St Frumentius theological college’s second graduation

We give thanks to God for continuing to bless us with love and unity. Although ethnic tensions are always high in Gambella, St Frumentius’ continues to be a place where every day you can clearly see a loving friendship between Anuak, Nuer, Dinka, Maban and JumJum brothers in Christ. As well as giving thanks for this, we’d like to celebrate many other things that the Lord has done in the college over the last year.

 

 

In June 2019, we celebrated the college’s second graduation. This years graduation address was given by Bishop Kuan Kim Seng, who spoke from the thirteenth chapter of John. As well as giving the students a demonstration of what it means to wash feet, he challenged address to go out and love and serve as Jesus did. Four students successfully graduated from the college, three of whom will be serving the episcopal area full-time next year.

 

 

Throughout the year, the Lord has provided us with teachers from outside who have come in and addressed some very important issues. In June, Rev. Dr. Brett Cane came to teach. In September, Solomon Worku and our Rev. Wondimeyu came and delivered some fantastic teaching on HIV/AIDs by Solomon. As a result of this course, many of our students and our priests got out and started teaching about this issue for the first time.

In January, we welcomed Dr Johann Vanderbijl back to the college. He ran an excellent course on Discipleship. As part of this course, our students designed discipleship courses for their own churches. By the end of the semester, the students had produced Discipleship Courses in Nuer, Anuak, Dinka, Maban and JumJum. As far as we know, these are the first discipleship courses to exist in several of these languages. At the end of February, the students left Gambella in February to run these courses in different churches throughout the region.

 

When our students heard lots of encouraging feedback when they returned from their Field Education placements in Feb – March. Many students reported hugely positive feedback, people really appreciating teaching which is more interactive and conversational than they are used to. Jacob, a particularly quiet student who is a refugee from South Sudan, told us about how he had met two individuals from a particular country which is renowned for being hostile to Christians and where Christianity is practically non-existent. These two people have since joined his church and came to faith in Christ.

 

 

We also want to note to the tragic loss of our brother, Ojulu Omot. Ojulu, a third-year student at the college. He was a kind and gentle man who was loved by all at the college. His death was a great shock to all at the college and has been difficult to process. It is incredibly disappointing that a young leader who had solid faith and a real heart for ethnic reconciliation should die 3 months before graduating. One of the small positives to come out of this tragedy is that Ojulu had given a video interview to the college a few months before he died. In this interview, he speaks of the beautiful transformation that had taken place in his life and he calls the church to work for peace and reconciliation across Gambella’s dividing lines.

Please join us in praying that, over the next year, we will see three things happen at the college. First, we hope that our new intake this coming August will enable us to train more people. We hope that this will include the Po and other minority ethnic groups, more female students, as well as church leaders from other denominations. Second, the college has been understaffed for more than two years now. Please pray that God would supply new lecturers who can build and develop the college. Finally, please pray for peace and stability in Gambella town, so that our programs can continue without disruption, and so that we can continue to raise up leaders for our Nuer and Anuak churches who have spent years together, learning to love one another.

For more information, please visit their blog.

Vacancies in the Diocese

Dear Friends,

The Diocese is currently seeking male Anglican Ministers for the English-speaking congregations of the Churches below, serving multi-cultural and multi-denominational congregations. These are significant and challenging roles and will involve working closely with the Bishops and others in this dynamic Diocese. The new Ministers will have a mission vision, a heart for evangelism, be good teachers, gifted pastor and team builders with a strong cultural sensitivity.

  • The Minister for the English-speaking congregations of All Saints’ Cathedral, Cairo
  • The Minister for the English-speaking congregations of St. George’s, Tunis
  • The Minister for the English-speaking congregations of Holy Trinity, Algiers
  • The Minister for the English-speaking congregations of St. Matthews Addis

If you are interested in any of these positions, please contact the Bishop’s Office at bishopmouneer@gmail.com for more information.

An Encouraging Story From Harpur, Menouf

In cover photo: Hany, Dr. Kuhn Hong, and a very relieved patient! )

On the 16th of February, we had a young man come in to Harpur Hospital, Menouf with acute abdominal and flank pain. Hany (our radiographer) did a routine ultrasound and found hydronephrosis (a swollen kidney) and a stone in the distal right ureter at UV junction. In the US, we might end the procedure there, and send him back to urologist. But, it was not so for Hany!

He rolled the patient over, so he was laying on his left side, and shook and compressed with a probe. In few minutes, the stone dropped to the floor of the urinary bladder, as you can see in the photo (on right). Then he asked the patient to go to the washroom. The happy patient came back with 7 mm stone on the paper, and the pain had gone away! Hany had made a proper diagnosis and treated the patient without performing any kinds of invasive surgery! I just wanted to share this fascinating story with you…

Story by Dr. Kuhn Hong

Prayer Request:

Please pray for all the nurses, doctors, and staff at Harpur Memorial Hospitals! God is doing a great work in these hospitals, but we are always facing challenges and appreciate your prayers.

