Leadership Training and Community Services for Sudanese in East Cairo

A large number of Sudanese refugees live in Egypt, especially those who have come from North Sudan and the Nuba Mountains due to the difficult situation in these regions. The Sudanese Christians among the refugees have added their own new flavour to the life of the Anglican Church in Egypt. The Sudanese congregation at St. Michael and All Angels Church in Heliopolis started 12 years ago; we now have a Sudanese congregation with 669 members.

One of the church members shares “Despite so many challenges for Sudanese refugees in Cairo-Egypt, St. Michael’s
church is experiencing tremendous growth numerically and spiritually, which in return resulted into a very remarkable work.” In January 2014, it was a joy to receive the visit of Bishop Ezekiel Kondo of the Diocese of Khartoum (pictured below).

Bishop Ezekiel

Nuba Mountains Bible Institute

Many of these Sudanese refugees want to use their time in Egypt for learning. They need to be equipped to play roles of pastoral and ministerial leadership in our and other churches. This is why in February 2013 we began the Nuba Mountains Bible Institute Cairo (NBIC). We train those leaders and other members of the Sudanese community in Egypt for the benefit of their own church here, both for their time now in the Egypt and hopefully later for their future in Sudan or elsewhere.

Nuba Mountains Bible Institute (2)

We started the classes of NBIC in January 2013, after we interviewed 60 students and after we chose 35 of them to begin with. We began well prepared, with a curriculum of three years and teachers lined up. 2013 was not an easy year for Egypt with political disturbances, violence and street demonstrations. We thank God that we have been able to continue our work in the midst of all this and we admire our students’ perseverance and courage. They often had to travel to us in situations where the streets were unsafe at least, and sometimes more like a war zone. For more information, download the full report:

2013 Report for Nuba Mountains Bible Institute

St Gabriel Centre

The St. Gabriel Center is a ministry of St Michael’s which runs social and spiritual activities among Sudanese refugees in Cairo in the area of Kilo 4.5. This area east of Cairo was mostly illegally constructed, hence without any governmental oversight and a shortage of services. The Sudanese community shares a low standard of living with the Egyptians in the neighbourhood, facing challenges of poverty, illiteracy, chronic children’s diseases (like malnutrition and the lack of calcium) and other types of diseases.

The centres runs a medical clinic, English courses, handcrafts and domestic work, discipleship (pictured below) and youth activities.Nuba Mountains Bible Institute (1)

For more information, download the 2013 report:

2013 Report for St. Gabriel Centre

Both the Nuba Mountains Bible Institute and the St. Gabriel Centre rely on donations for their ministry. For more information please contact the Very Rev. Dr. Jos Strengholt: priest@heliopolischurch.com

Pray for peace as Egypt goes to the polls

As Egyptians vote in the constitutional referendum on the 14th and 15th of January 2014, Bishop Mouneer asks for prayers for peace.

“As the Egyptian people are now preparing to go to the polls to vote on the new constitution, they are also concerned about the continuous violence and terroristic attacks.

The aim of these attacks is to deter people from voting. The number of people that vote will be an indicator of the support of the people for the roadmap that was announced by the interim government on the 3rd of July last year.

Our hope and prayer is that this referendum will pass peacefully. This will pave the road towards the presidential and parliamentary elections, which in turn will lead to more stability and security in this land.

For all Egyptians, including Christians, the last few months have not been easy. The supporters of the former president attacked police stations and churches. In order to see the creation of a free and democratic country, Christians realise that there are many sacrifices to be made.

Even so, we sense that the future of our country will be more inclusive of all its citizens unlike the previous regime.

Believing that national unity is very important at this time, the Anglican Church in Egypt seeks to be bridge builders and instruments of reconciliation in our country.

An example of this is our current efforts to use the arts, and cultural events, to bring people of all backgrounds together at our Cathedrals in Cairo and Alexandria.

