I was born in the Gaza Strip to a Christian family who was Greek Orthodox. In Gaza, with a population of approximately one million, there is only about 1% Christians mostly belong to the Greek Orthodox Church. My father, after graduating from high school, attended the Baptist School for Allied Health Sciences in Gaza, and upon graduating, he got a job as a medical technologist at the Baptist Hospital. My father used to go to the Baptist church in town, which was a small chapel on the hospital’s grounds. Since I was a little kid, my father encouraged me and my brothers to attend church and go to Sunday School. We grew up knowing the Lord and loving him. But it was not until I was 16 years old when I accepted Christ as a personal savior and had a personal relationship with Him. I moved to the United States in 1984 to study.
Throughout college, I was affected by all kinds of philosophies and ideas and started inquiring about other religions and thoughts. That made me drift away from the Lord. After graduating, I moved to Houston, Texas to take a job there. My brother moved from Gaza to live with me. He could barely speak English and he wanted to go to an Arabic speaking church. We looked in the phone book and found a listing of the Arabic Evangelical Church. We started going there, and the Lord touched my heart again. I started being active in the singles Bible study group, where I met my wonderful wife Doris. We started dating and she set the greatest example of how the true believer should be. Her love to the Lord and her love to others, caring and helping, brought me closer to the Lord and to her.
We got married in September of 1990, and since then we both have been serving the Lord. Doris was a Sunday School teacher for fourth and fifth grade children, I was a Sunday School teacher for the youth, along with becoming a deacon, and I also lead a church sponsored Bible study class in our house once every two weeks. We had a wonderful life, three boys, good job, and a Christian home full of love until one day, I lost my job. Things started to look gloomy, with bills, rent and a family to support. I looked for a job in Houston, then expanded my search to include the whole state of Texas, but the doors were always closed. I was unemployed for a year, but during that time, the Lord never left us.
He provided with a miraculous way. All our needs were met, our bills were paid. Also during that year, with the difficult times we were going through, our faith in Him got stronger, we were very close to Him and spent more time in praying and wondering about what plans He had for us until one day the answer came through. A job in Seattle. Oh Lord, why Seattle? we were not thinking about relocating to another state. We did not know any one in Seattle, why!! So far away from home, family, and friends, we were wondering.
The Lord eased the way and made the move very smooth and He brought us to Lynnwood. After we got to familiarize ourselves with the surroundings, we started looking for a church to join. we visited several churches but the Lord lead us to Meadowdale Baptist Church, (MBC) where we felt the Spirit of the Lord, and felt very welcomed by the wonderful family of MBC. We started getting involved in the church activities, but we also felt that there was a need for us to start an Arabic Bible study. We started having the Arabic Bible study at our apartment after we met a couple of brothers who had the desire to serve the Lord. Our Bible study group outgrew our small apartment and we were praying for a larger place to meet. Lynnwood Assembly of God gave us a room to meet for a while.
Then we started meeting at Anchor Baptist Church when we needed a larger place. Anchor was too far for the majority of the group members who live in Lynnwood. Pastor Jeff Elliott of MBC and the whole congregation showed us his love and support by offering MBC’s facility for us to meet at. We have been meeting there since August of 1998. We love the lord with all our heart because he loved us first and paid a great price on the cross to redeem us and give us the everlasting life. We love him for who he is, a Mighty God, a Living God who hears our prayers and answers them. and we love Him for all what He has done in our lives.