Saturday, March 05, 2016

Egyptian Coptic Orthodox Christian in America

I am in Washington DC with my 3 older children.  There was a flash sale on airline   tickets that I couldn't pass up.  Our hotel shuttle driver George is married and a father of 2 children.  His newest is just 8 days old.  He has been in the US for less than a year.  He had a profound story that I think more than all the monuments and museums caused me to appreciate the many freedoms we enjoy. 

George told me that he lived in Upper or Southern Egypt. He was well educated in science and computer science and taught science in school.  After the Arab Spring in 2011, the Egyptian government was destabilized and the country became unsafe for Christians to live.  George told me he had to pay money so that his car wouldn't get vandalized or stollen.  Then he said that his son was nearly taken from him.  He had to fight his attackers to rescue his son from kidnappers.  He was afraid that if his son had been taken, his son would have been trafficked or killed. The attack left him with a deep cut to his right arm.  When he approached the police for help the police almost arrested him for assaulting the would-be kidnappers. 

George knew that he could no longer trust the police in Egypt for protection.  Like so many other refugees, George fled Egypt to the United States to provide a better life for his wife and children.  Because of his poor English he knew he would  likely never work as a science teacher again but be relegated to do  manual labor. But if coming to America meant a better future for his children, any personal sacrifice was well worth it.

George confessed that he was grateful to the United States for our freedom of religion.  He said America was a place where anyone could come and be free to believe whatever they wanted without living in fear.

I asked George if he had heard of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints or Mormon Church.  He said he had and that 2 Missionaries had recently given him a Book of Mormon in Arabic.  I had the opportunity to explain that the Book of Mormon was a sacred book of scripture like the Bible and recorded the appearance of Christ to scattered tribes of the House of Israel in America to prove that the Christian God is the God not just of Israel but the God of the whole Earth. George commited to read it.

No comments: