Sunday morning, we had breakfast with two pastors from our partner church, one of whom had been an inspiring keynote speaker at the festival. We were so grateful to get to learn how God is moving in the Middle East and how many are accepting Jesus. In just one day at the festival, 1060 people prayed to accept Jesus!
After breakfast, we headed out to visit the village that Mariners Church has adopted. The local church partners with Healing Grace, a ministry started by Egyptians, to provide clean water for the village, health care, tutoring, Awana programs and parenting classes for the moms and dads. Healing Grace has 30 kids in the village who need sponsors, which, actually improves the lives of the entire village. Their hope is to grow that number to even more!
We arrived in the village and met with the pastor of the local church. We also met our Healing Grace partners who would be interpreting for us as we met the kids in their homes. When the pastor was asked what we could pray for, he asked for the children to be transformed spiritually.
We split into 3 teams with interpreters to meet the kids and their families. The kids were so excited to see us and we were just as excited to meet them!
Sitting with each child in the front room of their home, we asked about their favorite Bible verse, what they want to be when they grow up, what they’re learning in school and more. The answers we got were amazing! Most of the kids want to grow up to be doctors, and because they are learning about Genesis in Awana, most kids said that the story of Creation is their favorite. Because all kids love bouncy balls, we brought some to give to each child we met.
As we moved through the village, word spread that we had arrived and the kids followed us from house to house! It was so much fun to watch the numbers grow as the kids gathered outside each home. One mom told us that her son had waited outside expectantly for us, not wanting to miss a minute of our visit.
Last summer at VBS, Mariners Kids raised over $24,000 to adopt this village by holding bake sales and lemonade stands. We took lots of pictures and video in order to show kids in our Children’s Ministry back home. Kids changing the lives of other kids halfway around the world on Jesus’ name is not something you get to see every day.
Every hug, smile and conversation made it difficult to leave our new friends when it was time to go.
Right now, only 6 kids are sponsored. Please consider sponsoring a child for just $30 a month. Go to www.healinggrace.org/mariners// to choose a child to sponsor.
That evening, we were surprised with a sunset boat ride on the Nile. What an amazing, beautiful country with such loving, hospitable people.
Monday morning, we packed up and enjoyed breakfast at the hotel. We then drove back to the village again to visit the other half of the kids. Just like the day before, each family welcomed us with love and smiles. It was apparent that the kids had all dressed up to meet us and that the families had taken time to lovingly prepare for our visit.
Again, we got to know the kids and asked what they’d like to be when they grow up. Most wanted to be engineers and teachers. Hearing how Healing Grace has improved their situations was so encouraging! We prayed with each of them for health, for God to bless them and heal them and for protection over their house and family. What an honor to get to pray with them! Again, each kid got a bouncy ball, a hug and lots of smiles. It was difficult to leave for the last time but we’ll continue to pray for each of the kids and we’ll tell the kids back home how they’ve impacted the village with their hard work.
We ended our day at an amazing prayer meeting at our partner church. The worship was amazing and the passion of the people as they prayed for their country, their president and their people was incredibly moving. God is changing hearts in Egypt!