December ETSC Update
The Fall semester concludes on December 31. Looking back over the past few months, let me share an update about the good work being done at the Evangelical Theological Seminary in Cairo (ETSC). With your help we are making a difference in student’s lives. I want to share with you a story that shows the impact ETSC has had on a student’s life.
“My name is Hany Adel; I’m a third year student of the M.Div. program at ETSC. My 2015 summer internship was at an addict rehabilitation ministry called the Freedom Center. It was the first time in my whole life to deal closely with groups of people (addicts, homosexuals, atheists, etc) that I used to avoid and resent. It was very challenging especially with the fact that they in turn didn’t welcome me at all. Knowing that I’m studying to be a pastor, they made every effort to ignore me. It was a big challenge for me to find a way to win their trust and to be accepted between them.
“The courses I studied at ETSC were very helpful. It was time to apply the academic knowledge I learned in courses like communication skills, counseling, pastoral care and others. All I wanted was to get close to them to learn and to serve them and show the love of God in my life among them. With the help of other facilitators at the center I could break the ice. I play Lute so, I in the evenings, I played some popular secular songs and they loved it and sang with me. I played table tennis and swam with them. I was happy to gradually win their friendship. They started to accept me between them and open their heart to me. I learned how to listen patiently to them without being judgmental. I didn’t have a solution for their problems but I was keen to let them know that they are loved and accepted and that I’m not in a position to judge them.
“That summer internship was one of the hardest yet richest experiences of my life. Three month that made a paradigm shift in the way I think and feel towards the different groups I met there. I loved how transparent they were. They were honest about who they are and how they feel in a way that sometimes I couldn’t find in church. I learned that those people represent the society I’m to be serving as a future pastor. It opened my eyes to types of challenges people inside and outside the church are facing. By the end of the three months I wished I could stay more and learn more”
As you can see, your investment in ETSC has helped our students live out their dream and be equipped in a way that will make a positive impact in this challenged part of the world. In order to continue to provide this education we need your help this year-end. Please consider a gift to ETSC such that our ministry can continue to impact students’ lives and the people in the region.
I deeply appreciate your prayers and support. I wish you a blessed Christmas as we celebrate the birth of our Savior.
Atef M. Gendy (Ph.D.)
President of ETSC
Coming and Going is the order of the day in the Development Office at ETSC.
Marlien Bayouh, is the newest member of the Development Office at ETSC. In November 16, she started her work in the position of Internal Funding and Relations Representative. Marlien’s main responsibilities are to promote ETSC’s services offered for members and leaders of the Evangelical Church in Egypt and to expand ETSC’s internal funding base. ETSC community welcomes Marlien and wishes her all the best in her new position.
Rev. Dr. Cinda Gorman, ETSC International Relations Coordinator, departed on December 11 and is “honorably retired” as a Teach Elder in the PC (USA) on January 1, 2016. She completed a three year term as a Presbyterian Mission Co-Worker in a dual appointment with her husband, Steve Gorman. Steve has served as the Liaison between the PC(USA) and the Synod of the Nile. In the coming year he will commute to Cairo quarterly while the search continues for his replacement. The position Cinda has held in the Development Office is still vacant and we add that concern to our prayers. She has volunteered to continue to build the new partnership between the Presbyterian Foundation and ETSC from her home in Cleveland, Ohio.
“Life is full of surprises. Serving as Mission Co-workers in Egypt was one of the best decisions we could have made in our sixties. We will miss the ETSC students, staff, faculty and administrators and look forward to watching the initiatives in place now come to fruition in the coming years. My colleagues in the Development Office have taught me so much and been endlessly patient with my negligible Arabic and incessant “ideas” for new approaches to our tasks. I leave behind younger Brothers, Sisters and many Sons who will remain in my heart.”
Please join us in prayer for:
- For the health of Chaplain Ephraim Jacob being treated for kidney stones and for Professor Hani Hanna who is being treated for severe knee joint inflammation.
- For securing funding for installing an elevator that will reach the second floor of the library and the third, fourth and fifth floors of the faculty apartments locating in the same building. Easy access to faculty departments is turning from being a luxury to a necessity especially with the health problems some of them are facing.
- For a suitable candidate to serve as the International Relations Coordinator in the Development Office.
- Egypt will have a new parliament this month. This council, absent for over three years after the Constitutional Court dissolved the last one, will have two weeks to discuss and endorse hundreds of laws that President Abdel Fatah El-Sisi and his predecessor, Adly Mansour, issued via decrees over the past two years. Pray for these people traveling the Road of Democracy knowing that Democracy will always be a way to reach a better life and not an end that justifies the means.