| October, 2011
| Written by Saeko Nishiwaki
|How I met my Egyptian husband
|In 1973 when I was 20 years old, on the flight to Egypt, I met my belated
Coptic Egyptian husband, Samuel. I travelled to Egypt with my high school
geography teacher and my friend.
|During my flight to Egypt, I just simply asked Samuel, who was a flight
attendant at that time, about hotel reservations in Cairo and Bombay. Not
only did he welcome us at Bombay airport on our way back from Egypt, he
also organised the hotel and sightseeing tours for us.
|I was already surprised with all his kindness, not only that, my husband
made a marriage proposal to me during our sightseeing tour.
|It was something out of mind because we were just still acquaintances at
that time. Therefore, I clearly refused his marriage proposal.
|Eventhough Samuel was a honest, kind and an active man. He was also handsome
just like a main actor of a western movie, I had never thought about marrying
|I thought even if I did fall in love with someone I was still a university
student and marriage would be in the far future.
|Moreover, international marriage at that time was very rare and I thought
that Egypt was an Arab developing country that seemed not safe for me to
live in. I felt my parents would also be against it.Furthermore, the language,
the food, the religion and culture is very different. I thought generally
speaking, no one would accept living there.
Marriage to my husband
|Although in all these circumstances, one month later I married my husband.
I left my university and went to Egypt. There was no one who wasn't surprised
with what I did.
|God's divine plan is amazing. If I graduated from university I would have become an English teacher. I was studying studiously. However, God's divine plan and purpose for my life was completely different from what I had expected.
"If it is God's will, the impossible will be possible because God
will work to make it possible." That was what my husband believed
|In Bombay when I declined my husband's marriage proposal, in his sadness,
he went to a church and he consulted with a priest.
|The priest said
"If she leaves you, let her go. That means that this is not the wife
that God has chosen for you. That's why don't run after her. But, if she
comes to you that will be God's will. So, just pray now and wait for God's
My husband prayed at that church. He was feeling hopeless because the next day I was planning to leave Bombay.Then something unexpected thing happened. The next morning, I had a severe diarehea and I became unconscious and collapsed. My friend was shocked and I wanted to call a doctor so she ran to my husband's hotel room. I became infected from the water in Bombay and I had an inflammation of my intestines. That day I could not move and our flight via Thailand was extended to another day.My husband understood this incident was a message from God. Since that, even I refused many times his marriage proposal he would not give up. After that, he asked to meet my parents.When I went back to Japan, I thought that I would at least try to speak to my parents about it. My parents became angry and threatened that they would no longer accept me as their daughter if I married. Eventhough my parents thought like that, they miraculously attended my wedding to Samuel and blessed our marriage. My parents ended up liking my husband because they thought he was a cheerful and a reliable person.
It was necessary for me to get baptised inorder to be married under the
church. Originally to get baptised it would be necessary to study about
the church until one would understand the meaning of baptism. Due to the
fact that we were in a hurry to get married, we could get special permission
to get baptised in a short period of time. However, at that time I completely
did not understand the meaning of a Christian wedding and baptism. I simply
just thought it was just a ceremony. I was baptised just like a child was
Eventhough I was in that level of little faith, through my marriage, I have changed and became a person who believes in God.
My life in Egypt
At the start of my marriage, I was not interested in the church. I was
just only accompaning my husband to church. The holy liturgy was in Arabic
and Coptic, also the sermons were also in Arabic, therefore, I could not
understand anything. I was just waiting for the long prayers to end soon.
After some time later, I suffered from unexpected illnesses such as typhoid,
liver infection, gastritis and pregnancy complications. In the midst of
my painful illnesses, I wanted to recover soon. I wanted to be saved from
my sickness. I started to pray to Jesus to be healed and I became a person
of prayer.It is stated in the Bible how Jesus rose the dead to life, opened
the eyes of the blind and healed sick people from their illnesses one after
the next. Furthermore, it is said that whatever you pray in the name of
Jesus, the prayer will be answered. I prayed to Jesus and Jesus healed
me from all my sickness.
Miracles in Egypt
I was happy that there were many opportunities where I could hear about
miracles that were experienced by visitors and monks who had come to visit
my family. In Egypt, the appearances of the Virgin Mary was often. There
were many people who had witnessed seeing by their own eyes, the Virgin
Mary, Mother of God. My parents-in-law were one of them. When the Virgin
Mary, the Holy Mother of God, appeared there were accounts where people
were healed from their sickness. Moreover, a child was miraculously uninjured
after falling from the third floor. The Coptic Christians in Egypt had
a very strong faith, many people experienced a miracle performed by God
in their life. My mother-in-law also faced death many times but God had
saved her every time. She was a very affectionate and kind person who loved
to pray. I was blessed to have three daughters in Egypt. My mother-in-law
was a good Christian role model for my daughters and I. In my faults, she
would be very tolerant and understanding to me. She liked to teach hymns
and say spiritual stories to my daughters. Even when my husband and I argued
with eachother, she comforted me by telling me that in heaven the loving
and forgiving angel would win over the righteous angel in God's judgement.
Through the 14 years of living in Egypt, I had received spiritual blessings
Move to Australia
My family and I immigrated to Australia when I was 35 years old.. I understood
later that this was also part of God's divine plan for me.In 1988, the
time when we immigrated to Australia, there were many other Coptic Egyptians
who had also immigrated and lived in Sydney and Melbourne. Therefore, there
were many Coptic Orthodox churches in those areas. The city that my family
and I settled in was the Gold Coast, where there were a few Coptic Egyptians.
For this reason, we were given an opportunity to serve the Coptic Orthodox
church. Twenty years later around 100 Coptic Orthodox church members are
on the Gold Coast. I can not help but to praise God for the greatness and
fruit of His works.
Three yeas ago my husband passed. For this reason away. I have come back
to Japan to look after my elderly mother who usually lives on her own.
I would like the Japanese people to know about Jesus' love and salvation.
I usually write about my expereinces with God in my life and also essays
and poems which are read by people who are close to me. I would be happy
if my writings or testimony would be of little help or comfort to anyone.
Glory be to God forever.