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I'm Egyptian: Finding Faith in Egypt

 

The Lord Almighty will bless them, saying, “Blessed be Egypt my people……” Isaiah 19:25

 
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Mona Hennein, the daughter of the first Presbyterian missionaries sent out from Egypt, returns to her birth place to document their history and the pioneer work of her parents, Swailem and Sameera Hennein. Through this compelling, first-person account, television viewers will learn about the revolutionary history of missions in Egypt, a Presbyterian Church, USA initiative. Sixty years ago, Swailem and Sameera Sidhom Hennein were called to leave everything they knew in Egypt to serve the men, women, and children of southern Sudan’s mostly undocumented tribes. During their seven years in this largely unchurched and uncharted area, they opened a school and a health clinic, built relationships with tribal leaders, and gained the trust of the Sudanese people by living out their Christian faith day by day. Little did they know that their lives in service would create a movement of missions launched from Egypt as well as shape the future of southern Sudan.

Mona Hennein visits her father’s village to discover the roots of her Christian faith.

Mona Hennein visits her father’s village to discover the roots of her Christian faith.

 

In the Village, the Quiet Village

Mona and her father return to El Garf Sarhayn, the remote village where her father was born. Although the village has changed little over the past 2000 years, it would change the Hennein family forever. Here, Mona discovers not only the lives of astonishing faith, bravery, and love her pioneer parents had led, but her own new-found faith and connection with Jesus Christ.

Dr. Swailem Hennein builds relationships with Sudanese people.

Dr. Swailem Hennein builds relationships with Sudanese people.

 

Call to Sudan

Through the missionary work of the Henneins, thousands were converted to Christianity, bringing a sense of confidence to the church of Egypt. Here in Cairo, we meet Tharwat Wehba, a historian who recounts the Evangelical church’s first experience with missions when Mona’s father was sent to southern Sudan to begin the work of bringing the Gospel to those practicing animistic religion.

 

 

History of Christianity In Egypt

Through the missionary work of the Henneins, thousands were converted to Christianity! Here in Cairo, we meet Tharwat Wehba, a historian who recounts the Evangelical church’s first experience with missions. He shares the story of when Mona’s father was sent to southern Sudan to begin the work of bringing the Gospel to those practicing animistic religion

To Build A Church

The residents of the El Marg district outside of Cairo, a population of nearly 100,000, do not have a church. Government regulation makes it difficult to change and build new churches – a problem that oppresses Christians, but also gives rise to new ways of worship. The community sacrificed for five years, living on less than two dollars a day to raise $40,000 USD to build a secret church for their community.

Anne Amile Zaki, the first woman to graduate from seminary in Egypt explains how she waits to be the first woman ordained in the entire Middle East

Anne Amile Zaki, the first woman to graduate from seminary in Egypt explains how she waits to be the first woman ordained in the entire Middle East

Including Women

The Synod of the Nile founded the first K-12 school for girls and the first school for students with special needs. The Presbyterians continued to reach out to the community, co-founding Cairo University and The American University In Cairo – Egypt’s two leading academic institutions and the first universities to accept women. In this segment, we meet with the first woman seminarian, Anne Emile Zaki, who is waiting to be ordained the first Presbyterian minister in all of the Middle East.

Dr. Emil Zaki, pastor with the Synod of the Nile, shares the history of Presbyterian Missionaries reaching out to Muslims

Dr. Emil Zaki, pastor with the Synod of the Nile, shares the history of Presbyterian Missionaries reaching out to Muslims

Back To Sudan

When Mona’s father left Sudan, he had every intention of going back. His heart for Sudan expanded through the Evangelical Theological Seminary of Cairo. At the seminary, we meet with leaders of the newly formed Mission Department who are inspired by her father. We learn of their continued commitment to Sudan as well as their newly launched missions to other nations.