Egypt, my Egypt….

Well, let’s be honest. I love this place. I love the people; I love the country; I love the people; I love the camp; I love the culture; I love the people; I love coaching sports; I love the people; I love the travel; I love the people; I love Egypt…did I mention I love the people.
 

This is my third year on this trip, and honestly each year gets better. I was a little nervous thinking nothing could top last year, but then God did it once again. This was the best year, yet. We are currently at a cool place on the Med Sea (not going to try to spell that word), and someone asked me why this was the best year. As I was trying to answer, I could only see the faces of all the people I love so much here. People that live in a different country and speak a different language, but love the same God I love and have captured my heart. These people also are now friends I talk to all year long and am already counting the days until I go back to see again (344 days, 23 hours, 58 min, 17 seconds).  

 Thank you for praying for us. Thank you for supporting us to be in this place. Thank you for reading these blogs. I really do hope they help you get a sense of why we love this place. I wish I could bottle up all my feelings and thoughts about this place and let you truly experience why we feel the way we do.

 One of the cool things my dad and I got to do this year was to go have breakfast in Cairo at the home of one of his friends named Micho. We met his wife and daughter and got to experience an authentic Egyptian experience in Cairo. It was awesome. He talked about how God has used Egypt in big ways and is continuing to use Egypt in the world. I think he is right and it reminded me of the verse I would see everyday walking into meals at camp. Isaiah 19:25, “For the Lord of Heaven’s Armies will say, “Blessed be Egypt, my people.” Egypt is already a blessing to me and all these coaches, staff, and campers that come every year, and in a way He is blessing parts of Texas because we sure come back different year after year. I know I have so many people to thank for me being here…but most of all, Thank you, God for letting me come to Egypt!

 -Grace Rich

Red River Ministries

Wadi Sports Camp

 

Last Day at Wadi

As I write this, it is our last night in Wadi.  The sounds of sprinklers watering the grass, counselors and staff speaking in Arabic, a workover rig drilling for water and the call to prayer from a distant mosque all fill my ears as I sit on our hotel balcony.  This is Egypt, an amalgam of ideas religions and people.  I have never been more enamored with a place as this.  My opinion of Egypt and these people could not have been further from the truth.  Before touching down, my ideas of Egypt were shaped and molded by the media.  Terrorism, violence and extreme heat were all I thought I knew.  I was wrong, the media is wrong and I want these false perceptions to end.

The violence that the media spoon-feeds the public for ratings shrouds the true battle that is consuming Egypt.  I have been on multiple mission trips to Uganda, Africa and been spiritually confronted.  However, Egypt is the spiritual battlefield.  I have never been exposed as I have during my time here to raging spiritual warfare.  It’s as if the eternal struggle that takes place in our souls that we all experience is playing itself out right in front of our eyes.  The staff, admins and counselors here at Wadi are engaged in this spiritual war every day.  Their unwavering faith and dedication to this place and the campers is indescribable.  I exhaust the dictionary and still cannot find any words to explain the pride that fills my soul to be shoulder to shoulder with these men and women as the Spartans of yesteryear, equipped with the armor of God, engaged on this spiritual battlefield.

I’m no strategist, however, if there is tactic that will achieve victory, I believe it is through this camp and others like it.  This is the most expensive summer camp in Egypt and there are waitlists for both campers and counselors.  To give you an idea, roughly four hundred college aged individuals applied to be a part of the staff.  The camp only has room for one hundred ninety.  That’s four hundred people applying to volunteer for a month with no pay just to invest in the kids that come here.  Many of the counselors use vacation days to be here at camp, away from their jobs and they do it without hesitation.  Most, if not all the counselors were campers at some point.  They recognize the vision of Wadi.

The campers that come year after year are sons and daughters of influential people in Egypt.  They are without a doubt in the upper class of society.  If anyone has the power to swing the spiritual battle for Egypt in favor of good, it is these kids.  They will be leaders of businesses, industries and careers passed down from their parents.  This spiritual conflict will not be won over night, it is most certainly a war of attrition.  By faith, prayer and perseverance the tide of this confrontation can be turned and God’s love, through the saints involved with Wadi, can pierce the darkness that has masked Egypt since the Pharaohs.

 

In Him,

Daniel Snell

Red River Ministries

Wadi Sports Camp

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Eighteen

Eighteen hours on a plane. Eighteen days spent in Egypt. Eighteen pounds gained from eating French fries for dinner every night. Eighteen days that we’ve seen God on the move. Eighteen different activities to connect us to campers. Eighteen* cabins of Egyptian campers and counselors. Eighteen girls I was blessed to coach in volleyball. Eighteen hour days of coaching, singing, dancing, meeting, praying, loving, and more. Eighteen times I had the opportunity to share the gospel with campers. Eighteen plus relationships that I have made with coaches, campers, counselors and staff. Eighteen of the best days of my life.

