Student Leaders: SPRINT
Summer 2010 SPRINT Teams: Egypt
Trip Dates: June 14-July 5, 2010
Project Description: Students will observe and participate in ministries to children in villages outside Cairo, orphans and residents of Cairo’s garbage village. Educational opportunities include Cairo’s pyramids, Egyptian museum and Coptic and Islamic sections, as well as a tour of pyramids and historic sites at Luxor. Students will engage in dialogue with Christian and Muslim individuals to learn the impact of Islam, Judaism and Christianity on Egypt and the Middle East.
Host: Impact Middle East
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Hello, friends of the Egypt SPRINT team!
Below, find a brief update from the team. The team is home now!. As you prepare to receive them, here are some things I hope you'll think about to help the team make the most of this trip.
As the group returns, they’ll continue to think through this experience and its implications for their lives. It’s likely that this mental processing will involve at least some of these elements:
Relief upon returning to familiar surroundings,
Frustration with aspects of home culture that appear less desirable than the cultural values experienced during the SPRINT experience,
Sadness and joy over relationships and memories developed during the trip,
And hopefully, Resolve to incorporate the learning from this trip into daily life as life moves on.
It’s our hope that SPRINT participants will return to “life as usual” with expanded worldviews and a clearer sense of God’s work in their lives. The learning process continues after the trip experience; students will participate in a debriefing retreat in October, and will be encouraged to continue meeting with their SPRINT team to share the story of their host’s work and encourage future generations of SPRINT participants to serve.
I encourage you to give your student time to catch up on sleep and collect his or her thoughts, then set aside an extended period of time to share pictures and stories. Don’t expect completely-formed opinions immediately; the reflection process takes time. We remind returning SPRINTers that not everyone will have time to hear the whole story, but that they should find a few people with whom to share the longer, more in-depth account.
I’ve e-mailed team members a list of debriefing questions designed to help students think through their experience and its meaning as they move forward in their lives. If you’ve got time, I’d encourage you to talk though some of these questions with your student.
Thanks for your support of students on this team! Please let me know if you have questions.
We made it back to Cairo tonight and are all so tired from today. But Mt. Sinai was beautiful and well worth getting up at 2 am and riding camels half way up! The view was beyond words and we all loved it. We also visited Garbage City today.
Sorry this is so brief.
Each of us wanted to give a little reflection about our time here so far so here it is:
Joel - Before coming to Egypt, I had tons of things to finish up of which included graduating, moving out of my house, and packing for Egypt. However, even with all these distractions, I am very happy that I made the decision to come here as it has expanded my horizons about missions and the world in many ways. Perhaps the biggest adjustment has to do with time. It is interesting to notice that there are not a lot of clocks around, such as clocks on churches or in the rooms that we stay in. In one way it has been difficult to adjust from a culture where time is money to a culture that does not place that influence on time and spends more time in making relationships. I sense that I am still learning how to deal with this issue. My favorite part so far would have to be Alexandria where we did some Soccer ministry and got to hang out with our friendly English hosts there. They really made us see how much help we were to them as well as the kids that we worked with even when most kids could probably have schooled us out there.
Kent - I can't believe it’s been two weeks already. Joel is right about having to adjust to the whole time thing, it's definitely different, but not necessarily in a bad way. I kind of secretly like not being so tied into tight-knit schedules. Luxor has been really nice, we even have toilet paper in our bathroom here which we have found to be a real luxury. Today we visited the Valley of the Kings which was so amazing. I have a lot of favorites already, but just hanging out with all the kids, both during the soccer ministry and during the VBS we did in Su Hag and being able to make them smile and laugh despite the language barrier was really special and rewarding for me personally.
