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A Message from an Alumnus in Cairo

The Rev. Sameh Hanna in CairoFrom PCConnect*:

A graduate of Knox College, Rev. Sameh Hanna was ordained by The Presbyterian Church in Canada in 2007 and served with the Arabic Outreach Mission in Toronto before relocating to his native Egypt with his Nevine and two daughters. Rev. Hanna now serves the Kasr El Dobara Evangelical Church just off Tahrir Square in Cairo.

On February 11th, Rev. Hanna sent the following message to supporters in Canada. We offer it here as a witness to the service of our brothers and sisters in Egypt and ask for continued prayers for a peaceful resolution to the crisis.

Dear prayer warriors,

Thank-you for the many e-mails/calls we’ve received asking about us in Egypt. We are a blessed family to know that you are praying for us and our people. As many of you know, our church is located in Tahrir Square (where the demonstrations are taking place) in the downtown. We are safe, but there is still a curfew in the evening hours. The food supply is good: it is easily available but it is getting very expensive. Please continue to pray that the Lord will intervene, and that a peaceful resolution will be implemented.

I would like to share with you encouraging news. Last Sunday I led a worship in Tahrir Square with our worship team. We sang a few songs asking God to bless Egypt, some read scripture and others prayed publicly. It was received very well by Muslims and their leaders (see attached photos).

We meet daily for three hours in different homes in Cairo to pray for our country and for the Egyptian people. We do that because we cannot open the church because of it’s location. However, everyone is encouraged that we are together. After praying and sharing we started to think of how we can minister during this crisis we did the following:

    • Two groups of our young people went to clean and collect the garbage from streets; each group had about 110 people.
    • Some people visited the police stations to tell the police officers “Welcome back!” and that we appreciated their services. We gave them flowers in an expression of the love of Christ, and their response has been very positive.
    • Another group has been distributing food in several poor areas of town.

Even so, the current situation is very dangerous and unpredictable. We have been encouraged to see our sovereign Lord help us through this and we are confident it will turn out for the greater good.

So as you watch the TV news reports and witness the turmoil in Egypt, let it stir us to pray. Let it also move us to say to God, “Here we are. Send us into the chaos and pain. Use us to make disciples of all nations.”

Praise God for His goodness and sovereignty!

Please pray for our beloved Egypt and God’s intervention; for our church in Cairo that is encouraging members of its congregations to volunteer at hospitals in need of nurses and to help elderly people; and for peace in the minds and hearts of the Egyptians, as the future is uncertain.

Pray also that God will provide some financial support for those in need. We are collecting funds to attend to the needs of those who didn’t receive their paychecks — banks have been closed for a long time and are now open only for a few hours a day.

As I am finishing this email President Mubarak is submitting his resignation.

Blessings,

Sameh Hanna

*Used with permission from The Presbyterian Church in Canada.