The Rev. Mark and Linda Nygard are ELCA missionaries in Cairo, Egypt. Mark is the coordinator of graduate studies at Evangelical Lutheran Seminary in Cairo. To support the Nygards, or another of the ELCA’s nearly 250 missionaries, go to www.elca.org/missionarysponsorship.
Dear Friends Stateside,
I arrived back from summer home leave on Sept. 14th, Linda two weeks later due to the new grandbaby, Micah. It was exciting to receive visiting professor, Bruce Eldevik, head librarian at Luther Seminary on Sept. 24 for three weeks of teaching and consultation. My own class on the history of Christianity in the Middle East from Napoleon’s time to the present began on Sept. 27. And another two-week Arabic class at the International Language Institute began Oct. 9. It is intensely challenging and exciting to be penetrating rather rapid conversation at times in class. (Of course, I’m lost again at other times!)
I first heard about the Oct. 9 tragedy in Maspero, Egypt, (in which at least 27 civilian demonstrators were killed in violence with security forces) during the morning break the next day. Fellow Arabic student, Heinrich from Norway asked me what I thought of it, and it was all news to me. The streets were a bit subdued that evening as we made our way home, but at 11:30 p.m. we were aroused again by thousands of people marching past our apartment, bearing crosses and more coffins as they proceeded to the cathedral. I participated in the three-day fast that the Coptic church’s Pope Shenouda declared, and we prayed for peace and common humanity to prevail. We would ask you to join us in this prayer for Egypt — that Muslim and Christian might live together, caring for each other.
The peace of Jesus,
Mark and Linda