Monday, January 28, 2008


Yesterday was my first Sunday back at Woking United Reformed Church. It wasn't quite the welcome I received earlier this month from my home church of over 15 years (Havenwood Presbyterian Church (USA)), but I was warmly greeted by many familiar faces.

Our guest preacher was Richard Jones, Southern and Eastern England's representative for BibleLands - an independent UK based Christian charity serving the needs of the poor, vulnerable, and disadvantaged in the lands of the Bible, regardless of their faith or nationality. With around 50 Overseas Partners in Israel and the Occupied Territories, Lebanon, and Egypt, the focus is on education, health, and community development. (Check out for more information.)

It was interesting to hear about all the wonderful things this organization (that I had never heard of before) is doing. One of the many tragic stories was that of the 15,000 people who live in the rubbish dump at Ezbet el Nakhl in Cairo, Egypt. Thanks to the Salaam Centre - started by the Coptic Orthodox Church - many of Cairo's poorest inhabitants now receive medical and social services.

I also learned that the coins people toss in a small basket after our service each week don't go toward the coffee, tea, and squash (a sweetened fruit drink) that are served next to it. Rather, this money supports 2 children through the Al Kafa'at Foundation, one of BibleLands' Overseas Partners in Beirut, Lebanon. Our 6 year old boy has multiple physical disabilities, and our 12 year old girl is autistic. Neither one of them would be receiving an education or health care without sponsorship.

Days like yesterday certainly put my own life back in proper perspective....

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