Lexie- What a blessing it is to be here in Egypt. I agree with Joel in the fact that Spring Quarter was so busy that i did not really feel prepared to come to Egypt, but am so thankful that we are here. I find the different perspective on time very refreshing and rather like the emphasis on relationship rather than time, although it is a bit frustrating not knowing what we will be doing and having our plans change from moment to moment. But, this brings me to a point our English host in Alex made, he said- the missing B-attitude for the missionary: "Blessed are the flexible, for they will not be bent out of shape." We are all learning a lot about flexibility and what it means to let God work in his time, not ours. A great and tough lesson. The children here are beautiful and I’ve enjoyed hanging out with them at the futbol ministry in Alex and in Suhag. They have such light in them and the young girls here are particularly thirsty for attention and love. Women’s issues have also been on my heart since we've been here as my eyes are continually being open to what it is like to be a woman here. The women here are very hardy despite the harsh culture towards them- I still have a lot to learn about this. The language barrier is also hard, but our actions speak louder than words- and that's all we really have to communicate here- which is not a bad thing, it’s rather good.
As for Sam, he is now sound asleep- so he will be giving a reflection whenever he has the chance.
With Sprint love!
We wanted to just give you a quick update on our status so that you won't have to worry about what happened to us now that we are back to the land of internet. We made it to Sohag early Wednesday morning at 2:30 am after a 9 hour train ride from Alexandria. Alexandria was hard to leave as we really enjoyed our time with our hosts and their two young and rambunctious daughters. They really helped us see how we were a great help to them in the way the kids enjoyed being around us and, most importantly probably, that we invested and put lot of ourselves into an already existing outreach ministry. A longer email will follow about this as well as about our time in Alexandria.
Sohag has been a little step down from Alexandria, not quite as bleak as Wyoming though (which my mom wanted to liken it to after reading up on it). Perhaps the biggest adjustment is the way they handle foreigners here in Upper Egypt (as they term everything that is in South Egypt). There is definitely a bigger Muslim influence here and in order for them to feel good about keeping foreigners safe, they hire a Police escort to take them anywhere in Sohag; which naturally will draw more attention to us. I feel like quite an important person actually although a little less safe as the escort consists of one Police car that keeps its lights flashing and horn blaring. Last night we made a VBS program that we will do again tonight and then leave for Luxor at 2:30 tomorrow morning. After the first night's VBS session we did have a nice boat ride on the Nile River under a full moon with some of the church people as well (with an escort that had a boat riding constantly around the boat we were in). All in all, it's been interesting here in Sohag and we are all still in good spirits and enjoying our time here in Egypt.
After the past two nights of running the VBS programs at the church in Sohag, we boarded a 2:40 am train from Sohag to Luxor this morning and are now taking some much needed R&R. The train ride did have a perk in that we were able to see sun rise on the train *cough* made all the better by it being my (Joel's) birthday *cough*
We hope to follow with another email about our (so far) reflections on our time here. We do want to thank you for your continued support and prayers; they are much appreciated and felt by us.
We're in Alexandria right now with our favorite hosts. A few days ago we got to see the Pyramids and the Sphinx which was a lot of fun. It is definitely hot here, but we're getting used to dripping with sweat and not caring anymore. We took a train ride to Alexandria from Cairo which was quite the cultural experience. The last two days we've been helping out with kids soccer (futball) groups, and trying our best to put our few scattered phrases of Arabic to use. Not to brag, but we are a bit famous here. Our wonderful matching SPU soccer jerseys may be a little bit misleading... Lots of people have wanted pictures with us. Today Lexie was surrounded by about 25 Egyptian girls at a citadel castle we visited, they seemed to love her and yelled what sounded more like "Roxy" every time they saw us.
So we're doing well and having a great time, but keep the prayers up, we are also hot, sticky, and tired =)
Masa' il khair! - which means Good evening! It's now 8:45pm of our first day in Egypt! We're all doing well, very tired, but everyone is in good health and excited for the trip. We've met with Dustin and Haney already and have learned a bit of Arabic, walked the streets, and are getting everything set up. We got off to a bit of a late start because my alarm clock did not work and I woke up 3 hours later than I was supposed to! The house I'm staying in is empty because the girls who live there are gone at a conference this weekend- whoops! But it ended up being fine- good thing Egyptians are lax about time.
Joel lost the filling to his front tooth while we were in Amsterdam enjoying Panini- so Dustin helped us find a Dentist and they got Joel all fixed up with a new front tooth. Man oh man, and adventure already. I don't have a lot of time to fill you in more-- but we are heading to the Pyramids tomorrow and then to Alexandria on Friday.
The team departed SeaTac Airport on Monday, June 14. More updates soon.
Back to SPRINT.
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