An oasis in the desert

Egypt_2018_team_breakfast Posted by Roger Cooke on Sun, 29 Oct 2017 | 0 comments | Bookmark: digg this Post this to Post this to Facebook

Wednesday 25th – Part 2

Following our visit to Harpur Memorial Hospital, we headed to Anaphorna, a retreat centre run by the Coptic Church. It was a wonderful experience in our life. There is a very, calm, quiet and spiritual atmosphere.

We were made to feel very welcome by Father Antonio, who explained the origin and working of the centre. The centre was opened by Bishop Thomas in 1999 and comprises old style, basic buildings set out among date palm trees, mango trees, water troughs and sandy walk ways with basket-covered lights.

The place is full of symbols. For example, the bedroom buildings are laid out in the shape of a question mark, with a small church as the ‘dot’ – a reminder that this is a place for people to ask big, honest questions and to keep searching for God and for peace. Nearly all of the bedroom buildings are sandstone colour, but a couple of them are white, despite being the same inside – a symbol depicting the importance of both diversity and unity.

We attended candlelit evening prayers in the chapel. The Scripture passage was read out in every language represented, and Jolly was asked to read in English – another symbol of diversity and unity.

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