Sharif carries a dual burden in the calling the Lord has placed on him: he wants to see churches planted in his Muslim-majority community and he wants to see Christian families strengthened to live in light of their biblical design. Currently, Sharif’s primary ministry is visiting refugee families in his city, bringing them supplies and teaching them about Christ. He also counsels husbands and wives and leads Bible studies with groups of married couples from the church.
Testimony of Conversion
I was a nominal Christian, like most of the Christians I have ever known. I was devoted to the teachings of my Greek Orthodox Church and I sometimes read the Bible. I always thought that my relationship with God was good because of my personal righteousness: the good deeds I used to do and all the help I offered as a layman in the Orthodox Church. I even reached a level where I was about to become a priest in the Orthodox Church.
In 1995, I was invited to attend a series of meetings at a baptist church in my community. The speaker preached from the book of Jeremiah about the Great Potter. In that meeting, the Lord touched my life with the weighty truth that He is the great Potter. As a result, I submitted my life to Him and my life has began changing to serve Him. A brother in this church also began discipling me and I started to realize the joy of the Lord and I began to see the difference in my life and my willingness to be like Christ and glorify His name.
In 1996, I was baptized and started studying the Bible at a deeper level with small groups, attending Bible study groups in houses. Most importantly, I also started studying the Bible by myself at home. I became committed to attending the church and now I am a member of one of its church plants. I serve this church in visitations, helping the pastor, and leading home churches.
Call to Ministry
In 1997, the Lord called me to preach His message to unbelievers. On a weekly basis, I used to go to a place near the sea to do a ministry; then I started doing ministry among prisoners. To improve myself, I started studying the Bible more in-depth, attending theological training courses and training conferences. Now, I am focusing on starting new home churches with unbelievers in order to bring them to faith and grow in that faith.
The bottom line: my vision for ministry is church planting through establishing home churches that are then able to preach the gospel to others.