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Egyptian Army shuts down evangelism!

10 April 2011 2 Comments

Today I was in the Egyptian city of Aswan, made famous as the place where the Nile is dammed to produce hydro electricity. As you know from the news, Egypt is a country in crisis, with a million people gathering yesterday in Cairo, demanding a new government.  Mubarak the dictator has gone, and the army is now running the country.

In most cities there is a heavy army presence.  Tanks and vehicles with machines guns are peppered around.

Today the army shut down my evangelism! Let me tell you what happened.

As I said, we were visiting the dam in Aswan, which is guarded by the army.

Soon after we arrived, I noticed a bus-load of local teenagers (girls) out on a school trip.  The photo below doesn’t show that there were about 20 girls sitting on the wall.

Immediately, I felt quickened by the Spirit to get the gospel to them via the business cards.

As birds gather for bread, so these teenagers snapped up the business cards. Soon after I had started, a soldier came running towards us.

I was forcefully told to stop immediately.

The girls protested vociferously, but the soldier was adamant.

Hearing the noise and wondering what was happened, other plain clothed army personnel joined in.  In the picture, they are the two men in blue shirts.

The soldier called for our tour guide, George (in the pink shirt), and he joined in the protest, telling the soldier in his mother language that it was a great summary of the Bible, that it was available on the web site, and that it was harmless etc etc.

Alas, the soldier still refused to let us give out cards to the rest of the girls. By this time the school teachers of the girls had arrived, and I think they were Muslims, same as the girls.

We were all ordered back into our tour vans, including the girls, and exited the dam area. The girls left before us.

Our next spot to visit as tourists was 10 kms down the road. En route, George was asked by others on our tour what all the commotion was all about so he advertised the cards for us over the bus intercom.

When we arrived at the next place, lo and behold the bus on which the girls were travelling was parked up.  The tourist site this time was an ancient temple. I wondered how I was going to get the cards to the rest of the girls.

Inside the temple, there was a resident skinny starved cat, suffering from mange.  It was a terrible sight and I felt so sorry for this poor animal.  I went over to the cafeteria and asked for milk and meat. They only had milk. When I returned to the temple, milk in hand, the girls were right there, pouring over the cat.

My arrival was met with applause, and I was able to hand out the rest of the cards.  Without a doubt, the Spiritual soil of the hearts of these girls was ‘ploughed’ when they saw compassion and action towards the cat (I am sorry this sounds like blowing my own trumpet, but there is not other way to put it).

This is a great example of how the words of the gospel and the works of the gospel can work so powerfully together.  The gospel is the seed, while feeding the cat made ready the soil.

After the girls had moved on, a group of senior Muslim men came over and wanted a biblein11card. They thought I was a priest, so they asked me to pray for them, which I did. I don’t know how much English they understood, but I prayed out loud that their eyes would be opened to the truth about Jesus Christ, and that he was the one and only Saviour of the world. I finished the prayer speaking in tongues, led by the Spirit.

At the end of the prayer they asked for some money.  This kind of spoiled the event in a way, because I wondered if they had got me to pray for them, only in order to ask for money. God knows the truth. Let’s believe they get access to a computer to hear the gospel on line at

Thanks for praying for me on this trip. I am feeling those prayers.

I feel a burden coming on to bring a group of Christians through this country, armed with thousands of cards.   Egyptians are a people ripe not just for political change, but also for Spiritual change. What do you think? Would you like to come if I organized it? Let me know by emailing me at

What are the lessons here?

1)   Always have the tools for evangelism at the ready. I always have the business cards on me.  One never knows when God is going to open an opportunity.  If we are not prepared, we won’t be able to take advantage of what God lays before us.

2)   Take risks. The presence of soldiers didn’t deter me one bit from giving the gospel.

3)   Be sensitive and looking. I sensed the Spirit quicken me to give the cards out to the girls.  If we are not listening with our hearts to His leading, we’ll miss His prompting – and the opportunities.  Believe me, they are literally everywhere, everyday.  How many opportunities do we miss every day in the course of our everyday lives because we are not ‘watching and listening’ with our hearts to the Spirit? Other times we will need to create the opportunities.  This is what the lost penny and the lost sheep parables are all about (Luke 15:3-10). Whether we see the opportunities or whether we create them – either way, evangelism will be an inconvenience.  Does the inconvenience of evangelism bother us? Wake up!  Imagine how ‘inconvenient’ it was for Jesus to leave heaven, become a human being in a sinful, alien world, live for 33 years, and then die a cruel death on a cross.  He is asking us to do exactly this – to daily leave the ‘heaven’ of our usual routine, privacy, world – whatever you want to call it – so that we can reach some lost person with the gospel each day (Luke 9:22-26).

4)   Cultivate compassion and mercy.  Because there is so much suffering in the world, we can become immune and hardened in our responses to what we see. I had a cat once that was a source of great joy to me. Through that cat I learned to love animals very dearly.  So when I saw the cat in the temple, I related it to my own.

Compassion and mercy are universal languages. Even though the people in the temple we visited could not speak English, they instantly understood the language of mercy and compassion.

Being compassionate towards the cat super-ceded our English and Arabic language differences and this softened the soil in the hearts of those who were watching, making them ready to receive the all powerful seed of the gospel (Romans 1:16).

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  • winston says:

    I am proud of you. God bless


  • Bruce McIntyre says:

    Evangelism or the proclaiming of the GOSPEL of JESUS CHRIST has got to be the number one purpose of the Disciple of JESUS.
    If we love HIM as HE loves us then we must put this into the frontal purpose of our being here.
    In this age when I firmly believe that the coming of our LORD and KING is close at hand, when we do not know, but with all the signs out there with the middle east upheaval, the world economies in turmoil and the geo-political scenes being tossed around it would very well seem to be lining up with what the BIBLE teaches us in Ezekiel, Daniel, the book of REVELATION and the things JESUS told us in the GOSPEL of MATHEW.
    We must, in all urgency, be ready at all times to give an account of the reason for our Faith in the CHRIST.
    I would encourage all to come to one of the seminars on the “CHANGING THE DNA OF THE CHURCH TO EVANGELISM”.
    I believe that this seminar and the study that follows is exactly what the CHURCH the JESUS said HE will build is in dire need of if we are to change the world as the early church did.

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