If you were to tell me to describe Egypt in one word I would tell you indescribable. There is nothing this place can be compared to. The people are absolutely incredible. Unlike the movies portray, it is beautiful. And the malls are A1. Being in Egypt has taught me so many things about people, sports, God and so much more. So, let’s begin…

First up is people. I love to learn about different cultures around the world. I find it so fascinating how different others live their lives than we do in America. Getting to experience the Egyptian culture first hand has been so cool. These people go above and beyond in everything they do. For example, so much thought and effort went into every game that we played. Each night the entire camp played a game during a time called X-period, but it wasn’t your average hide & go seek or “Mission Impossible.” No. These are legit, very well thought out games. My favorite was the night we played ‘Clash of Clans.’ The game lasted about 5 hours and every camper had a role to play. For the sake of time, I’ll spare you most of the details. Basically, each group was given the task of building a tent then making a fire to cook dinner. They had to do “jobs” to earn money to in turn buy supplies. Like I mentioned earlier, my favorite part was that each camper had an assigned job. Whether that job was to be an artist, blacksmith, warrior among other things, they all had a role. They had to work as a team and rely on each other to get the job done so they could advance and earn more money. It was truly so cool to see how the kids came together to get the job done all while having tons of fun. I have one last thing to add about these precious people. They love like there’s no tomorrow (truly the way we all should love). For instance, if you told them you liked the shirt they were wearing, they would take it off right there and give it to you. This is not an exaggeration at all. This actually happened and it was such a great moment. They also know how to care for others and always made sure “The American Coaches” were okay. Honestly, they are just so great.

So now let’s talk sports. I have grown up playing and loving any and every sport. Little did I know then, that my love and passion would open so many doors in Egypt. God has a cool way of taking something you love and using it for His glory…imagine that. It was so great to see how we could really connect and get to know the campers through our specific sports. There was not a language barrier and all walls were broken down so easily. I loved getting to share my love for the game with the girls and pass it off to them. Don’t get me wrong, it was in no way easy, but soooooo worth it. It was so great to see how the girls improved from the beginning of the week to the end of the week. We gave three awards at the end of the week, one being Most Improved, and honestly if I had 18 awards to give I would have given each girl one. Another award that we gave was the MVP. Mak and I chose a girl that worked hard all week and had some real skill. It was so cool to see the joy in her eyes when we announced it was her. She lit up like a Christmas tree! In fact, she actually messaged me on Instagram today thanking me and saying how much she already missed us. They were right when they said you would build relationships that last a lifetime. The last award we gave was easily my favorite and went to the most deserving girl. It was the I am Third award. This went to a girl named Caroline or ‘Cookie’. Cookie has a heart of gold. She was encouraging to her teammates every day, always had a smile on her face, helped the other girls when they didn’t understand, and was so coachable. If this doesn’t resonate with you at all, just remember how much weight sports hold. They can bring you closer to a child or drive you away, break down barriers or put up walls, and give you the opportunity to share God’s love.

Number one take away from this trip… the God we serve in America is the same God we serve in Egypt. So, I always knew God is vast and stretches ocean to ocean, but it was so cool seeing that in first person. One thing that I will never ever forget is the first night we were here. We were all gathering in the main hall and music was playing in the background. The song “Our God is Greater” came and all the kids started singing. I was in complete awe. I made a comment about it to Cate and she looked at me like “duh, of course they know the words.” My eyes filled with tears because what(!!) these kids not only know Jesus, but they sing praises to Him. Y’all! That was easily one of the highlights of this trip. I say this a lot but I really mean it, God is so cool. He is on the move in Egypt and all around the world. And don’t forget it.

So, here’s the thing, this trip has been incredible. I have grown in so many ways and have truly seen God at work. I knew God would do great things here, but I had no idea how great. You will never understand how impactful and amazing this trip is until you experience it for yourself. God said, “Blessed be Egypt my people” (Isaiah 19:25) and I 100% agree (duh). The people in Egypt are blessed and bless those around them. It has been a privilege to serve on this team and share Jesus and sports with so many kiddos. God is good, all the time. And all the time, God is good.

I’m leaving part of my heart here, but momma I’m coming home.

Mills

Red River Ministries 

Wadi Sports Camp

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Habibi

Hey Guys! My name is Kim, or Myhre, depending who is talking to me, and I am so excited to share with you all the fun we have had the past 17 days. I can’t believe it has already been 17 days of being here, and it’s crazy to think we only have 6 days left. God has truly worked amazing things during this trip, and I am going to just give you a briefing of what he has done, although until you experience this trip, you will truly never completely understand, but through these blogs I hope this will give you a glimpse into how it has changed all of us for the good.

