SANTA ANA, Calif. (Jan. 4, 2013) – The following blog is another in a series of blogs from a Christian leader in Egypt about the chaotic, changing situation in Egypt over the past two years:
2012 is finally over.
A few days ago, as I was driving on my way to work, I tuned in to listen to a radio report about Egypt in 2012. The radio presenter detailed the many political, social, economic and security challenges that Egypt witnessed and passed through during the year 2012. The report was full of references to demonstrations, clashes, conflicts, political manipulations, rigged presidential elections and referendum, defective constitution, sit-ins, roads and railways blockings, injuries and casualties. What a mess!
These developments have split up Egyptians from being one big nation, proud of the January 2011 revolution; a revolution that brought in then hopes of a new developing free and democratic country, to two camps, each of them firing the shells of mistrust, rejection and hatred towards the other.
What a year!
What do we carry in with us into 2013? So many unresolved political struggles, serious trembling economic situations and arising concern, if not fear, about the overwhelming and dominating influence of the Islamists in Egypt.
Usually, you want to spend the New Year’s Eve among friends and family, expressing much hope that the new year may be better, more promising and prosperous than the one that just ended. This is what we want to do on this special day, isn’t it?
These are heavy thoughts on us, Christians, you know. The thought that we may have to prepare ourselves to an even worse year, with developments that could be cause more pressures, hardships and much more persecution.
I was driving my car on Cairo Ring Road on my way to work, with all these reports, and thought bombarding my mind. Suddenly, a truck passed by my left, a truck with a full load of sand. To my great surprise, I saw a big word written on the back of the truck, an English word with capital letters: JESUS. The truck passed me, but I decided to take a close photo of it. I had to accelerate and maneuver between the cars, get my mobile camera ready and get as close as possible to the back of the truck so I can take a good photo. In between all of this, I was also trying not to get engaged in a car accident. Praise the Lord, I didn’t.
I managed to get right behind the truck and…click… got my photo. Good one, isn’t it?
This is no way a coincidence. A sand truck, driving around the streets of Cairo, Egypt, the Muslim country, ruled by Muslim Brotherhood and Salafists! This was a message from Jesus for me; a message of assurance and comfort. It was a Christmas season’s gift for me, though not wrapped in red and green colorful paper, yet a very meaningful gift. The gift was a simple flash reminder of Jesus’ presence in my situation and in my country. Jesus simply sent me a sand truck with His name on it to remind me that He is the desire of all nations, and the savior of mankind. He is “Emanuel,” God is with us, the hope of glory in us, His children.
We Christians of Egypt go into 2013 with hope only in the Lord, our faithful Father; hope that endures because of the everlasting love of God to us, proclaimed in Jesus, who came to our world more than two thousand years ago to complete the divine plan of our salvation.
2013 may bring us more pain, struggles and suffering, but God is with us.
“Emanuel” is His name!