Ramblings from the Cove...

August 17, 2012

By Lars Gren

Addison Leitch, Elisabeth’s second husband, was for many years a part of the administration and professor at Tarkio College in Kansas. He once talked to Elisabeth on how he raised a lot of funds for the school —- a job in which, by the way, she would have been a total failure. He said, “I don’t go to a company officer and discuss the weather, baseball or such incidentals since he knows why I am there. I have three points.” (Add was a preacher too and perhaps that is why he had three points.)

“You have money, you donate money, how about giving us some.”

Of course there were other words but that was the essence of it and with it he was very successful. It also helped that he had great sense of humor and was, as they say, “A people person.”

Why am I mentioning this? Well, I’d like you to “meet” Ramez and Rebecca Atallah, who we met in the early 1970s. Ramez was with Intervarsity Christian Fellowship for many years and a speaker at the Urbana Missionary Conference. For some years now his ministry is with the Bible Society in Egypt.

Rebecca has for many years worked with the people who live on and work in Cairo’s Garbage Village. We have never been there but from her vivid letters I can’t imagine what life is like for the ones who exist in that environment. Each summer she has led with other volunteers a camp for handicapped children. She also has a work in the schooling of the Sudanese refugee children. Her letters of the work there are always read with interest by us. I asked if she would mind me sharing Rebecca's latest newsletter with you (see below).

So thinking of Add’s three points if you make gifts beyond your normal church donations perhaps you might remember the folks of Garbage Village and the Sudanese children.

Should some of you doubt the results of a low-keyed request for funds, have a look at the farewell issue of Elisabeth's newsletter from December of 2003. At the end, you will find the summation of how some of you responded after I mentioned that the newsletter was “running in the red” and it was my responsibility to have it in the “black.” All it amounted to was my saying, “perhaps you’re one of those who give end-of-the-year donations and if so, perhaps you can give a bit to the newsletter.”

I hope some of us can help the Garbage Village folks and Sudanese children. Rebecca’s work is infinitely more important than was a bi-monthly newsletter.

God bless y'all,

Lars


As most of you know, I have been working with the poor here in Egypt for almost 30 years now. I have always said that we do a lot with very little, because most of those who work with me-as well as myself, of course-are volunteers. But now I find myself the main fund-raiser for both a school for Sudanese refugees kids and a large center for the disabled and chronically ill at a Garbage Village. Also, I am not getting younger-soon to be 65-and realizing that to be fair to those 2 ministries, I need to get them on a firm foundation, which will not depend so entirely on me.

You all probably know that I do not easily ask for money for my various ministries. I prefer to pray about the needs, write letters (at times) and trust God to put it on peoples' hearts to want to give. However, the situation in Egypt at present has caused Ramez and me to decide I should break down, swallow my pride and admit that we need help!

So I am appealing to you to start supporting on a regular basis one or both of the above 2 projects:

The Sudanese Displaced Children's Learning Center (SDCLC) is one of the only 3 schools for Sudanese refugee children here in Cairo which goes all the way through High School. It now has 330 kids and 27 staff! As things are going in South Sudan, it looks like most of these kids will not be going home any time soon. Since they cannot attend Egyptian government schools, this is a long-term need. Our Board is responsible for raising most of the budget, as we charge very little to our students, who all live in one of the poorest areas in Cairo. Lately we have realized that our giving has dropped and have had to consider cutting out the Breakfast program of the school. But this would be a GREAT shame, as for many this is the only nutritious meal they eat all day!

The Center of Love for the Disabled at the Mokattam Garbage Village, Cairo, is open and running, praise God, with over 25 mentally challenged children and teens regularly taking literacy classes! (Those that need it also receive Physical and Speech Therapy and the older ones receive Vocational Training.) However, only 3 of the 7 floors are finished inside, so we are searching for a Foundation or other group that can help with finishing the Center. Furthermore, we have no group-and only a few individuals-who contribute to the regular salaries and operating expenses of the Center. Of course, as is the truth in most of the developing world, the disabled and ill people are always the poorest, so again we cannot charge much for the Center's services.

If you would like to contribute to one/both of these centers, either once or regularly, you can do so by check or credit card through either of the two organizations listed below. Please indicate (in a separate note if sending a check) that the donation is "for the work of Rebecca Atallah in Egypt" stipulating either the "Center of Love" or the "SDCLC". They will send you a tax deductible receipt and will send 100% of the money to me for these centers. Those of you not living in North America can still contribute through either of these groups, as it is simpler than sending money directly to Egypt.

God bless you all,

Rebecca Atallah

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