First off- sports can bond any and every person, no matter the language a person speaks, no matter how good or bad a person is, no matter what a person believes in, I realized on this trip that by having one simple connection it broke down so many barriers to get to love on people.  Here we are in Egypt, coming together with another culture over sports…its seriously so cool to see. We got to know these campers, counselors, and even other coaches in a more vulnerable way than ever. We broke down so many walls with this simple connection, and got to know so many people just by taking the time in “coaching” these kids, or hanging with the counselors. We coached the kids, but along the way got to know them on a deeper level. We were able to learn about their culture, learn some fun Arabic words (La-AA..which means NO.. that will be my new favorite word to take back home with me) and just have fun everyday showing them our love for sports and Jesus. They had a bigger impact on my heart than I did teaching them how to kick a soccer ball, and that is a promise.  It’s crazy to think that we connected with Egyptians by coaching them in the same sports we coach or play back home.

Second off- Our God in the U.S. is the same God in Egypt.    This was by far the coolest thing to see. The same God I pray to everyday in the U.S. is the same God my campers pray to and look to. It is not the norm for Egyptians to be Christians. The majority of the country are Muslims, so the people at this camp come together not only by their love of sports, but by being Christians. The stories I have heard over the past few weeks are amazing.  Our coaches all have amazing stories about how they got here, the majority of the counselors have been coming to this camp since they were little kids, and the campers all have the same joy of loving God. That one connection we all had was all we needed.  I had some powerful conversations with some people that changed my whole outlook on walking with Jesus. I want to be a better version of me because of the people I met on this trip…both Americans and Egyptians.

Last but not least- WSC 2017—the nicest group of people I have ever met.  Y’all, this has never been so true. Relationships were built so fast because people were so genuinely nice. As soon as we got to camp we were greeted with open arms. Counselors and Campers wanted to get to know us, they wanted us to hang out with them, they wanted to just be authentic with us. We all wanted to do the same. No matter what we were doing (daily pool parties, singing I believe I can fly at lunch, coaching, working x-periods, or eating dinner outside hanging out), this group of people made sure we were taken care of. If we didn’t understand what was being said because it was in Arabic (don’t get me wrong we learned some words, but not enough to understand everything lol), someone would translate for us to make sure we knew what was going on, and we were all in the loop.  I have never built so many relationships in such a short amount of time in my life. Between the coaches, counselors, and campers I feel like lifelong relationships were formed all the way around.

I know this blog is a little scattered, and doesn’t tell you exactly what we did, rather the overview of the impact it had on us all. 16 American Coaches, who were strangers in Dallas Texas, flew to Egypt July 5, feeling every emotion possible, came together as a team in 2 weeks to build lifelong friendships with each other, with others in  country half way around the world , and to form a deeper relationship with Jesus. Egypt– Thank you from the bottom of my heart for the experiences you gave me. Thank you for everyone that prayed and donated to get us here, and all the relationships I am leaving with. You have been more than amazing, and I hope that we will meet again.

Egypt… you will forever have a piece of my heart. See ya soon Texas..

Kim(Myhre)

Red River Ministries

Wadi Sports Camp

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Love Like Egyptians

Well hello friends, my name is Mak! I cannot tell you how excited I am to share with all of you. This also couldn’t have come at a better time, but I’ll get to that later.

I’ll start by saying that today was much different than the last 10 days of our lives. We have been going nonstop, having most of our days planned from sun up to sun down and loving every second of it. Now that camp is over we are getting to hangout, enjoy being beach bums at the Red Sea (what a hard life, right?) and soak up each other’s company for the last couple days we have all together. Something we also did today was have a debriefing, to reflect and share different highlights and experiences of camp. (This is where the me being excited above comes into play!) This has always been one of my most favorite parts of working camps. I love love love hearing what people learn, sharing how God is moving in their lives, and seeing how we experience things differently in the same situation.  I couldn’t tell you everything that was shared, but I can tell you that this trip has been incredible. My co-coaches are incredible. I don’t have a better word at the moment than incredible. I couldn’t even share my own thoughts tonight without being a crying girl, so I chose to share them with you all.

