Stephen spent most of his upbringing as a nominal Christian in the Middle East. He was converted in college through Middle East Student Fellowship, and after graduating joined the staff team full-time. He currently does ministry on campus and also leads a group of younger staff in his region.
I have lived in a country in the Middle East for the last 21 years. I became a Christian during the summer of 2009 at a men’s retreat organized by the Middle East Student Fellowship. Before this, I was trying to live life by pleasing God through my works. I worked hard to balance my “act” in front of other Christians, even attending and participating in many Christian events and activities. I spoke to one of the staff workers of the Middle East Student Fellowship, and he said that doing religious activities was not what made me a Christian. And just being born into a Christian family doesn’t make me a Christian. Though hurt and angry by his comment, I began to understand the gospel: that God hates sin, but still out of his mercy sent his own son to be born into a sinful world, to die for our sins. It’s only through his death and his resurrection that I can be forgiven and be given new life.
I believed in the gospel and repented of my sin that night, and thereafter, became a Christian. Soon after, I pioneered a new bible study group on my college campus. My campus was dead spiritually, yet by the time I graduated, I had seen many students come to faith, and my campus chapter continues to be faithful to the gospel of Christ to this day.
With such a large Muslim population, there is a great need to be bold with the gospel of Jesus Christ, in the face of opposition. The country’s quest for fame and wealth has left more people in disarray and heartache with no eternal solution to their true heart problem. My hope is to reach out to these young students by building genuine friendships with the aim of exposing them to the truths of the gospel. I now work full-time with the Middle East Student Fellowship.