More than two million people attended the 53rd Cairo International Book Fair (CIBF), which took place January 27 through February 7, 2022, in Cairo, Egypt. Egypt’s Ministry of Culture reported that nearly 300,000 visitors entered the fair grounds on the last day. The event took place at the Egypt International Exhibitions Center, covering 40,000 square meters. CIBF had over one thousand publishers from Egypt and fifty-one from both Arab countries and foreign publishing agencies. Despite many challenges that faced the serving ones, this time was nevertheless a real victory to the Lord and a shame to the enemy.
This is the fifth time that Living Stream Ministry has participated with Al-Jadwal Al-Haii (AJAH), the Arabic publication work in Egypt, in the Cairo International Book Fair (CIBF). What a privilege to offer the ministry of the age, with a proper standing before God and man, to people from Egypt and the Middle East from all different religious backgrounds. This is an open and unique door for the gospel of the kingdom to spread as well as to gain remaining fruit to Christ. Many hungry ones approached our booth, and regardless of how positive or negative they were, they did not leave the same. The serving ones could testify that during this time we experienced the thirsty Savior (John 4) calling the thirsty ones to come and drink the living water (John 7).
“It is very crucial to be one with the Lord in our spirit and to check with Him, lest He has a different feeling from ours,” a serving one said after meeting a young man, who was checking out the ministry books and then asked specifically for books by certain Coptic Orthodox writers. The serving one’s first impression was that this customer was not a son of peace. Yet, the Lord led the serving one to open a conversation with that young man and, surprisingly, that young man had no idea about those writers whom he was inquiring about. In fact, it turned out that he is from the predominant religion in the Middle East, yet he was trying to hide this by using common Christian words and asking for random writers. The ministry books were introduced to him, and at first he wanted to buy only one booklet. The serving one said to him, “Listen, I am here standing with you at this moment because of the writings of the two brothers, Watchman Nee and Witness Lee. I am what I am because of the truth and life that I received from their writings. You need to buy and read these books.” The young man immediately decided to purchase The New Believers Series (combined set of twenty-four messages), The Precious Blood of Christ, and The Mystery of Human Life. At the end he left us his contact information for follow up.
“I am doing research and looking for books that are about equality and justice for women in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Do you have something that could help?” a lady asked, who was from the predominant religion in the Middle East. The serving one opened the Life-Study of John and showed the lady different cases of several women in the New Testament: the Canaanite woman (Matt. 15), the Samaritan woman (John 4), and the woman caught in adultery (John 8). These were women who had different issues with society and were either rejected by the religious people or condemned by the law, and yet they had an encounter with the Lord Jesus, who solved their issues and changed their lives. The lady was impressed and ended up buying all the volumes of the Life-Study of John and The Crucial Revelation of Life in the Scriptures.
The serving ones felt that the whole book fair was worthwhile if just for one of these contacts. Many similar seekers approached the booth, and we believe they left with something precious.
The Lord also blessed us with many visitors with a Christian background. Three young men came: two highschoolers and a college student. They were open and asked for further contact. The college student has now become one of the church in Cairo’s faithful contacts and meets regularly with the serving ones. May the Lord gain him thoroughly. Another dear believer was interested in the book The All-Inclusive Christ. While the serving one was sharing with him about this book, the dear brother interrupted him and said, “Let me write down all the verses you are mentioning from the Bible about Christ as the all-inclusive land. I will buy the book!” There were many other encounters with believers like these that took place at CIBF.
This time was also an opportunity for the serving ones to experience being perfected in being one with one another, in standing with one another, and in fighting for one another. Indeed, there was a building work taking place inwardly. A young college student who was helping the serving ones at the booth testified that he was not only helping to offer life through the ministry books, but he himself was also receiving life.
Something new happened this year at the CIBF, a friend from another Christian booth came and ordered several titles and said that this order is for a Syrian friend who lives in Syria and that if he likes the books, he will place big orders to be shipped there. We also received online book orders from Iraq, and we are currently in the process of fulfilling them. We believe that this is the Lord’s way of answering the saints’ prayers regarding opening distribution channels in the Middle East through CIBF.
We were also so happy that two visitors from previous CIBFs joined the Cairo conference on February 17-19, 2022, which was hosted by the Arabic publication work here.
This year at CIBF we had several new titles in Arabic:
At the end of CIBF all the serving ones realized why the enemy was fighting aggressively to stop and hinder this blessing. However, “All he could do, the foe, / Was just release the flow. / And God just keeps on flowing” (Hymns, #1198). Many saints all over the world joined and fought in prayer, standing with the serving ones who were on the ground, and as a result they who prayed and all who served brought shame to the enemy and victory to the Lord! We thank the Lord for this great opportunity, and we thank all the members of the Body for standing with us and supporting this labor in many ways. Our work cannot be carried out without the service of the Body.
Please continue to pray for the following:
Thank you, saints!