If you are letting your little ones read what I write, I’d recommend reading this by yourself before letting them read it. I am going to be honest and in this case honesty is brutal and heart wrenching.
I’ve procrastinated writing about what I’m going to tell you for two days now. Thinking about it hurts and talking about it puts a lump in my throat.
On Sundays and Wednesdays Mrs. Lantz opens up her home to the FOUND students for tutoring. They may come for two or three hours, and we tutor them in a subject of their choosing. Most of the time it’s “English” so we read out loud, converse, learn new words, and ensure comprehension - not just memorization.
This past Wednesday a group of four boys, Chole, Abdella, Allison, and David, showed up at 10 a.m. We cooked breakfast together and while Mrs. Lantz wrapped up a project, I sat and ate with them. We laughed, I yelled at them to speak in English - not Arabic- and conversation easily flowed as best it could with the language barrier. As we talked, Allison mentioned “last night”. I jumped on this tid bit of information and asked what he was talking about. It took a while, but I eventually got the full story.
On Tuesday night an Egyptian gang of seven or eight boys and men attacked 15 year old Allison. They demanded he give them his phone and upon his refusal and the slap to the face he gave with it, they clonked him on the back of the head with a baseball bat. He collapsed, and they tazed him with 3800 volts twice on each shoulder. After whacking his calf with the bat, they left.
No police report will be made because there IS no police due to the revolution. Plus, Allison is Sudanese. So technically, he’s dispensable.
The worst part of the whole thing is the lack of shock among the boys sitting at the table. ”This happens all the time.” They stated. Chole, who stands at 6’ 7”, stated he had been attacked “too many times to count”. I almost lost it right then and there.
It doesn’t matter if the boys walk in groups because the Egyptians will just go call their friends and make it a 14:2 battle. Brave and manly, right? The Sudanese don’t retaliate or fight back due to fear of the repercussions.
After hearing all of this, Julia walked in and told us she had been attacked just the day before. Egyptian men hang around her apartment building and call the girls over to demand that they become prostitutes for them. She refused to come to them so they grabbed her hair and stuffed their hands in her pocket - searching for money. They didn’t find any so they shoved her down on the stairs. She lives with this everyday.
As you can imagine, I felt extremely emotionally drained and sad after the kids left. I cried and Skyped with one of my best friends.
That night Zach, the Sudanese boy who lives with the Lantzes, came home and told us that when he and his classmates left their refugee high school, two or three Egyptian men pulled knives on them and screamed they were going to kill them. Zach and the other 50 kids picked up rocks and started throwing them at the Egyptians. I think only one or two Sudanese boys were hurt.
The next day we went to FOUND to do a special lesson and talked to the kids about thearmor of God from Ephesians 6.
We left the kids with these verses:
"The LORD watches over the foreigner
and sustains the fatherless and the widow,
but he frustrates the ways of the wicked.
The LORD reigns forever,
your God, O Zion, for all generations.
Praise the LORD.” ~ Psalm 146:9-10
Satan is definitely alive and well because he really did try to make it nearly impossible for us to speak or hear the kids due to the noise level on the streets and in the surrounding classrooms.
Thankfully, our God is stronger and makes us promises like this:
"so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth;
it shall not return to me empty,
but it shall accomplish that which I purpose,
and shall succeed in the thing for which I
sent it.” ~ Isaiah 55:11
Please join me in praying protection over the Sudanese living in Cairo. The boys, especially, that they would possess self-control and not retaliate in a way that will bring them more harm. Pray that they will trust the power of God’s word and truly utilize it as a sword of the Spirit.