Thursday, July 20, 2006

Cairo, Egypt 2006

Greetins from Cairo, Egypt!

Revelation 5:6-10 "The I saw a Lamb, looking as if it had been slain, standing in the center of the throne, encircled by the four living creatures and the elders. He had seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out to all the earth. He came and took the scroll from the right hand of him who sat on the trone. And when he had taken it, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lab. Each one had a harp and they were holding golden bowl full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. And they sang a new song: “You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased men for God from every tribe and language and people and nation. You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God and they will reign on the earth.” “
In the midst of the elders stood the Lamb, slain and who had seven horns and eyes. So Jesus Christ, the bearer of our sins and sicknesses, Saviour, Healer, is the center. He who alone is worthy to open the seals. The elders fell down before the Lamb with their harps. They also had bowls full of incense, our prayers. They sang a new song that has never before been sung to the Lamb, one that comes forth on that instant of praise. What did they sing? They exalted the Lamb for His holiness and what He did on the cross where He shed His blood for all nations, languages, peoples and tribes.

What does this say? Seven is the number of perfection. The horns represent power and authority and the eyes are the seven spirits of God (Isaiah 11:2). The truth that sees everything all the time, which is always present in everything all around the world. The elders fell on their faces, humbled themselves before the Almighty. They had an aatutude of praise and worship that wasn't tied to a ceremony or tradition. The new song flowed freely and spontaneously. They also had the golden bowl filled with thei prayers of saints…

These verses deeply touched my heart when I understood the purpose of my trip to Cairo. My 10-year-old son Jonas and I were on vacation in Cairo but also taking a Heavenly message to some Christians.

We meant to continue on to Alexandria to continue our vacation on the beach but God encouraged me to stay in Cairo. When I wondered why I understood that I had been sent to prayer-wlak in Cairo. Every night I went out onto the balcony and spoke God's word over Cairo and over Egypt and prayed for the people.

I met a lot of locals who welcomed us. I blessed each persom I met. I blessed all my money in Jesus name so they would bless the person or busniness from whom I bought goods or services. I blessed every taxi driver, bakery worker and passer-by who stared at our whiteness. I blessed the people working at reastaurants, money exchange desks and stores we visited. I realized that no one is praying for these muslims. They don't pray for salvation for their families, children or friends. Thei don't stand before the Lord for they don't know Him.

I felt especially close to my son the whole trip. I had the chance to teach a young boy about making choices according to God's will. How we can choose God's will when it comes to our lives, feelings and fears or we can choose the other alternative. This was our first trip abroad together and I thank God for being able to be a witness when Joonas' wish of seing the grave of Tutankhamon, pyramids and sphinx became reality.. I met people I had gotten to know a year earlier. I met Nadja, a former muslim, to whom God had come in dreams singing the Song on Solomon. God sent me to serve her and tell her Heavenly news of what is to come. We spent two days together praying and worshiping the Lord our God. We understood that our friendship has a reason. We will serve the Living God together. Maybe next year already? I also met Mama Margaretha who together with a pastor took me to a Sudanese curch in the area of the KoptiChristians in Cairo. I had the opportunity to share about a Christians calling to serve and I was also able to serve a pastor and an old lady God had sent to help him with a prophetic gift. God is good and His grace endures forever!

Mama Margaretha told me about a woman who I had prayed for the previous year. The woman had a tumor in her stomach which was as big as that of one pregnant in her ninth month. I didn't recall praying for her but the woman did. Two days after we had retuned to Finland she had gone to Mama Margaretha who had barely recognized her. The swelling in her stomach was gone! God had taken away the tumor. He is truly great! We want to see these sorts of healings in Finlang too! This testimony encouraged me a lot because it is rare to hear about God's deeds. Our trip was successful in every way. It was good to see beloved friends and meet with the Lord and locals. Sharing, praying, resting, sunshine and warmth. It was wonderful. Busy Cairo with its traffic, beautiful people the Arabs I love with God's love.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Friday, June 24, 2005

Mission Trip to Cairo 2005

Thank you for your prayers!

