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Voss aBouna 148In El Fashn diocese of Beni Suef, there’s a village with no church. Christians there had to travel to a bigger village to attend the Divine Liturgy and receive the Eucharist every week.

But when Salafis from the bigger village saw crowds of strangers flocking to the church, they raged with anger and vowed: “No Christians will come from outside to our village again.” They destroyed two microbuses that the Christians used to travel from the smaller village.

Rep Ayman visits both villages as part of his volunteer duties with Coptic Orphans. As soon as he heard about the week­end’s tragic event, he called the families who traveled for Liturgy to make sure that they weren’t harmed. The following week, he hopped on his motorcycle. He rode from one household to the next to make sure that the children were not terribly intimidated. He stopped and thanked God every time he ended a visit where the children felt safe enough to keep going to school.

Dangers lurk in many areas throughout Egypt, not just this bigger village. One of our field staff in charge of Middle Egypt says: “Families are pulling their children out of school and forfeiting their futures out of fear. If children can just keep going to school, especially girls, that alone is a huge accomplishment.”

Ayman risks being killed with every visit he makes. Nonetheless, the courage of volunteer Reps didn’t stop them from making over 288,000 visits last year.

With rising tensions in Egypt, the work of our 400 volunteer Reps is getting more dangerous.

At the same time, their service is getting more important.

I’m sure this glimpse of courage will inspire you as you stand tenaciously behind the children with your financial support.

And like our Reps, child sponsors and other donors empower children to reach for their highest potential. You give our children the determination to take the next step towards a better tomorrow.