Former Archbishop of Singapore Leads Us in Thought-Provoking Dialogue

Last week, Gusour Cultural Center and the Diocese of Egypt were honored to host Archbishop John Chew, who gave lectures and led some incredible dialogue. Archbishop John was the third Metropolitan Archbishop and Primate of the Province of South East Asia, as well as Bishop of Singapore. ++John remains a crucial voice and perspective on the growth of Christianity in the Global South, and the beauty and importance of Christians across the world listening to and learning from one another’s rich theological, ecclesiastical, and cultural traditions. It was truly a joy and a privilege to have ++John in our Diocese!

Gusour and the Diocese hosted two public lectures in the evenings. Tuesday evening, we thought through the Abrahamic tradition and the “mandate” for the children of Abraham (Jews, Muslims, and Christians alike) to be a blessing to the nations. He challenged us, asking how and if we are fulfilling our purpose to be a blessing to all nations. Especially in conversation with people from other (ancient) faiths, he has found it helpful to start with the ancient foundations of our faith and the beautiful history of the people of God. Thursday evening focused on the life of Joseph, who lived much of his life in Egypt! We looked at Psalms 77, 78, and 80, historical Psalms which recount God’s faithfulness to his people through their trials and struggles. Even when we are not faithful, God always is!

On Wednesday, our clergy and lay ministers had the opportunity to have a more intimate conversation with ++John. The Archbishop emphasized the need to “build bridges” with the Church in Asia not by dialoguing around Western theologians like Martin Luther or John Calvin, but by going back to our shared heritage as children of Abraham. He also suggested we pay more attention to biblical figures like Jeremiah, who lived just before the great Chinese philosopher, Confucius!

As always, Archbishop John brought a crucial perspective and greatly expanded our minds and our thoughts. We are so thankful for his willingness to come and to share with us!

Prayer Request:

Please pray for the ongoing ministry of ++John as he continues to teach from and about the Bible. Please also pray for the growing church in South East Asia! Pray that God would raise up indigenous leaders and local theological education for the this strong and important part of the body of Christ and the Anglican Communion.

400 Attend Remarkable Concert in All Saints’ Cathedral

Fouad and Mounib Concert

All Saints’ Cathedral

On Friday, February 1, our Cathedral in Zamalek hosted a once-in-a-lifetime musical event. Egypt’s own Fouad and Mounib wowed the audience with a beautiful evening of entirely original-composition music! A striking combination of styles and tempos, Fouad and Mounib’s performance left all in attendance feeling humbled yet inspired, with a new appreciation and passion for art and its power to affect the human soul.

LEFT:

Mohammed Fouad on Piano; Ahmed Mounib on Violin

We were so excited to host Found and Mounib in the beautiful All Saints’ Cathedral, and the space proved to be a magical setting. As the music rang through the church, the stained-glass chandelier seemed to almost make music of its own, the lotus-ceiling singing back as well. For many people who attended the concert, it was their first time to be in a church; after the concert, many people sensed that our Cathedral is a holy place.

The Beautiful Venue for the Concert, All Saints Cathedral

This concert was arranged and organized by our very own Gusour Cultural Center, which seeks to provide opportunities for society members of all cultural backgrounds to build bridges of understanding, acceptance, and cooperation through art, music, educational and cultural activities. This event did not have a time of discussion or fellowship afterwards, like many of Gusour’s events. Nevertheless, it was a beautiful example of Gusour’s vision of one place, open for all people. In the times we live in, full of polarization, Gusour is taking the opposite approach of many by opening doors, rather than closing them.

Michael Adel, who has directed Gusour for the last three years, was particularly moved by the event, saying, “This work we are engaged in, for a world in which all people are loved and accepted without any condition, is always an uphill battle. We face the challenges of polarization, mis-education, and hate every day. And sometimes, honestly, I feel discouraged. But this beautiful night of music and appreciation and all Gusour events, which are open to all people, motivate me to keep working, to keep striving, for an Egypt and a world  in which all people, from all backgrounds understand and love one another.”

We know that it was our great God, in his ever-flowing generosity, who made this event happen. We are so thankful to our great God for his steadfastness and provision. We, like the farmer, only prepare the soil and plant the seeds of love, tolerance, and understanding. It is God who does the watering, and makes the flowers grow. Praise be to God!

PRAYER REQUEST

Please continue to pray for the important work of Gusour Cultural Center. Pray in confidence that “the Lord of Peace himself” (2 Thess. 3:16) would bring peace, love, and tolerance to our great country of Egypt.

