Mission Trip Report from Seth Constable
Recently, I was blessed with the opportunity to go to Cairo, Egypt. The trip was a total of ten days, consisting of 7 days spent in Cairo, and 3 days spent in Aswan. I have been actively involved in Chi Alpha Christian Fellowship at Fairmont State University. Part of the vision of our ministry is that every student would participate in at least one cross-cultural experience while they are a student. With this year being my last year in college, I did not want to miss this opportunity of a lifetime to go and speak to the unreached.
We arrived in Cairo late Monday afternoon. We were all very tired from our flight. The flight to Germany took about 8 hours, and then we had a 4 hour layover, and then a 5 hour flight to Cairo. We were exhausted to say the least, but once we got there we knew we had to do a debrief with the missionary’s that were hosting us, Adam and Christi. The ride from the airport was probably the scariest ride of my life. You have never truly experienced bad traffic unless you have been to Cairo. It is total chaos. There are little to none cross walks so everyone darts in front of oncoming traffic which causes the car you’re riding in to slam on the brakes about every 30 seconds, and if it’s not pedestrians, its other drivers. Using signal lights is pretty much unheard of, they just cut in front of people while laying on their horn to signify that they’re there. It is actually amusing after sometime, but still very dangerous.
Getting use to the culture is difficult at first, but once you understand it, everything goes smoothly. We all knew the most common one, the dress code, but there was more to it than that. For example, in their culture it is rude to not leave food on your plate. It is very disrespectful to point the bottom of your foot towards somebody, so when sitting down it is a good habit to keep both feet on the ground.
The second day we were there, we went to a mosque were we prayed over everyone as they were participating in their call to prayer which takes place 5 times a day. After we prayed, we walked around and engaged in conversation with some of the people there. My friend and I got to talk to a guy around our age for a good 10 minutes but he spoke very broken English. After an awkward silence, we decided to say our goodbyes, however we did exchange information and got to add him on Facebook.
The next day, we went to iLearn which is an English institute that offers English courses. There we got to talk to Egyptians who were learning English. This is where we met our two new friends, Ali and Hany. These guys were very welcoming and took us around Cairo making us try all sorts of different foods. We only got to hang out with Hany once, but got to hang out with Ali four different times. Last two times we hung out, we got to engage in conversation about what we both believe in. He told me what he believes in as a Muslim, then I told him what I believe in as a Christian. The conversation had its ups and downs, but I know that God definitely was working in it. By the end of the conversation, I got to give Ali a Bible that was already translated for him in Arabic. This meant a lot to him because it had never been opened and it was from America. Also, to see how respectful he was in handing the Bible was very eye opening. In their religion, they cannot let the Quran go below their waste so they can’t put it in their pockets or anything like that. But the fact that he treated our Bible with the same respect was very heart warming. The last day we spent with Ali, we drank coffee and watched Youtube videos with him. Before we left that night, I asked if I could pray for him and he agreed. It was awesome to see how open he was to what we had to say.
Towards the end of our trip, we flew down to Aswan where we stayed with two missionaries that have been there for a little over a year now, John and Pam. There, we had the opportunity to stay in a Nubian village and meet the Nubian people. The Nubian people are an unreached people group in southern Egypt. They have a Christian background, however in the 15th century Islam had overrun the Christian kingdoms of Nubia. Today, there are only 10 known believers of the Nubians people. When we were prayer walking through the villages, John, the missionary that was hosting us, said something that I hope to never forget. He said that when we pray over the Nubians, it could very well be the first time anyone has actually prayed over them. It is heart breaking to know that most of them have never heard the Gospel, but to know that seeds our being planted within the Nubian villages is amazing.
To sum everything up, I had an amazing trip that was both eye opening and humbling. I want to again thank everyone who helped make this trip possible for me and my teammates. Now, I do ask for one more favor. Pray. Pray for Ali and Hany, that their eyes will be opened and that they develop a hunger to learn about Jesus and who He really is. Pray over the missionaries that hosted us in Cairo and Aswan that God will continue to use them to spread His Kingdom there. And pray for the Nubian people, that they will see through the lies that have been taught for hundreds of years now and that they will see God’s Truth.