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Wow, it’s great to be home! Traveling to Chicago to Paris to Rabat to Casablanca to Cairo to Dubai to Chicago and back home in nine days was nuts. If your pastor says yes to a crazy trip like that again have him committed ?.

I like the USA more than ever now. In Morocco the potential for arrest and persecution for following Jesus is very real. In Cairo a terrorist will shoot up a mosque because they do not believe the right kind of Islam. I admit I left the US still reeling over the church shooting in Texas and the concert shooting in Las Vegas, and others before that.

The truth is there is no place without danger. Wherever there are people there is potential for harm, in some cases great harm. It’s true in my country; it was true in Jesus’ country. I came face to face with this in Cairo where Scott Ruffin and I stood within feet of Jesus’ ancient home. We saw where it’s believed he slept and lived while a refugee. When Jesus was a baby, his family ran from a terrorist trying to kill him. They escaped to Egypt and were protected until the terrorist was dead.

From that initial visit by God, and St. Mark’s follow up, for over 500 years the Egyptian Church (Coptic) was the religion of the people. The nation prospered and was blessed in many ways because of the influence of God’s people in a once pagan nation. In 641 AD the Muslim Arabs conquered the land, but because one of Mohammad’s (the prophet of Islam) wives was Egyptian, the Coptics were shown special kindness and not immediately forced to convert. They continued to openly follow Jesus. This made Egypt one of the few countries in the Arab world that has a semblance of religious freedom.

The root of Christianity is still alive. Though there is some level of religious freedom, active followers of Christ are watched by the government, their phones are tapped, and there is always a threat they may be targeted as illegal. In the midst of that pressure, a ministry I visited has arguably reached more of the Arab-Muslim world than any other. Last year, all over the Middle East, they helped over 6,000 Arabs make a decision for Christ. Over four million people engage with them each year! From a place of refuge for our Savior 2,000 years ago, in the midst of shootings and persecution, the light of God’s love shines bright.

Let each of us here in Snoqualmie, in whom the Savior has found a home, shine bright with God’s message of hope and peace. The world is full of danger, and that only emphasizes the need for God’s love to be communicated to every person in this Valley.  If a ministry in Egypt can reach over four million Arabs who some say are impossible to reach, it is possible for God to use us to reach our neighbors, no matter how difficult they might be.

I am grateful to be home and to be part of Church on the Ridge. I pray that 2,000 years from now there will continue to be a Cornerstone for Generations that shines bright.

In Him,

Charlie