Lebanon Evangelist / Church Planter
Walid lives in Lebanon, and his primary ministries are evangelism and discipleship. He is a bold witness for Christ, doing street evangelism and handing out Bibles in the midst of the political, economic, and religious turmoil of the Middle East. Walid is also an invaluable asset in assisting HeartCry with discipling and overseeing other missionaries and church planters in the Middle East.
I was born in Beirut, Lebanon, in 1947. My parents belonged to the Greek Orthodox Church, but they did not go to church or practice their religion. I was raised in a conservative, though not religious, family. Our aim in life was to get educated and gain status and riches. I was sent to an American school in Beirut, but I was a bad student. I flunked elementary school and repeated classes many times. I reached high school, but I could not make it to college, so my parents sent me to trade school. At the age of twenty, I became a drug addict, which began with cigarettes and marijuana.
After trade school, I went to Saudi Arabia to work. I worked there twelve years, and my drug addiction increased. I met an American girl, and she liked me because I could provide drugs for her. Later, I got involved with a married woman, and her husband found out, so I had to quit my job and leave Saudi. War was stirring in Lebanon, so I moved to the United States with the help of my sister, who already lived there. Initially, I lived in Florida with her, but my addiction intensified. Soon, I even became suicidal. My sister found out, and she kicked me out of her house. Then I moved to California and bought a Mexican restaurant in Santa Ana. In Santa Ana, I became addicted to hard drugs; one day, I even overdosed in a park.
Weeks later, I bought a gun and was waiting for the right time to end my life. At the restaurant, I had a Mexican cook who used to daily read his Bible on his coffee break. One day, I followed him and asked him, “You read this book every day. Haven’t you memorized it yet?” He looked at me with a smile and said, “You need Jesus in your life, for if you die today, you will end up in hell.” I immediately challenged that thought and told him that I was better than many people. He then explained to me that it didn’t matter how good I was, because it is by grace that people get saved. Days passed, and I thought about going to hell if I died. I was afraid of the thought.
One day, the Mexican cook invited me to go to church with him. I did not want to go to church, because I had heard about the TV evangelists that were ripping people off. But he insisted that his church was different. I went to church for the first time in my life, and I started crying when I heard that Jesus loved me. I was given a Bible and told to read the Word of God. I became so hungry for the Word that I read it until three in the morning. I was still doing drugs, but I became aware of the sins I was committing. The Lord showed me that I should stop doing drugs. I struggled with this, and I sensed my helplessness. I cried out for hours, asking the Lord to heal me if He wanted me to quit; that very night, He delivered me. Hallelujah! I stopped smoking and drinking without ever going to a hospital or putting on a patch or anything! Jesus healed me! From that day forward, I committed myself to going to church and following Jesus.