Prayer Alert: Pray for Coptic Christians in Garbage City
Atef grinned at us. The little guy bounced with excitement at the American guests in his home. What does he want to be when he grows up? A successful businessman!
Atef lives in Garbage City, a neighborhood for Christians in Cairo, Egypt. An orphan — his father died and his mother abandoned him — Atef lives with his elderly grandmother. This 10 year old is the breadwinner in the family, working with his uncle sorting garbage.
But Atef says he is blessed. He sings Christian songs and prays. His grandmother loves him. And he has a sponsor through CFI whose monthly support assists the small family, and helps him go to school.
Our visit revealed something that didn’t come through in his sponsorship profile: The condition of their apartment. The collapsed ceiling, a dilapidated closet with a sink that serves as a kitchen hidden behind a curtain, a rotting toilet.
And no front door. Nothing to keep out the cold winter air or possible intruders.
Garbage City is home to thousands of Coptic Christians who collect, sort, reuse, or resell Cairo’s waste. Garbage is collected from throughout Cairo, stuffed into bundles, which are then heaped upon one another beside buildings and in rooms throughout the neighborhood. The Christians sort, by hand, cardboard, plastic and metal for recycling.
Please, pray for our brothers and sisters living in oppression and poverty in Garbage City.
Last week, my colleague and I visited Atef and other CFI sponsored children in Garbage City, Cairo. Despite the mounds of garbage outside, their apartments and streets are swept clean. Dresses and trousers are ironed, and hair neatly combed.
Atef’s apartment, however, was unlike the others. His desperately poor grandmother provides a loving home — and that’s what boys and girls most need — but it could barely be called a roof over their heads.
As we walked away, we couldn’t stop thinking of joyful Atef and his humble grandma. Maybe there is more we could do to show God’s love for them.
CFI’s co-worker in Egypt is finding out the costs to repair the ceiling and get a front door. We hope to replace them before winter.
Can you help? Any donation, pooled together, will help make Atef’s home safer.
Director of Global Programs