Global Consultants provided training to Egyptian Baptist pastors and lay leaders
February 25, 2015
The Global Consultants (GC) Team of American Baptist International Ministries (IM) visited Cairo, Egypt from February 18 to 25, 2015. (See the list of GCs, go to http://www.internationalministries.org/, and click People/ Global Consultants.)
has a population of 80 millions, and 20 millions live in Cairo. There are 124
pyramids in the country, and the largest three of three kings are in Cairo with
six smaller ones of their wives. Coptic Christians account for about 10% of the
country's population. There are about 4,000 Baptist Christians in Egypt. Our
partner Egypt Baptist Convention (EBC) has19 member churches and 2,500 baptized
members. EBC is very active witnessing their faith, and they are currently
to 5 new churches. EBC President pastor Mounir Malaty explained that a greater
number of believers take part in different functions of the Baptist churches,
but family and cultural reasons have prevented them from receiving baptism.
The visit of EBC is initiated by GC Walt White and arranged by Charles Jones, Area Director of Europe, Middle East and Liberia. Since this is the first time for EBC and IM to arrange the two days pastors training, a lot of effort has been made to provide contextual and practical training. After Charles gave a presentation on holistic ministry, Sharon Buttry gave a presentation on community transformation; Stan Slade on inductive Bible study; Lauran Bethel on human trafficking, Kristy Engel on positive deviance and health; Dan Buttry on Mainstream and Margin; Walt White on Jesus, Family and Community. About 40 pastors and lay leaders attended the training. The trainings we provided were very well received! I heard comments like "It opens my mind"; "I want to know more. Will you come back to give a full version of the training?" In fact, in the ending session of Q&A, and giving feedback, a pastor shared very frankly, "I am not prepared to listen to foreigners but now I value what I have learned." EBC has appointed a committee to develop a future plan, including a good possibility of inviting GCs back to provide further training.
Sunday is a work day in Egypt. The worship service of the Baptist churches (not sure of other churches) are held in the evening. Our team divided ourselves into two groups to visit two churches. Stan Slade was the speaker of the Baptist Church at Esbetenich we visited, and Dan and Sharon were speakers of the other church. I was in the group with Stan, and the service was attended by families with lovely children running around. I am especially glad that all the hymns are sung in Egyptian language and melody with beautiful voice and joy. Stan's message was very well received especially how he affirmed the positive role of Egyptians and Egypt in the Bible, and our prayer and support of Egyptian Baptist sisters and brothers when they face with so many struggles. Charles, Kristy and I brought greetings and encouragement to the congregation. The worship service was scheduled to end at 9 pm. It ended up that we were taking pictures, having conversations and praying for individual members, and we left the church after11 pm. Praise God for the holy and joyful time with our sisters and brothers!
Many members of our team visited Egypt the first time. We enjoyed shopping at the bazar and learned how to communicate and bargain in an Egyptian way. Yes, we went to the tourist sites in Cairo. The pyramids are amazing. The camel ride was a little scary in the beginning but really fun when we got use to the move.
The GCs Annual Gathering is a very important time for GCs to share their ministries, joy and struggle, and to pray and encourage each other. The Gathering also provides a chance to share about our networks and plans, and to develop cooperative programs. In this meeting, we especially worked on ways to strengthen our communication with other IM missionaries and home staff. We also looked at possible areas to recruit new GCs. The GCs Gathering in 2016 will be held in Valley Forge area. Please pray for our sisters and brothers in Egypt, and IM’s continuing effort to fulfill God’s mission of shalom, justice and holistic transformation.
You can click the following links to view the pictures and videos of our trip:
- Egyptian Baptist Convection Pastors Training Conference I
- Egyptian Baptist Convection Pastors Training Conference II
- Worship Service at Baptist Church at Esbetenich 2015.2