New Prayer Diary: Feb-June 2019

Dear Friends,

Please click here to view and download our new prayer diary, which covers Feb-June of this year. We have gathered together praises and prayer from across the Diocese, to guide and encourage you as you bring our beautiful and diverse Diocese to the Lord.

Thank you, as always, for partnering with us in prayer; YOU are a important part of the work the Lord is doing in and through the Diocese of Egypt with North Africa and the Horn of Africa.

May the Lord bless you this year!

Rev. David Ebenezer Ordained in St. Mark’s Church, Menouf

Ordination of Rev. David Ebenezer

St. Mark’s Church, Menouf

4:00 PM, 9 December 2018

On the 9th of December, it was our joy to ordain Rev David Ebenezer to the Sacred Order of Priesthood within the Worldwide Anglican Communion. Rev Ebenezer, his wife Elizabeth, and their two children moved to Menouf 4 months ago, and have been faithfully serving the congregation there ever since. We were so excited to see Rev. David be officially confirmed in this role.

Rev. David brings such depth and experience to this role, having pastored and studied in multiple countries and in many positions. He also has specific education for serving the healthcare community in a pastoral way—what a wonderful fit to serve our community in Menouf, which is largely made up of those serving in Harpur Memorial Hospital! Rev. David is compassionate, knowledgeable, and passionate, and we know he will make a wonderful impact as he serves the Lord in Menouf.

Please prayer for Rev. David (known to many as “Eby”) and his family. Pray that the Lord would bless them in their ministry, strengthen them in their relationship with the Lord, and use them to build up of the Church of Christ through their service.

Rishop Mouneer, Bishop Samy, Canon Hany, and Rev Kerry pray for Rev David

Brand New Nursing School Building in Menouf

On Sunday, 9 December, we celebrated the opening of a brand-new nursing school building in Menouf! This beautiful building will allow for expanded educational opportunities for nurses-in-training at Harpur Memorial Hospital, Menouf. We are thrilled to be able to equip these nurses to serve their patients with excellence, as many of the nurses previously working in the hospital had no formal medical training.

The ceremony was filled with gratitude to the Lord for his faithfulness, and the school is truly a testimony to the steadfastness of the Lord and the commitment of His servants in Menouf.

Mrs. Rebecca Thompson, co-founder of the nursing school, gave a short speech in which she shared a bit of the nursing school’s history. Bishop Mouneer gave a short talk in which he praised the dedication of the nurses: “I asked some of the nurses, would you like to be doctors? And they said “No! We want to be nurses.” This is wonderful. It it so important to have people who are proud to be nurses, because we need good nurses!”

Mrs. Rebecca Thompson spoke of the Lord’s faithfulness over the last 10 years!

            We are so grateful to Embrace the Middle East (representative pictured here with the nursing students) and other partners for their support in bringing about this dream.

 

 

(Left) We also had the opportunity to honor and pray for the architects, contractors, and engineers of the project. We thank these men for all the hard work they put into the new building.

 

At the end of the ceremony, we celebrated with cake and toured the beautiful new building! (Pictures below)

 

 

 

Great Classroom Space!

A truly hands-on approach to learning will help these nurses be well-equipped for the medical field.

Brand-new computer lab!

 

Please pray for:

  • The Nurses-in-training: that God would equip their hearts and minds with the perseverance and focus to complete their schooling!
  • All the staff and faculty of the nursing school and the hospital, especially Nurse Rachel (director of the nursing school) and Dr. Samir, director of the hospital.

2 New Surgeons Graduate from the PAACS Program in Menouf!

Dr. Amgad Amir, New Graduate!

Dr. Nayer Naiem, New Graduate!

On Sunday, 9 December, Dr. Nayer Naiem and Dr. Amgad Amir graduated from the Pan African Academy of Christian Surgeons (PAACS) residency training program at Harpur Memorial Hospital, Menouf! It was an amazing and encouraging ceremony attended by friends and family of these doctors, as well as special guests from all over the world, who travelled to Menouf to celebrate the hard work of these two men, and the faithfulness of God to the PAACS Program. The ceremony included Bible readings, and praise songs in different languages: a wonderful reminder that all of the new doctors’ hard work is for the glory of God! Dr. Nayer and Dr. Amgad were the 80th and 81st graduates from the PAACS program, and by the end of the year, the PAACS program will have graduated 88 African surgeons. Praise God for his faithfulness!

PAACS began in 1996 with the vision of Dr. David Thompson, an American doctor with a heart for equipping African surgeons. Their vision and purpose are to “enable doctors who qualify to experience the same kind of surgical training that doctors in America and Canada receive and develop in them a commitment to serve rich and poor alike with the love of Christ.” We were especially honoured to have Dr. David Thompson and his wife, Rebecca, present at this ceremony.

