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Showing posts from 2014

Story from Egypt

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(This is post 4 of 5 on my Egypt trip - sorry for the delay!)

I heard a story about an Egyptian Muslim in Cairo who had very recently converted to Christianity. This decision has alienated him from his family, and potentially even puts his life in danger. It’s not illegal to be a Christian here in Cairo, but it is illegal to convert from Islam to another religion. And, while murder is illegal here, ‘honor killings’ by families ‘shamed’ by their relative who has left Islam for another religion often results in relatively minimal punishment for the offenders.
This young man contacted a Christian friend here because he was struggling with depression and even thoughts of suicide because of the ramifications of his decision to follow Christ. For him, giving his life to follow Christ was very much a literal transaction. Fortunately, the Christian friend has been able to encourage and even mentor him such that he has at least one outlet for encouragement.
Such is the life of former Muslims here…

Egypt Trip - our tourism day

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Our first day in the country was spent touring the sites as we waited for the other office directors to arrive. We saw the Egyptian National Museum, the Great Pyramids of Giza and the Sphinx. Even though we were jet-lagged, words can’t describe seeing and touching things that were created by people who lived 4500 years ago. I never thought I’d see the pyramids, but I’m sure glad I did. Our tour guide is an Egyptologist by degree, and he was very good and knowledgeable. He told us everything we were seeing in relation to a biblical timeline – “when this was made, the Exodus had just happened” or “this Pharoah was in power when Joseph worked in Egypt”. People here talk about Bible history in relation to the history of their own country, regardless of whether they’re a Christian or not. No one doubts these things happened because it’s what’s in their own historical and archeological records. It was interesting to me to hear how the legitimacy of the biblical account of history isn’t quest…

Cairo Trip

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Arriving into Cairo and stepping off the plane onto steps leading down to the tarmac, the warm and musty air and smell of sweet smoke made me feel like I was in Uganda. Looking over to the side beyond the airport fence though, I could see a very fancy hotel with two black luxury cars out front – it was clear there were going to be differences from Uganda! Once inside the airport, it was a strange mix of a very nice building with subtle signs of a lack of proper care and cleaning. The white structure of the ceiling was shadowed with dirt – like I’ve seen in virtually every African country.
And overall, I think my first impression was an accurate picture of my first, overall impression of Egypt – a mix of sights, sounds and culture that show both signs of extreme wealth (Middle East oil) and lack of development or proper management of resources that keep you well reminded that you’re in Africa. You see fancy buildings and homes, nice cars, and most all the Western stores that are noticea…

August 2014 Update

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GO WEST

It had been nearly two years since we'd been through Southern California, so this Summer when we headed out West we went the Southern route. It was me and the boys' first time through New Mexico and Arizona, and the 4-hour detour to see the Grand Canyon for 45 minutes was a first too (Alisha had seen all of these on a trip as a kid).

We got to spend some good time with family and friends - some of which we hadn't seen in two years - and we also camped for a few days up in Yosemite with Alisha's family, another first for me and the boys (yes, growing up in Northern California I had never been to Yosemite before!). What an impressive place.

We were sad not to make it to Oregon this time, but hope to do that on the next trip. Overall, it was a lot of driving but we enjoyed every minute of our visiting and were happy to be back living within driving distance!


EMI - EBOLA OUTBREAK

I'm sure everyone has heard of the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, so I thought I&…

July 2014 update

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We're driving to the West Coast in a couple of days to visit family and have a little vacation. Sadly, we won't be making it up north to Oregon this time as we wanted to see our SoCal friends/family since it's been two years since we've been down there. We've also never driven the southern route west so the boys are very excited to see New Mexico and Arizona for the first time (I've never been to NM or AZ either!). Before we head out, here's what's been going on with the Crawford's and EMI this past month:

PROJECTS
We sent 4 project teams out from the US office this semester to work in Haiti, Ghana, Estonia, and Ethiopia. So far, I've helped out on two of them - a new medical clinic in rural Ghana, and a foster home center for up to 80 children in Estonia (the first time EMI has ever done a project in this former Soviet state). For each of these, I helped with structural advice on a few of the buildings, as well as providing a review of the ove…