‘Marcus N.’ is working with ‘Jacob G.’ to plant a church in a city in Egypt. ‘Marcus’ left a successful career in engineering after seeing the great need for biblical churches in North Africa. Before joining the church-plant in Egypt, he completed a pastoral internship under the elders of United Christian Church Dubai.
Testimony of Conversion
I grew up in the Coptic Orthodox Church in Upper Egypt. I spent my childhood in the Coptic Church, and I was also attending an Evangelical Association called the ‘Salvation of the Souls,’ but I was not a true believer and true Christian. When I joined the university, I was so far from God and obeying Him. I was living a very sinful life.
In 2006, one of my friends invited me to attend a conference hosted by the Presbyterian Church. At first I refused, but before the day of the conference, I was sitting at a café smoking, and I was suddenly troubled. Within minutes, my friend called me and told me, “I registered for you at our conference.” So I attended the conference.
In the sermon, I felt that the preacher was speaking only about me, not anybody else. I confessed my sins and repented, and God has changed my life from that moment.
After my conversion, I longed to know God more, so I joined a seminary in Cairo in 2009 and finished my Bachelor Degree. I later started studying for an MDiv in 2015 and finished it July 2018. During this period, God has been forming me and changing me, and I have been growing in maturity and in the faith. He has made me to love His word and biblical teaching.
Call to Ministry
During my studies in Engineering, and after my conversion, I longed to serve the Lord and to be involved in the ministry. I volunteered in some ministries like evangelism and discipleship. When I graduated from university, I worked as an engineer and served in preaching and teaching in many Evangelical churches in Egypt and other Arab countries like Syria and Tunisia. After finishing my first degree in theology, I started to teach at one of the seminaries in Cairo, and I was wrestling with the call to do ministry full-time.
On one hand, I felt that the secular world needs faithful Christians to live real Christianity among them, to be a good witness, to be salt and light. I asked myself this question: If the faithful and true believers left their jobs, who will give the good news to the people who don’t go to the churches? Who will be a witness? Who will be salt and light? On the other hand, the large amount of time I was spending in my work started feeling like wasted time.
In June 2017, I met the elders of United Christian Church Dubai and they invited me to do the pastoral internship with them. I welcomed this but still hesitated about leaving my job to join the internship. I asked them to give me one year to pray and think about this, and said that I first wanted to visit their church that year for 1-2 weeks to see the church and get to know their doctrine.
I visited UCCD in September 2017, and I was happy and encouraged by what I saw in this biblical and healthy church, but I did not make the decision at that moment. After that, in October 2017, I went to Tunisia to teach at a conference there. While I was teaching to people from Tunisia, Algeria, and Morocco, I saw in them an eagerness to hear the word of God. They were so hungry, and I saw them as a sheep without a shepherd. At this moment I felt the big need to give the good news to these people and I was asking myself, if we do not spend our energy in our youthfulness, when we do this? And if we do not give our God the firstfruits of our life, what then do we give Him?
In the spring of 2018 I made the decision, ended the struggle, and left my job in August 2018. In September, I went to Dubai and started my pastoral internship. During this wonderful time, the assurances of my call became clear and I felt without any doubt that God called me to be a full-time servant to him and to be flexible in what He wants from me and where He sends me.
Before my MDiv and the pastoral internship, I saw myself as a teacher and professor at seminary. But after finishing my pastoral internship, I felt the big need is not for professors at seminary, but for good and faithful pastors to lead healthy and biblical churches in my region of North Africa.