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One of the children participating in our programs.

Dear Friends,
As we prepare to celebrate Christ’s birth with our loved ones, I wanted to share this reflection. May this Christmas be filled with love and joy for you and your family!
One Body in Christ,
Nermien Riad

“Being a Rep with Coptic Orphans has prepared me to be a better priest.”

That quote stopped me in my tracks when I heard it this summer, because it shows that our work — the work your support makes possible — is transforming lives.

The quote is from Abouna Botrous, who was a Rep in Shiba for four years. He became a priest in 2007, making him one of 23 Reps to enter the priesthood so far.

Here are the other things Abouna Botrous told us. I share them with you because they show the deep effect we’re having on the children, together, by the grace of God.

“With the help of Coptic Orphans, the lives of the children have improved greatly in education, health, clothing, and housing.

As a Rep, I served about 15 children. In the beginning, 10 of them were illiterate. After six months in the Rosetta literacy program, they learned to read. Some are in secondary school now.

With the help of Coptic Orphans, I was able to completely overcome some of the harmful village habits, such as female genital mutilation. And also with their assistance, I was able to overcome the problem of girls’ early marriage and dropping out of school.

Some of the children were living in houses made of mud with grass roofs. Before I became a priest, I saw two houses built for them out of concrete.

Some of the children were drifting away from the Church. Again, with the help of Coptic Orphans, we involved them in Church activities such as chorus, theater, and outings.

Today, you wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between the orphans who are involved in Coptic Orphans, and children from wealthy society.”

This is what your support accomplishes. As of 2014, our 25th Anniversary, we’d touched the lives of 30,000 children in Egypt. As we reach this Christmas, with gratitude for God’s grace, I want to say thank you for giving, so that our brothers and sisters in Egypt can have education, food, medicine, and a warm home this winter. This joyous time is for all of us!

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16

I hope this is a warm, wonderful Christmas for you and your family. By God’s grace, together, we will continue changing many lives in the year to come!