I have spent a week in Cairo, Egypt. After and exhausting 12 hour trip home my feelings are bittersweet. As I left Egypt, I left behind new friends and the melt-your-heart Sudanese refugee children. I have strongly experienced the presence of God this whole trip and the returning to my everyday life will be difficult.

Our trip began from the Helsinki-Vantaa Airport on April 29 with a slightly delayed flight. The flight was good even though they served Mrs. Pastor as well with the Asian vegetarian meal I had ordered for only myself. We flew from Helsinki to Prague from where we continued to Cairo at around 11pm on a flight that was over an hour late. We arrived in Cairo in the wee hours of the morning where we were met by TM who led us to a Guesthouse in the Zamalek area.
I was appointed to a wonderfully romantic room for a single woman on the fourth floor of the Guesthouse. The WC and shower were down the hall. From I had access to a balcony shared with two other rooms. Here I spent wonderful morning and dayprayers with the Lord. The pastor couple had a room on the seventh floor with a stove, fridge, shower and washroom as well as a gorgeous terrace. I thanked the Lord that my room was on the fourth floor because the elevator was continuosly out of order and got stuck in between floors. At this point, I want to give thanks to the Lord and the person who payed for my accommodation. May our Heavenly Father bless you!The weather in Cairo was warm though a bit windy. It was wonderful not to need wool socks to keep my toes warm!

The first day was free. We had a native young lady as our guide as well as a car and driver at our disposal. we visited the pyramids the size of which is hard to fathom until you actually see them. They are huge! We even ventured into one of the burial chambers - impressive. The sun was hot. The pastor couple tried sitting on camels and Mr. Pastor even took a little ride. I was a ninny and I wouldn't touch or go near such a creature. The camle was big and I concluded that I'd give it space to be big…

From the pyramids we continued to and Egyptian museum that was enormous. it would've taken days to see everything they had on display. We visited Tutankhamon's grave and saw the jewellery. We also saw statues from different eras. The Egyptians have definitely mastered the art of decoration. I can definitely recommend this for anyone visiting Cairo. Upon noticing that we were all hungry, we unanimously decided to eat. Our guide took us to a quaint restaurant. We had just sat down when we received word of an explosion close to the museum. There was a little less than half an hour between the explosion and our leaving the museum. We have a good Heavenly Father who protects us. When the Holy Spirit is our Leader, we are in just the right place at the right time. Thank you Jesus and those praying for us! The explosion killed one and many were wounded. The culprit was a muslim activist who had fastened a nail-bomb to himself.
On Sunday Mrs. Pastor preached at Manshia Church for Sudanese refugees. I had the pleasure of serving others by praying for them. Many came forward to be prayed for. We blessed whole families as well as children. Some of the children were a bit wary of us whites. On Monday night we served at Ezbekeya Evangelical Church where we experienced awesome presence of the Holy Spirit. Praise and worship was amazing, the leader had a great voice and was definitely in the right place. You wouldn't guess, but they sang the same songs we do, only in English. God's presence was awesome… From this we can conclude that God doesn't speak about praise and encourage us to praise Him in vain.

In this church we met a woman who had converted from islam to Christianity 15 years ago. She accompanied us to our lodgings. Her testimony strengthened my faith. I was filled with the Holy Spirit as the Lord touched me through this sister's words. Jesus had sund the Song of Solomon to her in a vision for 5 years until she was ready to make her decision to become a christian. This sister has been sent to India amongs other places to preach God's Word. Thank God for this sister and her amazing story!

On Tuesday Mrs. Pastor preached the gospel to pregnant refugee women at All Saints Cathedral. Many had already come to Christ and the church welcomed them by giving the an info-package for new Christians and collecting their contact information. From here we went into the sanctuary where our Sister TM preached to the women fo the Mothers' Union. The teaching was new to them. It had to do with pregnancy, supporting motherhood and womanhood. Strong teaching which brought forth many women to repent and be prayed with. Awesome deeds of the Lord! We also prayed for the sick.

On Wednesday morning TM and I taught children. My sister had the teenagers and I had the 9 to12- year-olds. This was “it”, my first time preaching in English. It was amazing! It was also my first time teaching children so young.

