‘Gabriel B’ is working with ‘Jacob G’ to plant a Reformed Baptist church in a city in Egypt. He is a dedicated theologian who is completing his PhD and has taught in a local theological school for years. Surpassing his love of theology, though, is his desire to be part of a biblical church.
Testimony of Conversion
I grew up in a religious ‘Christian’ family in the Coptic Orthodox Church. However, I was a nominal ‘Christian.’ Between the ages of 16-19, I experienced some dramatic events in my life that God used to bring me to Him. At that time, I began to appreciate the roots of my Christian faith and enjoy peace with God because of the reconciliation Jesus Christ has brought about (Rom. 5:1-11). Being reconciled with God (2 Cor. 5:18) has always been the key theme in my spiritual journey with my heavenly Father (Rom. 8:15).
Since my conversion, I have been growing in my Christian life and participating in several church and para-church ministries. Biblical and theological teaching has always been the focus of my ministry in Anglican, Presbyterian, and Church of God meetings in Egypt.
Call to Ministry
Personally, I have no confidence in a Christian life away from a healthy church that is a worshiping community. Therefore, I and my family have always tried to be committed to such a model. We believe that this is the way God designed for His people, that they may grow in love and maturity with brothers and sisters who share the same vision and are passionate for the Gospel of the Lord, and under godly leadership. Although this model has neither been easy nor perfect, I am aware of no other way to help us enjoy the fruits of the Gospel and face the challenges of life in a fallen world.
Here is a brief outline of main life and ministry events I believe led me to the point of applying for doctoral study:
- From 2001-2007, I was a staff member with a large evangelical campus ministry in Egypt. I was involved in ministry as a youth worker and Bible teacher, both in campus ministry and in un-churched youth groups.
- In September 2005, I began my academic studies at a local School of Theology to deepen my roots and improve my skills in biblical teaching and youth ministry.
- In February 2007, while I was just a second-year student, the principal asked me to be his assistant and help him turn some courses he was previously teaching into books. His ambitious vision was to prepare me to be a junior lecturer upon finishing my undergraduate study.
- From September 2009 to March 2015, I was involved in a threefold mission: 1) teaching at the School of Theology under the personal supervision of its principal; 2) studying for a Master of Biblical Studies; and 3) being involved in planting a new Arabic congregation in my city.
To sum up, I have experienced God’s formation in my life particularly in two areas: first, enjoying relatively steady spiritual growth among God’s family, in the local church where I serve, and secondly, the development in academic theological teaching. Finally, integrating spiritual formation and growth with academic growth continued happening during my time of doctoral studies in Australia through: 1) living, studying, and worshipping within the learning community at Moore College’s campus: chapel, prayer times, and social events my family participated in on a regular basis; 2) being part of the church life at All Saints; 3) preaching on a regular basis in some Arabic and English meetings in Sydney.