Additionally, we just ended a successful exchange program that brought together 60 imams and priests from several areas of Egypt that have experienced sectarian conflicts during the past year. With God’s grace, we will repeat this program next year.

As we think of the Prince of Peace, we pray that this region of the Middle East may experience his peace that passes all understanding. Pray for us as we seek to be peacemakers at this point of time in Egypt and beyond.”

+Mouneer

A Growing Church in Port Said

Bishop Mouneer writes about his visit to the Church of the Epiphany in Port Said “My pastoral visit to our church in Port Said was encouraging and joyful. 30 new members were confirmed. The Holy Spirit works!”

This church, led by Rev Hany Shenouda, has grown rapidly over recent years. Over 300 people come to the services each week, and there is a ministry among the poor, youth and children’s work and healing services. The church building, building in 1885 following the opening of the Suez Canal, is not big enough for the growing congregation. In March, a group of engineers from IDD will visit and spend a week creating an architectural design for new facilities.

Port Said has experienced a lot of unrest and instability over the past 3 years. In 2012, 79 people died after a football game.Pray for Rev. Hany and the congregation as they seek to serve the community around them.

Port Said Church

Medical Outreaches in Egypt

From January –30 November 2013, 4,862 people were examined during 34 medical outreaches in rural villages in the Nile Delta and slum areas in Cairo and Alexandria. Each outreach is different depending on the needs of the local community. The services offered by doctors from Harpur Memorial Hospital in Menouf include: dental, dermatology, gynaecology, internal medicine, paediatrics, pharmacy, ophthalmology, surgery.

Medical outreach 2013 (2)

The Diocese of Singapore and it’s cathedral, St  Andrew’s, donated the medical bus in 2010.  In 2013, Harpur Memorial Hospital in Menouf worked in partnership with Misr el Kheir (an NGO chaired by the former Grand Mufti of Egypt) and the Embassy of Ireland. Because of increased donor support, the number of outreaches and people served has increased.

Medical outreach

Most of these outreaches are in villages which are Muslim, and the medical outreaches help build bridges between Muslims and Christians. One doctor shares “In November, we did a medical outreach for the first time in a village called Tamalay in Menoufia. As the doctors got out of the cars, there was a group of teenage boys who were shouting insults at them. As they examined patients at the temporary clinic set up in a school in this Muslim village, the boys were shouting and singing songs insulting Christians, making provocative statements about the recent attacks on churches in Egypt. As we finished the clinic, the elders of the village thanked us for coming. They told us the medical service was so needed in the village, and they wanted us to keep coming. As the doctors were leaving, one of the doctors said to the teenagers “study well as we want you to become doctors so you can serve the people of your village.” The teenage boys, who had been so insulting, said to her “please don’t stop coming.” The doctor was so moved by this change in their attitudes.”

For more information, see the attached report.

Download the full report

 

Training on Clean Water with the Mothers Union in Gambella

In a recent survey conducted by the Anglican Church in Gambella, Ethiopia, it was found that an average of 2 to 4 children survived per an average of 9 to 11 children born into the family. Most of these children die under age 5 from communicable disease and malaria.

With the support of Anglican Aid, a three year training program for the Mothers Union has started to address issues of poverty and health. The Mother’s Union is an integral part of the Anglican Church in Gambella, and is actively engaged in literacy programs, church activities, practical help, prayer and visitations to the sick. The new training program will expand the role of the Mothers Union, providing theological and practical skills to women across 70 villages. This will be done through a ‘train-the-trainer’ program, which will empower women to affect change in their own communities.

Dr. Wendy LeMarquand, the project co-ordinator, reports on the first training session. “On September 4th and 5th, we hosted 34 women representing 20 distinct Mothers’ Union groups functioning out of our 14 Mission Centres spread throughout the Gambella region.

