Saturday, October 24, 2009

Finding Treasure in Egypt...

is never quite what one expects to find, is it?  I truly found a new perspective, as evidenced by this journal entry after our excursion to Cairo, while in the Port of Alexandria.

"Sometimes we have experiences that change us.  Sometimes we travel all the way across the world for that to happen.  Yesterday gave a glimpse of that.  I went to Egypt.  There in Egypt, I was changed.  I saw, by juxtapose, how the Lord has blessed me.  I marvel at the sweetness of my life.  I marvel at a people that are struggling to simply eek out a living while at the same time being surrounded by some of the world's most extraordinary treasures.  I saw children putting their very lives at risk, stepping out into busy traffic, trying to sell cigarettes to the passing motorists.

"All during this experience, I was under the protection of an armed security agent, personally protecting me and my tour bus from the dangers that lay at every side. In the midst of all this strife, poverty, and danger, I was there to enjoy the carefree life of a tourist.  I paid ten dollars for a 3 minute camel ride on the outlying desert sands surrounding the Great Pyramids of Giza.

"Perhaps one of the most poignant experiences happened as I was sitting at the foot of the Great Sphinx.  I was moping because both batteries for both of my cameras had died.  How ironic!  I had come all this way to see these wonders of the world, and I hadn't prepared carefully enough to be able to take as many pictures as I wanted.  As I was sitting there, feeling sorry for myself, a beautiful, tiny Egyptian girl came up to me and pointed to my camera, wanting me to pay for the privilege of taking her picture.  She couldn't understand why my camera didn't work, and why I wouldn't take what would have been a treasured photo. Brian gave her the money anyway.

"I think of my own beautiful children back home; wonder about the life of privilege they have had.  They have never gone to bed hungry.  They have never had to risk their lives to earn a little money.  Do they realize the great blessings of their lives?  Or are they like me, going through life, often focussing on what they "don't have"?

"After an exhausting day of sightseeing, as the tour bus headed back toward the ship in Alexandria, I was sitting in the very back corner of the bus.  All alone with my thoughts as the sands of Egypt blurred past me.  As I pondered the miracle of where I was, I was filled with wonder.  Here I was in one of the most historically and Biblically significant parts of the world.  And even though I may not have shared the same importance as Joseph of old, Moses the great Deliverer, and of course the Holy Family that sought refuge and safety in Egypt, I felt that the Lord was still aware of me, knew that I was there, and sent a witness by his Spirit that He loves me. I silently wept.  Feeling God's love for me, a truly great treasure, indeed."


Nancy said...

We are truly blessed in this country! Everyone should leave America and go see how other people live everyday.....they wouldn't complain, they'd feel blessed. Thank you for sharing your trips and your journal entries.

5Youngers said...

Great pictures... So jealous of all of your travels.

Laura said...

I'm LOVING your journal entries with your photos.
Awesome post!

neffie said...

Thanks for sharing that beautiful moment and thought! I love Egypt. When I went to see the Sphinx it had closed early and when we got there they were shuffling people out. Our wonderful tour guide may have bribed the guards to let us in and told us to hurry.