Saturday, November 7, 2015
My Trip to Egypt (part 9) – A Day of Rest
Saturday saw 3 more workshops continuing the conference. Tim and I were not scheduled to teach but ministered to the students by answering questions at the breaks, at lunch, and during the ride home on the bus. It was wonderful to be available to them as they had many insightful questions and were eager to know what answers the Scriptures had for them.
Tim and I also spent some time together talking and sharing ministry ideas. I don’t get to do that often, and that was refreshing. Tim is doing an incredible job at His Steps Ministries in Woodstock, GA. I learned much from him.
We ate lunch in a hurry, walked a quarter of a mile through the desert to the bus, and then rode the bus for several hours. We arrived at the hotel at about 7 pm and had a wonderful time of dinner and dessert with Yasser, his wife and daughter, and the Vanderweirs. It was great though they said I was anti-social because I was answering emails. I only had 130 emails from work in the 3.5 days where I had no internet, wi-fi, or cell phone connections. Still, I tried to answer the pressing, quick ones and delete the ones I could delete easily.
Not having wi-fi is a challenge in some ways but it was superbly nice in others. My room was quiet and I could read, write, and rest. That time was brief since we taught early and ended late, but it was productive to my soul. I played a song based upon Isaiah 43 quite often while alone with Christ. It was very worshipful indeed.
On the drive home Saturday, we were reminded about how Cairo is a city that comes alive at night. Most malls don’t even open until 11 am and shops stay open very late – 10 pm. Yasser said it’s just the culture and not for any reason when I asked if it was due to hot weather.
Driving in Cairo is crazy. Picture a school of fish swimming in the ocean. That’s how the cars (and our bus) function on the roads. Forget the lines on the streets. The cars scrunch in together, move around people and obstacles in the road together, and then move back together. It’s wild but it seemingly works…at least, it worked while I was riding on the highways. No wrecks.
Sadly, however, there are many deaths due to car accidents in Egypt, a leader in the world in that category according to Yasser. And now I know why. People just walk out in front of cars. One woman had almost her entire height of blanket-looking things on her head as she walked across the interstate. People jump out of cars and run across. It is wild. I’ve never seen anything like it. I’m surprised that the horns still work in most cars because they like to use them and have to use them a lot! Crazy. I could not drive in Cairo. Yasser said he has flipped twice before becoming a believer!!
We have one more day in Cairo on Sunday where we will again be in that traffic as we drive to the Pyramids. It should be an adventure.
Then our plan is to wake at 4 am (9 pm Eastern time at home on Sunday night), eat a fast b’fast at 4:30 am, and leave for the airport at 5 am Cairo time. Flights leave at 7:30 am and then I hope to arrive home by 11 pm Eastern time. That’s a 26 hour travel day. And I’m not a spring chicken anymore!
-Mark (God modeled a day of rest for us and we need it desperately)