Sharif (identity protected) carries a dual burden in the calling that the Lord has placed upon 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 the biblical design. To this end, Sharif makes countless visits to people's homes to teach them the Scriptures. He leads home-based Bible studies with Muslims who are open to the Gospel. His hope is that churches might spring forth from these efforts. He also counsels husbands and wives and leads Bible studies with groups of married couples.
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 did and all the help I offered others as a layman in the Orthodox Church. I even reached a level where I was about to become a priest.
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 began to change. A brother in this church also began discipling me, and I started to realize the joy of the Lord. I began to see a difference in my life and a new willingness to be like Christ and glorify His name.
In 1996, I was baptized and began studying the Bible at a deeper level by attending Bible study groups in the houses of Christians. Most importantly, I started studying the Bible by myself at home and was faithful in attending our church.
CALL TO MINISTRY
In 1997, the Lord called me to preach His message to unbelievers. At first, I made weekly visits to do evangelism in a place near the sea. Then I began doing ministry among prisoners. To equip myself, I started studying the Bible through theological training courses and conferences. At the moment, I am attempting to focus on planting new home churches with unbelievers in order to bring them to faith and to grow them in the Word. The bottom line is this: my vision for ministry is church planting through establishing home churches that are then able to preach the Gospel to others.