Saturday, January 23, 2010


When we got to Egypt we hit the ground running and haven't stopped.  The days are filled with visiting sites and stuffing our brains full of knowledge and insight.  This clearly is the most touristy portion of our time in the middle east.  I'm reminded of that everytime we pull up to an ancient excavation and Samir our tour guide exclaims, "LOTUS, shall we go now?"  (Lotus being our affectionate signature name he uses to rally the group).  Don't get me wrong, I love following our guide who permanately holds up a small Egyptian flag to lead the way as we push our way through crowds of Chinese women in visors... but as our time in Egypt winds down I'm deifnitely looking forward to settling in with a host family in Palestine where I can be treated more like a human. 

After visitng ancient catacombs (underground tombs) and a Roman theatre in Alexandria we headed back south for Anaphora.  With what I had already seen I anticipated another city bustling with people and incessant horns.  Much to my surprise Linford anounced we're here as we pulled up to a secluded dirt road with a gate reading "Anaphora."  The gate opened and we followed the dusty road past beautiful flowers, olive trees, orange groves, and rounded tan buildings.  Oh, aparently Anaphora is a monastery and a piece of heaven on earth.  Instantly when we stepped off the bus a sense of peace enveloped us.  We spent the next 48 hours drinking gallons of tea, watching sunrises and sunsets, listening to Bishop Thomas share, and eating delicious organic food.  Not too shabby.

Our two days in the coptic orthodox haven was exactly what we needed before we took a sleeper train to Luxor.  Our group is beginning to feel the wear of so much travel but we're also starting to rely on each other as a support system and meshing really well.  Thanks for the prayers. 
Sarah Dem

Monday, January 18, 2010

Walk like an Egyptian

Hello Friends and Family!

We've safely arrived in Cairo, Egypt.  And you'll be happy to know I passed my first exam, which was crossing the 6-lane street.  Life is wild here! It's similar to NYC except it's been around since 3200 BC. 

Yesterday we visited the ancient pyramids and sphix.  I'm so strong I could hold it up with one hand.  The desert here is beautiful, miles and miles of sand.  Egypt has 95% of it's population living on 5% of the land, it's amazing how bold the difference is between the green near the nile (where everyone lives) to the sand of the desert 

Today we went to Coptic Orthodox (ancient Egyptian Christian) part of Egypt.  We visited several chuches and even saw the place where Mary, Jospeh, and Jesus fled for a while after they left Bethlehem (Matthew 2).  After that we went to the Egyptian History Museum.  Egyptian civilization is only 5000 some years old, so they didn't have too much to tell us.  haha.  yeah right the museum was FILLED with huge stone statues that were from 2700 BC and on.  We learned all about the Pharohs of the old, middle, and new kingdoms.  The most impressive part of the museum was the room of the mummies.  I saw a dozen or so of ancient Pharoh mummies including Ramses II and Merenptah both of which Moses likely encountered.  Their hair, eyelashes, and fingernails were still intact.  Super creepy... and absolutely incredible. 

We're headed to Alexandria tomorrow and then down to Luxor. Thank you so much for all your prayers.  The Lord is already teaching me wonderful things about Himself. 

Sarah Dem