Wednesday, February 2, 2011

My Deliverer Is Coming...

Dear friends,

I began this blog in the fall as a way for all of you to follow my escapades as I drove across America. I loved almost every second that road trip. I loved that I was able to experience America in a whole new way. I was able to take pictures, both with my camera and my mind, that will forever connect me to the spots I had traveled. I read an article about something in Idaho and I see Idaho. I watch a news program about a bomber in Spokane, and my mind takes me to Spokane. I watch TMZ and recognize most of the filming locations as places I've walked around, eaten at, or tried (unsuccessfully, I'll happily admit) to also stalk famous people. Heck, I play Oregon Trail and now know exactly how far it is from Ohio to Oregon. (Thankfully, I never had to caulk my wagon and try to ford a river hoping that little Timmy was rested up enough after the snake bite that we wouldn't lose him but only 2 sets of clothes!)

Mostly, though, I've loved this blog because I was able to take you with me. I know that you don't have all the same tangible memories that I have but maybe I was able to tell you enough about something that you are able to identify more as well. Maybe you now love Washington State a bit more because of my urging. Perhaps, you now want to visit Oregon and shop in their amazing sales-tax-free-ness.Or perhaps, you, like me, can now visualize a real buffalo when hunting on Oregon Trail. (too much Oregon Trail?)

In the same way, during this wintry doom that is upon us ("Snowpocalypse 2011," if you will) my mind instantly goes from worrying about the blizzard in Chicago to the ice fields of Indianapolis and Cincinnati.


Because I've lived there. I know the cities. I know the people. I worry for friends. I worry for strangers. I worry for the homeless. I know what the cities are. I know that, as good ol' Midwestern cities, they are relatively used to and definitely know how to brace themselves for weather such as this. I've received photos from friends and family of inches of ice, feet of snow, and empty store shelves. I'm sure this is not much unlike your experience. (Even if it's not, it now can be...after all, you care about me, right? well, I'm stuck right in the middle of Chicago and Cincinnati with 6 inches of ice, snow, and our friend sleet. ugh.)

We know these places because we've been there. Our hearts break because we care personally about the welfare of the citizens and the land of the places that we have come to love.

I'm writing all this not to remind you of those places that you are attached to, but to tell you, once again, from a personal point of view, of another place that I love, I have seen with my own eyes and that I am heart broken over:


In the fall of 2009, my mom and I had the unlikely opportunity to travel to land of the Pharaohs and stay for 3 weeks. We visited Cairo to marvel at the pyramids, experience the Cairo museum, and have dinner on the Nile. We ran played ultimate, real life Frogger as we ran across lanes of unyielding traffic. We hung out with Bedouins (one even offered my mom camels in exchange for my hand). We got to know Cairo. Now, I cannot say that we fell in love with Cairo. We saw a lot of corruption. We were worried for those we got to know.

After a few days in Cairo, we went to Alexandria. Here was we really got to know Egyptians. Sure, we took in the sites in Alex too, like the Library and the bazaars. But here we got to know Egyptians. We got to go on crazy car rides. We got eat dinner with new friends. We got to pray together and play together. I learned a few silly phrases and even picked up the nickname "magnoona" which translates to "crazy." haha. It was a good time. There were a small group (4-5) of guys I befriended.

Last night, I saw one of those friends on the news. He was carrying a sign protesting. Knowing that it was risky, I sent him a message on the computer last night saying that I saw him and that we are praying.

This morning I got a response:
"yah (my name) plz pray for egypt and for us this is hard days no safe at all at all"

And so, I'm sending that message on to you. Please pray. Please pray for Egypt. Pray for my friends. Pray for the country I have seen and walked on. Pray for the country that you have read about here, online, and in your Bible.

I don't know what is right here. I don't know if the president should step down. I don't know if democracy would be better. I don't know much about this. But I do know the One who does. I do know the One who has heard cries from Egypt before. I know that we need to petition before Him to have His will done.

Egypt can be a scary place. It doesn't have to be. But I can tell you, that Egypt falls to the Brotherhood, it won't just be Egpyt that is a scary place. Egypt will just be a launching pad for much worse things. Please pray. Pray for the Egyptians. Pray for the Coptic Christians in Egypt. Pray that they can bring Light to this dark time.

When I first came back from Egypt, I posted these lyrics from Rich Mullins on my old blog as they resounded with me in a way they never had before. I'm going to post them now, because, hopefully they'll resound the same way with you...

