sudan who have been supporting Christians forced from their homes by violence. Conflict between supporters of President Salva Kiir and his sacked deputy Riek Machar in December and January displaced around 860,000 people. Churches were burned down and a number of pastors killed, while many people lost their belongings and were left destitute. Give thanks that churches in and around the capital, Juba, were able to provide food and other essentials to many families with help from Barnabas. Pray that they may continue to be salt and light in their country at this unstable time (Matthew 5:13-16), and that it will soon be safe for displaced Christians to return home. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Wed, Apr 2014 00:00

  • Pray for the residents of a mainly Christian village in Borno state, Northern Nigeria, in the aftermath of a horrific attack by Boko Haram militants on 15 February. Ask for God’s comfort for the relatives and friends of the 106 people in Izghe who were gunned down and slaughtered in their houses or in the open as they tried to flee. Pray for strength for the numerous residents who were wounded or whose properties were looted and torched. Pray too for the many Christians who fled into the neighbouring state after the attack, and ask that the Christian community in the North of Nigeria will be preserved in the face of Islamist violence. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Tue, Apr 2014 00:00

  • Violent attacks by militants from the Islamist group Boko Haram continue unabated in Northern Nigeria. On one horrendous day of violence on 26 January, at least 138 people were killed. A church in Wada Chakawa village in Adamawa state was targeted; the attackers locked the congregation inside and then detonated bombs, shooting and cutting the throats of people who tried to escape. They then went on a four-hour rampage in the village. Later the same day, Kawuri village in neighbouring Borno state was burned to the ground. Boko Haram is fighting to establish an Islamic state, and Christians are among its main targets. Pray that the Nigerian authorities will succeed in containing its insurgency. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Mon, Apr 2014 00:00

  • Almighty God, Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, we give You thanks on this Easter Day for the living hope that You have given us and all Your people through the resurrection of Jesus from the dead (1 Peter 1:3). We pray that the prospect of an enduring inheritance and future salvation will encourage our persecuted brothers and sisters to persevere in their faith, whatever may happen to them. We pray that we too may be sustained by this hope in the sufferings that we experience for the sake of Christ. We ask that the joy and resurrection power of the Lord will give strength and peace to persecuted believers today and every day. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Sun, Apr 2014 00:00

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