I really don’t feel like updating today, but I think I should and there are things I want to say. So here we go, my life in 15 minutes or less.
I need to start be announcing that yesterday I bought pink pants. Maybe I’m just copying my cool roommate or maybe its because everyone in Egypt has pink pants and I thought I needed some too. Either way I have them and when I wear them I feel like a rockstar–yeah that’s right pants can do that kind of thing.
Today we went to Cairo University to have a “dialogue of civilizations” with the students there. The campus was buzzing with activity and I could just imagine student demonstrations of all kinds taking place in the 60s and 70s. My parents went to school there and I know my dad likes to cause a ruckus and there are stories, but I don’t remember all the details. I’ll save that one for a rainy day. It was a pleasant day. The students we talked to were impressive, but many of there perceptions about Christianity were a little, um, ridiculous. They informed me that the Bible says that we have the kill anyone who converts from Christianity. We were discussing human rights and talking about freedom of religion, that point came up and my jaw dropped to the floor. We corrected them and one guy from our group told the story of the prodigal son, but it is frustrating to be workig so hard to understand this culture when I sometimes get the feeling that no one hear cares to understand me. I guess I’m just beginning to skim the surface of what misconception exsists on both sides and I’ll be satisfied if by the time I leave this place I have learned to ask the correct questions.
Here’s what I’ve been thinking about in the past few weeks. I don’t think there is any difference between preaching the gospel and serving the poor, but I do think that there is a difference between evangelizing and preaching the gospel. Maybe I’m walking on thin ice, but I think that we are too concerned with pulling souls over this line that we can’t see or define. I don’t think its my job to get people saved, I think that is up to the working of the Holy Spirit. And of course I believe He uses us for that purpose, and that’s where preaching the gospel comes in. In Egypt, its not often that people convert because of really good evangelistic methods and it usually happens because of dreams and visions. So pray for dreams and visions and pray that Christians would have the power to love, to preach the gospel to the poor, to bind up the brokenhearted, and proclaim freedom for the captives. Words aren’t working. The four spiritual laws just don’t cut it. I don’t have the answers, and I’m not exactly sure how this looks in real life. All I know is that something in me has to change, and I think I’m slowing beginning to see all that, but there are miles to go before I sleep.
I have a confession to make. Jenny, brace yourself. Sometimes I don’t like Bush. Most of the time I think he’s okay. But, I’ll have a conversation that just sets me off, or I’ll see something on the news and get really worked up. I think I’ll come out on the middle of the road of all this, but the verdict is still out. Everything is such a mess here and I its hard to see what could’ve been different and no one’s perfect, but that just needed to be said. And here’s the other thing I’m thankful that I’m allowed to say express that opinion, because opinions of Mubarak should not be voiced out loud in this country. I am proud to be an American.
I have my Islamic Thought and Practice final on Monday–I’ll be sad when that class is over. I have not often felt that way at the end of a class. Two weeks of Arabic left–I’m practically fluent. And when Arabic is done we leave for three weeks of travel to Turkey, Jordan, Syria, and Lebanon. We’re going to Petra–that’s were Inidian Jones was filmed. Needless to say we’re all extremely excited. That’s all I have tonight. I’ll see you on the flip side.