Joseph took his wife and her child and they went to Africa
To escape the rage of a deadly king
There along the banks of the Nile,
Jesus listened to the song
That the captive children used to sing
They were singin'

My Deliverer is coming - my Deliverer is standing by
My Deliverer is coming - my Deliverer is standing by

Through a dry and thirsty land, water from the Kenyon heights
Pours itself out of Lake Sangra's broken heart
There in the Sahara winds Jesus heard the whole world cry
For the healing that would flow from His own scars
The world was singing

My Deliverer is coming - my Deliverer is standing by
My Deliverer is coming - my Deliverer is standing by

He will never break His promise - He has written it upon the sky

My Deliverer is coming - my Deliverer is standing by
My Deliverer is coming - my Deliverer is standing by
My Deliverer is coming - my Deliverer is standing by

I will never doubt His promise though I doubt my heart, I doubt my eyes

My Deliverer is coming - my Deliverer is standing by
My Deliverer is coming - my Deliverer is standing by
My Deliverer is coming - my Deliverer is standing by

He will never break His promise
though the stars should break faith with the sky

My Deliverer is coming - my Deliverer is standing by
My Deliverer is coming - my Deliverer is standing by
My Deliverer is coming - my Deliverer is standing by
My Deliverer is coming - my Deliverer is standing by
My Deliverer is coming - my Deliverer is standing by
My Deliverer is coming - my Deliverer is standing by
My Deliverer is coming - my Deliverer is standing by
My Deliverer is coming.

**I know this isn't my typical lighthearted, silly post. It's a little political. It's a little religious. It calls for drawing lines in the sand and praying to the the God of the Universe who knows and understands. I don't normally do things like this but enough is enough. I can't sit by anymore. Please join me in prayer.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Gwen, this is your flaming liberal cousin, Cathy. I think it's wonderful that you're bringing up politics. I don't think we discuss politics enough in this country. Open-minded discussion stimulates inquiry and promotes learning. Like you, I feel a personal connection to the North Africa, and of course I hope there won't be any more violence. I haven't been to Egypt (it's on my travel list), but I have been to Tunisia. So, if the blog is open to contributions, I thought I'd add some of my own reflections. I've been glued to the news over the last few weeks, and I think what has happened in Tunisia and Egypt is amazing! I wish my students were following it, but when I ask them about it they don't seem to know what's going on. Sigh. I wish some media outlets would stop calling it "Crisis" or "Chaos" in Egypt and instead call it something like "Revolution in Egypt." We are witnessing a natural birth of democracy (not the beginning of democracy prompted by invasion and force). Hopefully we will not witness a stillbirth! Are you truly worried the Muslim Brotherhood would win in legitimate elections? I am not an expert on Egyptian politics, but El Baredei commented the other day that they only represent a small percentage of the population, I think he said 20% (his comparison was to Evangelicals in the US). I do feel strongly that for democracy to work, all parties must be permitted to participate. If an extremist party actually wins an election and has to govern, they'll either have to be just as autocratic as the guys who are being thrown out, or they'll have to move toward the center. Otherwise, they won't last. Would the populations who just booted Ben Ali and Mubarak tolerate more autocrats for long? Of course, a good example of what happens when you claim to have legitimate elections but do not abide by the results because extremists win them can be found in Algeria of the 90's. I think the Egyptians and Tunisians have just exhibited an incredible bravery that I hope I'm never called on to demonstrate. They're clearly stating they want democracy. I think Obama is great, but I wish he were unequivocal about American support for what the Egyptians want. I think we should practice what we preach for a change. What scares me is if we don't. I think in the long run, being hypocritical about democracy could be very detrimental to our national security. And what a sin it would be to deny anyone access to democracy (and economic opportunity) because it might mean we'd have to pay more for gas in the West! As an American, I pray that my country won't willingly deny (and won't be able to deny) anyone access to democracy because we're being selfish. I'm an American, but I'm also a human being, a global citizen. I wasn't really crazy that Obama called on me as a teacher to be a "Nation Builder". It sounds so, I don't know, twentieth-century to me, and maybe this is unfair, but in my mind it smacks of colonialism. Although I would like my country to be successful, I do not exist as a teacher solely as an instrument for my country. I hope everyone will think and act beyond the national level, at the human level, even if that demands some sacrifice and change. (To put that in religious terms, aren't we all God's children, not just those of us who are Americans or Westerners?) So although I am not very religious and I rarely pray, I will answer your call to prayer. I will pray that democracy takes hold everywhere!