The previous day I asked God what I should speak on.. In the morning I knew I would speak about loving your neighbour. I had Matthew 22:37-39 and 1 Timothy 1:5 as my base. I also got instant feedback from the kids who came to talk with me with the aid of an interpreter and their British teacher. They said they had prayed the previous day that God would give a topic that would deal with the children's relationships with each other. I can only thank God for this. He is behind the will and work, He send and equips.

On Wednesday night we, that is Mama Margaretha, the pastor couple, Pastor Tony, TM and myself, had dinner at Pastor Lupai's in Heliopos. He has a charming wife and a cute little baby. We were served a tasty home-cooked meal with wonderful company. During pastor Tony' talk on prayer I was filled with the Holy Spirit and cried as usual. Those present prayed for me. After the meal we moved into the living room where the same was repeated. In awe of the power of the Holy Spirit I ran aroung the living room - I had to- and found myself on the floor of a Sudanese pastor living in Egypt. I was embarrassed but one really can't help it. Tony just said that this lady will be leaving soon.. and that's what I've been hoping; that God would send me. And He will send since He has equipped and vice versa.

On Thursday the pastor couple went together to preach to children at Africa Hope. I remained sleeping at the Guesthouse. I slept for 13 hours.. On Wednesday I got a stomach ache and started taking my medicine. They tired me out and I decided to take as much out of my day off as I possibly could. The plan was to go out on the pastor couple's terrace but I slept past noon which is a lot from one who usually sleeps for 6 hours a night. The stomach ache only lasted one day, thank God. On Thursday night we had been invited to the home of Dr. Leone in the heliopos area. Dr. Leone is the pastor of House of Prayer, Egypt. Before our trip God had given me a vision of an obelsik in Heliopos chrashing to the ground as well as a Bible verse and a prophecy regarding Egypt. When I saw Dr. Leone, God reassured me that he was the one the vision and Bible verse were meant to strengthen. The pastor and his team thanked me for sharing what God had spoken to me. You can imagine that I felt blessed. I thanked God for His presence for He alone is worthy of all thanks and praise. The night was amazing and God's presence was strong. My “mission” in Cairo was done.

On Friday Mrs. Pastor preached at Ain Shams Church which was filled with Sudanese refugees. The praise was lively as often is the case with black people. I enjoyed the atmosphere. We all served praying for people. I had the chance to pray for the sick with Mama Margaretha as my interpreter. Two women who had been healed at the Mothers' union meeting gave their testimonies. Thank the Lord for strengthening His word through miracles and wonders.On Friday night we had been invited to Lorna's for dinner. We had a meeting there as well. God is good all the time. I was in His Majesty's service and got to pray for people. God touched a couple and they personally came to thank me for prayer and the word God gave through me. Thank you Father! From here we continued to the airport. our trip home started on a 3.05 am plane.
What God gave me personally on this trip included new friends and “just the right” contacts with whom I know I will remain in contact after the trip as well. He increased my faith by showing His greatness and strengthened me an dmy faith by providing the right words at the right time. He showed me I can trust Him in every situation, that in spite of stomach problems I can serve Him and that I am completely dependant on Him.

He made me think about honoring Him in a new light and what honoring actually means. He showed me how I can trust in Him. He confirmed things He had previously spoked to me through brothers and sisters in Christ. In every way He strengthened my faith.
Our team was invited to Sudan and I also received a personal invitation to a series of meetings held in Cairo in the fall.

This latter I would like to leave as a prayer request. As you who receive this letter know, I don't have and association into whose account I could collect money for missions trips. You also know that I am the single parent of two children and my funds are limited. And you know I am waiting for God's confirmation on the matter. Though many of you know my calling, you also know that leaving on faith is always a bit scary.So I ask you to pray for wisdom and that God would do His will here too. If I am meant to go preach there this fall, He would work out all the details. Finances included.

I especially want to give thanks for EN who took care of my boys while I was gone. I want to thank the person who paid for my accommodation as well as everyone who has been parying for me and those who have financially supported my trip. Remember that the sender has the same reward as the one being sent.