Saturday, January 5, 2008


How often does the grass look greener on the other side? How often do we lament decisions that we made because we thought we could get a better deal, improve our life situation, or make more money? I met someone last week that had one of the biggest misperceptions I have heard in awhile.
This open mic night had the regular cast of characters. Some of the same people I had seen in Portage over the past 5 years. People still wishing to make it big by singing everything from originals to Sweet Home Alabama. The people who attend are almost as interesting as the musicians themselves. At this particular open mic night there was a person who was a little out of place. He wasn't there because he was a want to be John Mayer or was in love with the musicians, or though wearing girl jeans was still in style. No he was there because he didn't have anywhere else to go before his shift started at a gas station. Beshawn is a 22 year old from Egypt. He moved to this country a little over a year ago. One of my friends befriended Beshawn and became friends because he could speak Arabic. My friend Nasser and Beshawn playfully fought in Arabic through out the evening. Beshawn's story is one of misperceptions. I aksed why he came to America? This is the story he told me in broken English and with help from my Arabic translator Nasser.
"I came to America because of a lottery. My country has an online lottery that people can enter to win a green card to come to America. I won the chance to come here and was so excited. I was excited because America is such a "DEVOTED" Christian nation. "
This last statement really sparked my interest so I had to inquire more.He told me this part of the back story of his life.
"My father is a pastor of a Coptic church in Egypt. I was studying to be a pastor when I won the lottery. Egypt is mostly a Muslim nation and it can be difficult being a Christian there. I wanted to come here and practice my faith freely and meet more devoted Christians. Our church services are 7 hours long and their were 21 Christians in my town killed last year because of there faith."
And Beshawn wanted to come to be in a place that was more devoted to God. How much would our attendence at church change if we met for 7 hours or had 21 people in our town killed because of their faith?
Beshawn's misperception was what he thought he was getting when he came to America. Very few people have the faith or devotion that Beshawn has.I would love for him to speak at not only my church but anyone else that would have him- but he turned down my request. He said he would visit but not speak.
I need to do more research on Coptic denomination but theologically it believes the basics that mainstream Christianity does.
Pray for Beshawn, he doesn't know many people here in America, he lives with 3 other middle eastern's whose goal in America is sleeping with American women and partying.

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