This morning Rebecca and I attended the lovely and very meaningful Easter Sunrise service of our English Speaking Church – the Heliopolis Community Church. This early morning Easter event has been held at the Commonwealth Graves Memorial gardens in Heliopolis for more than 30 years! After communion around the large cross in the middle of the garden we share a communal breakfast together.
We went there with our children in the 80s and today our daughter Leila and our grandson Alex joined us! It aways is a blessing celebrating Easter in that way and it brings to us a flood of good memories from years past….
After a short nap we dressed up and went to the Palm Sunday service of our Arabic Church, the Heliopolis Evangelical Church. (Eastern Christians have a different church calendar and this year the Easters are one week apart).
Egyptian Christians are all given the day off for Palm Sunday so this is one of the best attended church services of the year. Our church was packed and the large sanctuary reverberated with vibrant singing and praise to God!
Next week we celebrate Egyptian Easter and, as we have done for more than 30 years, we will attend the Saturday Evening Easter service at the St. Simon the Tanner Cave Church at the Garbage Village with yet another congregation we relate to because of Rebecca’s ministry there since 1982!
All this may seem a bit confusing to you – and I must admit, it is sometimes also for us. But we praise the Lord for the rich and alive church traditions we have in Egypt and the privilege we have as a couple to feel at home in each of these very varied church traditions, and to be deeply blessed by worshipping with the wonderful Christians we know in each one.