Listening to the ways that the Lord has moved this week continues to show how stinkin’ big and awesome our God is. I’m amazed at the amount of love I’ve received from every person I’ve met on this trip. I’ve been challenged by the way I see other people love people. I want to love people like the Egyptians I’ve encountered! I’ve been shown that just because I don’t know Arabic, doesn’t mean God is limited in the same ways as us silly humans. And He is up to something in this place, yall. Just because we speak a different language (really we just don’t understand them, because they are all bilingual rockstars) does not mean you can’t show love. Seriously, love knows no barriers. And if we try and make them, He breaks them. CAN I GET AN AMEN?! This trip has shown me that the same God who I pray to move in my life is being prayed to around the world by others – which is something I’ve said a thousand times out loud, but to see it lived out makes me wanna jump up and down, and point to Him and be like “do you see that, you see Him working?!”. To sum up my experience, I am so thankful. Thankful to have learned, experienced, been humbled, stretched, sweat, laughed, cried, and gotten to know so many people who love Jesus so purely. From the team of Americans, to the camp staff, and even the campers. If you have contributed to this trip in any way – you made a difference in the life of someone, whether it be a camper, staffer, or coach. A lot of times I say “if one person comes to know Jesus from it, then it was worth it.” I can say without a doubt that I know Jesus better because of this trip. I pray that others do, too. I’m thankful for you, I’m thankful for this trip, and I’m thankful for a big God who continues to leave us in awe of who HE is.

Red River Ministries 

Wadi Sports Camp

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Last Day at Wadi

The day has come…the last day of camp 😦

This has been a day we have been dreading since the moment we stepped onto Wadi Sports Camp ground. Each day we have learned more about the camp, the campers, and ourselves and every day is a new experience. Since coming to Egypt, I know I can speak for more than myself when I say that the people here are what makes this trip so incredible. Their passion and emotion they show in everything they do is something we can all learn from and I can say they have taught me more than I have taught them.

Today, we got to sleep in until nine (WOWZERS!!), and then after breakfast we had our very last major. In all our majors, we got to give out three different awards: MVP, Most Improved, and I am Third. We loved being able to think through who deserved each award, and we know giving these awards out meant so much to the campers. After doing sessions after majors, we had yet another pool dance party. This is probably my favorite part of camp because you know ya girl loves to dance. Later in the day, we did clash of clans which lasted the rest of the night. I know the campers really enjoyed the game and we enjoyed getting to hang out with them. Although the night was getting late, the party had just begun. After clash of clans, we played warball and if you know anything about Wadi Sports Camp, you know how seriously these campers take dodgeball. Both the girls and the guys game was madness, but it was so much fun to watch and see how their passion and emotion played into the game. When dodgeball was over, we had closing ceremonies where we got to have yet another dance party! One thing I have learned about Egyptians is they love to dance, so in other words, I have found my people.

Before coming to Egypt, I was struggling with wanting to leave America. I was scared and was experiencing a lot of nerves because this was my first time leaving the country. Now that I am here, I do not want to go home. I want to stay at Wadi Sports Camp forever and experience life with some of the most beautiful people I have ever encountered. I have learned so much not only from the campers, but from all the counselors, staff members, and all the other coaches. I have learned how to laugh through the pain (aka almost dying from the heat) and love so hard despite the circumstances. I have been praying this whole trip for God to open my eyes to things I have never seen, and to remind me of what I have forgotten, and boy oh boy did he do his job. I can say with confidence that Egypt has changed my life forever, and I see things in a whole new view. I cannot thank God enough for choosing a sinner like me to do his work all the way across the world and I love that he blessed me with the funds and support to come here. So, wherever you are reading this, remember that our God is HUGE and is working in places you can’t even think of.

Love passionately and never stop having faith cause our God is too incredible for words.

Love you awesome nerves!

Kaila

Red River Ministries 

Wadi Sports Camp 

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Yalla-Let’s Go!

We are on day seven of camp! It is crazy how fast this week has gone by.  It has been the sweetest to come back to this place a second year.

Today we started off the day with majors.  I am coaching soccer with Kim this year and we have 5 campers and 5 counselors at girls soccer.  I have loved having such a small group. I feel like we have really gotten to know the 8 other girls in our group on a personal level and are having so much fun with them as they are coming out of their shells.

After majors and breakfast it was time for the X-period.  The X-Period today was the man and woman of Wadi Challenge.  The boys swim 8 links and the girls swim 4 links.  The boys then get out of the pool and run 1 mile and and the girls run half a mile.  It is really fun to watch.  Hayden swam the swimming portion and Ben ran the running portion.  It is such an encouraging time to see the kids cheer for each other and run with each other as they are finishing the race.

After the Man and Woman of Wadi Challenge there is a 3 hour long pool party.  It is one of my favorite days at camp.  Pool time is the best.  It is such a sweet time to get to have conversations with campers and counselors, play games, and have the best dance parties.  Today was the best of the dance parties and a belly flop contest.

I love this place and the way they do life.  It is so neat to hear their stories and hear about  their love for our King.  These counselors and staff do such a great job pouring into these kids and loving them well.  I am thankful we get to be a part of it.  I have learned so much from these dear friends these last two summers and am hopeful for the ways the Lord is moving in this place.

-Meagan

Red River Ministries 

Wadi Sports Camp

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