The next morning, Kevin was waiting for us in the parking lot before 7:00 AM. We met with the city planning director, Doug Simor. Mr. Simor told Kevin that the plan should be on his desk by 1:00 PM that day in order to include it in the agenda of the next committee meeting, which was May 2nd, 2000. Kevin said that he'll go to his office, which is five hours away, design the plan, and personally bring it to Mr. Simor by 1:00 PM! He also promised to attend the committee meeting on May 2nd to explain his blueprints. It seemed impossible to manage the remaining time for Kevin to drive 5 hours back to his office, begin designing and drawing the blueprint, finish the job, and return to city hall before 1:00PM. When we called Mr. Simor later that day, he informed us that Kevin had given him the design at noon. Mr. Simor was stunned because he had never seen a better plan than Kevin's! It was perfect also for Oak Creek since it solved a lot of unsolved design problems, and met all the required changes asked by the mayor. It was also perfect for all the property owners around the land.    

 

The plan was ready for the Committee meeting. ?We called Kevin when he didn’t show up on that day and he apologized for not being there. He said, “I was planning on being there to talk about the plan. But I am out of town now and will not be able to make it.” All of us were upset. We all prayed, before the meeting started, at the same meeting room. During the meeting, although Mr. Simor was representing the city hall committee, he himself was defending the proposal, explaining its benefits, and answering questions. When it came time to vote, the plan was approved 9 to 1.

 

After the meeting, many of the attendees, including the land owner, his wife and their attorney, congratulated us, wished the best, and were eager to visit the new building of the church. The owner also told us that he had other offers that were all higher than the Church's, but he wanted to give it to the Church! 

 

Closing and signing the contract of buying the Land was on Friday June 30th, 2000. We offered thanks to God who guided, helped, and supported us to achieve all of that success. Even the price of the land was paid fully before the end of that year, besides $50,000 for Environmental Protection Agency fees plus the attorney fees, without needing any bank loan!  

 

Where Has Kevin Gone? 

Fast forward six months, Kevin did not send a bill to the Church for payment. Unexpectedly, Kevin's card was lost and we were unable to find him to pay him. When we asked the directory to find Kevin or his company, the people at the directory said they had never heard of this person. After many trials, we discovered that he is not listed anywhere. Even Mr. Simor, Oak Creek's planning director, never heard of Kevin, or his company. The question remains, “Where was he?” 

 

            Waiting one month after another, the church has not received a bill from Kevin until this day. We still wonder,”Who was Kevin?” Was he our patron saint, St. Anthony or was he just someone sent by God who came to help us? 

 “Since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us” (Heb 12:1). 

 

Blessing the Land 

H.G. Bishop Paula of Tanta, Egypt, was pleased to hear about the marvelous work of God with us. During a spiritual visit, His Grace visited the new church land, after finishing the Liturgy on Sunday May 14th, 2000, with both Fr. Rewis, board members and congregation. He prayed and sprinkled blessed water allover the land, while the deacons were chanting glorification hymns. Elkeraza Magazine published a picture for this joyous event.  

 

Consecrating the Cornerstone 

On Thursday May 2nd, 2001, H.H. Pope Shenouda III, Pope of Alexandria and See of St. Mark, visited Milwaukee for the first time. His Holiness was very pleased to hear this good news about our small congregation and what they achieved, and extended tears of joy and expressed his emotions when he reached the land. In a spiritual ceremony, His Holiness led the prayers to consecrate the cornerstone of the new church. This celebration was attended by His Holiness accompanied by H.G. Bishop David General Bishop, H.G. Bishop Theophilus Bishop of the Red Sea, The Very Reverend Gary Kriss Dean of Nashotah House, The Right Reverend Ghais Abdel Malik, representatives from other denominations, Coptic orthodox priests from different states, El-Houssiny Abdel Wahab Consul General of Egypt at Chicago, and some families from Chicago churches beside our own congregation. His Holiness encouraged our congregation to continue to build the new church; and he promised to come to consecrate it. It was wonderful to celebrate this great event on the one-year anniversary of getting the approval of the rezoning of the land through the grace of God!  

 

On the same day, H.H. Pope Shenouda spoke about the “Image of God” at Nashotah House Episcopal Seminary in Waukesha County. He also received, from The Very Reverend Gary Kriss the Dean of the seminary, an honorary doctor of divinity degree during a great and spiritual celebration at the Chapel of St. Mary the Virgin. It was amazing to discover that on that day, they celebrated the feast of St. Athanasius, our 20th Pope of Alexandria and the hero of the Council of Nicea. We were proud that our beloved Pope Shenouda, who is called by many the Athanasius of this century, was honored by the oldest seminary in the U.S. on feast of St. Athanasius. What a truly blessed day for all of us!