Dear Becky and friends of our Write / Time Group,
Blessed greetings and heartiest wishes at this time as we celebrate the Nativity of Jesus Christ our mighty Lord and wonderful Redeemer.
I would like to share with you all, the power of the Presence of God, as we know Him.
I want to tell you about this precious lady, whom I once mentioned at one of our meetings. This ever-to- be-cherished story is about her great faith.
It was in the late fifties in Cairo, Egypt. It was there where we, three daughters had to accompany our mother for a whole winter. According to doctors’ orders, that was the best resort for our Mom’s unbearable, chronic asthma.
That same December month, was one of equally normal fleeting days except for a memorable incident that happened before Christmas. Its memory still lingers within the folds of my mind in spite of the passing years.
Friends, let me tell you this. It was not an ocean…not a stream…not a pond…not even a puddle---but hundreds upon hundreds of oppressing raindrops which joined forces to disrupt and destroy our peace.
It was a Sunday, and the second day of continuous torrential rains. There were no strong winds; yet persistent and rhythmic drops seem to be drumming non-stop upon the asphalt. I watched them through the wide bedroom window on the third floor where we lived.
At that time, all transportation stopped, because of the over-flooded streets. We were forced to cancel our engagements. Naturally, church services were completely out of the question. So we remained indoors.
“What should we do to pass the time?” I recall my youngest sister Terry, asking.
“It is almost Christmas: Let us sing some Choruses and Hymns,” our mother’s sweet voice reminded us. “Nothing fills the time like chanting to the Lord.”
So we sat together by the shaded open window overlooking the Grand Opera Square
where we lived. I recall how our voices rose joyfully while we sang those most favorite Arabic Noel melodies.
As we were right at the heart of our fifth song, our voices trailed off and stopped abruptly. I hurriedly stood up; so did my Mom as we frantically stared with astonishment out of the window. Coming toward our building was the trundling… fatigued… and bent figure of a woman. She clutched her purse and shoes in one hand. With the other hand she was holding up her long skirt as she plodded and waded through, to the entrance, in that overwhelming deluge of water.
With one voice we screamed : “Mom! It is your cousin Naguiba! It’s your Cousin Naguiba!”
“Whatever is she doing out in this terrible weather?” said our Mom.
We gasped! We knew she lived on her own in Heliopolis, about fifteen miles away.
With one accord, we all raced to the apartment door, and as we opened it, dear Naguiba fell right into our waiting arms. I remember clearly how Mom prepared for her some dry clothes and a bowl of hot chicken soup. My job was also to prepare a warm bath as well.
Our cousin Naguiba refused the offer to summon the family Doctor. So we suggested massaging her hurting arms and feet with our soothing Middle Eastern Lemon Blossom oil. Between warm bed sheets and blankets, we left her to rest for numerous hours before she shared her greatly unusual experience.
Dear Becky and friends, as a worker at the Red Cross Society, cousin Naguiba and ten other Egyptian women went in the van that day, to attend an important monthly meeting. Their Van broke down in the flooded streets. It was quite hard to get help. The only other option was to agree to separate …deciding that each person would fend for herself.
Naguiba then, tearfully shared this testimony with us: “As I prayed for God’s help, He directed me toward your home. Jesus reassured me that I would be safe.”
Her sincere words are still ringing in my ears.
She also added victoriously, “as I was humming to myself and reciting Bible verses, I felt the strong presence of many Angels. This gave me the necessary strength during that journey of an inevitable and dangerous road to safety.”
My friends, I ask you to rejoice! God granted cousin Naguiba a long life.
Praise Him for always watching over her. Moreover, in the Arabic language,
her beautiful name means this:
I pray you will all have a Blessed Noel…Amen
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