Dr. David Thompson, PAACS Founder

Dr. Sherif Hanna, the PAACS Assistant Program Director, gave the main speech at the ceremony. Dr. Sherif spoke about the importance of servant leadership as a fundamental characteristic of the Christian life and encouraged the new doctors to embrace and seek humility at every turn. He reminded us that even Jesus, who is God himself, “did not come to be served, but to serve…” (Mark 10:43, NIV).

Dr. Sherif Hanna delivering the “Charge to the Graduates”

After the presentation of the diplomas, the new doctors were given an opportunity to respond. Both Dr. Nayer and Dr. Amgad expressed immense gratitude to the PAACS faculty and staff, the Harpur Memorial Hospital staff, their families, and most importantly the Lord for sustaining them throughout the demanding years of the PAACS program. In his response, Dr. Amgad said, “Before we came here, I was struggling to learn and progress. I had to travel from my town to another one to gain some experience, experience which is very difficult to acquire as most surgeons working for themselves, and not interested in teaching…[but] When I joined PAACS I met professors pushing me to succeed and ready to give me all their knowledge and skills. Dr. David, Dr. Sherif, Dr. Shady, and Dr. Todd taught me not only excellent surgical skills but also humility, patience and to glorify God in every action.

Bishop Mouneer, who spent almost 20 years of his life living in Menouf with his family serving as a surgeon and as Hospital Director, delivered a short meditation on John 13:3-10, where Jesus washes the feet of his disciples. Bishop Mouneer also emphasized the importance of humility in our lives, especially as a surgeon. Afterwards, he prayed for the doctors, along with Bishop Samy and Canon Hany.

Bishop Mouneer, Bishop Samy, and Canon Hany pray for the new graduates

The entire ceremony concluded with a foot-washing of the graduates by their professors and teachers, a beautiful example of the theme of the day: servant leadership.

Dr. David Thompson washes the feet of Dr. Nayer

Dr. Sherif Hanna washes the feet of Dr. Amgad

Both Dr. Nayer and Dr. Amgad will serve at Harpur Memorial Hospital in Sadat City, as they seek to humbly love and serve their fellow Egyptian neighbours through medicine, applying everything they have learned over the last 5 years.

Please join us in praying for these two new doctors and their families as they jump into this new adventure. Please also pray for the ongoing work of the Lord at Harpur Memorial Hospital, Menouf and Harpur Memorial Hospital, Sadat.

Citizenship Roundtable with Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon

Bishop Mouneer and the Diocese of Egypt recently hosted a remarkable inter-faith dialogue event in our All Saints Garden Conference Center.

The Roundtable, with Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon, the Prime Minister of the UK’ Special Envoy on Freedom of Religion, was focused on the topic of Citizenship, and how we can promote citizenship here in Egypt. They acknowledged that discrimination is not something unique to Egypt, as many other countries have councils and commissions to combat discrimination and intolerance.

It was an amazing event with participants from many sectors of life: politicians, religious leaders, and academics. They gathered to discuss how we can work together to promote tolerance and acceptance. Some of the participants were: Lord Ahmad, Bishop Mouneer, Dr. Mustafa El-Feki (director of the Bibliotheca Alexandrina), Sheikh Abu-Zeid Al-Amir (“Family House” Coordinator), Counsellor Adli Hussein (former governor of Qalyubia governorate and President of the EU’s inter-faith dialogue committee), Dr. Zaid Bahaa Al-Din (former Deputy Prime Minister) and Bishop Angaelos (Coptic Orthodox Bishop in the UK).

Here are some quotes from the event:

Achieving this future vision has to start from a recognition of where we are, of the types of challenges that we face, and also of the good faith behind meeting those challenges and facing them head on.”- Dr. Zaid Bahaa Al-Din

Bishop Angaelos said that this search for citizenship is about reclaiming something that was there and has been lost. We have to figure out why it was lost, and how to get it back.

Bishop Mouneer said, “Citizenship is a dream for every nation” and he affirmed President Sisi’s opening words at the recent World Youth Forum which promoted the elimination of discrimination within Egypt and affirmed the freedom of belief and worship here in Egypt. He also said that the burden of achieving this great vision falls on everyone.

Sheikh Abu-Zeid Al-Amir said that Family House is making huge efforts to train Imams and Priest to work together toward developmental work here in Egypt.

Adli Hussein said that the Egyptian constitution affirms citizen’s rights.

At the conclusion of the event, the Roundtable participants proposed the development of an independent commission to combat discrimination and intolerance here in Egypt, according to Article 53 of the Egyptian Constitution.

We are grateful to all of the Roundtable participants!

To view the news coverage of this event, visit Al-Masry Al-Youm.

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