Tomorrow we have some very special visitors coming to Berlin. The Oldhams will be visiting us in Berlin. Ken, Titus and I will be heading to Budapest for the Budapest Lectures (summer edition) at the end of this week. Meanwhile, Keli, Zeke, and Grace will be staying in Berlin with Jamie and Marco. Then next week, we will all be here together giving the Oldhams a much needed vacation and hopefully encouraging them. Kelley and Rhonda will be back from German Teen Camp and it should be a great time. Here is a special message from the Oldhams:
Thank you for your concern and prayers for us over the past several weeks. We have tried to respond to each email or message that we have received, but if we haven't responded to you, please know that we have sincerely appreciated your encouragement.
We have continued to be at peace and to be safe here in Cairo; however, we have not been able to do much ministry in the last few weeks due to continued demonstrations in the areas where we would normally be meeting, and/or interrupting the route for those who desired to participate. Though safe, it has been a bit of a "house arrest" feeling here due to the possibility of demonstrations and "anti-American-government/media" sentiment. Please note the focus of this frustration; we have had several Egyptians go out of there way to express their appreciation of us or our family being here, they're just not happy with the government or the media for one reason or another. We avoid demonstration areas, but trouble can spring up anywhere at this time. We have been able to go out during the day, we are careful to come back before the evening, and when we do go out, it is in limited areas.
Titus and Ken had been scheduled to participate in the Budapest Lectures, July 25-30; however, it is not a good time to leave Keli, Grace, and Zeke at home in Cairo alone as many of the Egyptian Christians we serve have relocated to the coasts for the summer, and most of our expat friends either left at the start of summer or have been subsequently evacuated in the last few weeks. As a result, Global Missions has given us permission to retreat to Germany for a few weeks; they have given us permission to leave any time we feel threatened--that is not the case in this instance, but we could use the break!
Thanks to a gift from Ohio ChoG ministries, our family will fly from Cairo to Berlin on Tuesday, July 23. We will stay with the Nachtigalls and have the opportunity to visit with them and the Phillips family; this time with our 3W teammates in Berlin will help us all breathe a little easier--literally and figuratively :) From there, we can keep in touch with the leaders in Egypt via e-mail, and we will continue to monitor the events in Cairo as the interim government continues to move the country forward. If all is still well, we will return by August 9 and prepare to jump back into several different ministry opportunities planned throughout August. School is set to start on August 19, and that date has not been changed.
We hope to have the July newsletter out at the end of the month, and there should be some Berlin and Budapest pictures to share with you.
Thanks again for your prayers and support. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us.
Hope you're having a great summer...
Ken & Keli Oldham