It was wonderful to see how intently the women listened to the introductory story dealing with issues of how we learn and how we can work together to help take care of problems in the community. And it was a delight to see how much they enjoyed using pictures and story-telling as they later practiced teaching this to one another! They had lots of fun looking through magnifying glasses and binoculars in the session on how we are able to see things that contaminate water, and they were amazed (and quite horrified!) at the pictures of microorganisms shown to them on my computer!

Our practice sessions on solar water purification, water filter construction, clean water dispensers and dish drying racks were full of laughter, good questions and good discussion. When each of the representatives left to return to their Mission Centres, they carried the materials to make their own clean water dispensers, carrying these simple, inexpensive and locally available items as if they were carrying costly treasure.

These ‘water dispensers’ that our representatives will make during their own community demonstration/teaching sessions will replace the common open (and never washed) communal pot of water (which is usually kept inside the church office, in the dark), and into which one unwashed cup is passed from one coughing adult to one feverish child, to another with diarrhea, etc.

Some were moved to tears to think that what they are learning may save the lives of their precious children. To think that the occurrence and re-occurrence of diarrhea is something that can be taken care of and prevented was a new concept to many. To communicate these important truths in a way that is fun, non-judgmental and memorable is one of the main goals of the program.

Our Mothers’ Union representatives will return to teach what they have learned by holding a teaching day for all of our 1500 Mothers’ Union members at the Mission Centres, and then by holding a second teaching day at our 60+ local churches where each Mothers’ Union member is encouraged to invite and teach at least one community guest.

The Mothers Union in Gambella requires further support for these training sessions. Please contact Bishop Grant and Dr Wendy LeMarquand for further information

 

Iftar Meal Hosted by Diocese

Bishop Mouneer hosted a Ramadan ‘Iftar’ (meal breaking the fast) on the 17th July at All Saints Cathedral in Cairo. The event was attended by the current Grand Mufti, Shawky Allam, the former Grand Mufti, Dr. Ali Gomaa, and many other Christian and Muslim leaders and Ambassadors. Bishop Mouneer says “it is time to work together to rebuild Egypt again.”

The Diocese has many ministry and projects which serve Muslims and Christians, which help to bring greater unity between religious groups. Our community development centres run by EpiscoCare provide over 1500 microloans each year. During the event, contracts for 5 micro-loans were signed with people served by our centres. The event was also attended by Imams and Priests from the ‘Together for a New Egypt’ Imam-Priest Exchange initiative, and young Muslims and Christians from the Arkan Culture Centre in Alexandria.

 

اقام المطران الدكتور  منير حنا مطران الكنيسة الاسقفية بمصر وشمال افريقيا والقرن اللافريقى  حفل “افطار محبة “يوم الاربعاء 17 يوليو 2013

واثناء الحفل اعلنت مؤسسه الرعاية الأسقفية ( الأبيسكوكير ) عن بدأ مشروع جديد للقروض الصغيرة وقد وقع خمسة افراد علي استلامهم اول دفعة من هذه المنح .

كما حضر اللقاء عدد من شباب   مركز اركان الثقافي الفني بالأسكندرية وشارك ايضاً عدداً من الأئمة والقسوس المشاركين بمشروع تبادل القسوس والأئمة .

وقد حضر الحفل كل من الدكتور شوقى علام مفتى الجمهورية والدكتور على جمعه المفتى السابق والدكتور محمود عزب نيابة عن فضيلة الأستاذ الدكتور احمد الطيب شيخ الازهرالشريف ومعالى الوزير منير فخرى عبدالنور وزير التجارة والصناعة ولفيف من السادة سفراء الدول الأجنبية  ايرلندا وانجلترا واثيوبيا واستراليا وبريطانيا والاستاذ جرجس صالح والاستاذ سمير مرقس والدكتور على السمان والإعلامي  مفيد فوزى والاب بيشوى حلمى عن مجلس كنائس مصر والاب رفيق جريش والمستشار عدلى حسين والمستشار امير رمزى.

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