Dear in cmalliance,
In this message, I would love to introduce myself and my story to you.
I was born in a traditional Christian family which maintains foundational Christian values. Since my early childhood, I have hungered to know God. I engaged with a number of Christian denominations in my hometown. This experience of engaging with such a diversity of forms in Christian practices as a child has broadened my understanding and acceptance of the many Christian traditions.
During my first year of university, a friend invited me to attend a youth meeting held at the “Jesus is Light of the World” Alliance evangelical church. From the first meeting, I experienced an inexplicable feeling within my heart and recognized God as a personal being for the first time in my life. I matured in the knowledge of the principles of Christian doctrine and faith through attending church meetings and participating in many conferences. Furthermore, I read books by great Christian authors and leaders like C. S. Lewis, Philip Yancey and many others. During 2003 I undertook a training course in Christian counseling, and due to my outstanding results I was chosen to participate in a follow-up Training Of Trainers (TOT) course to train others. From that time I commenced serving the youth in my capacity as counselor and youth leader. In 2005, I attended a conference named “The Vision.” The central theme of this conference was primarily focused on God’s heart in searching for men and women who believe in his vision to change our nation. The theme was based on the calling of Ezekiel: “So I sought for a man among them who would make a wall, and stand in the gap before me on behalf of the land, that I should not destroy it; but I found no one” (Ezekiel 22: 30). For me, this became a call of transformation in Syria, to reach every area with Jesus’s message of love and salvation. From that time I believe that God has called me personally to devote my life to serve my country and to ready myself to be part of what He will accomplish in Syria.
After graduating from Albaath University as the second top student, I was awarded a scholarship by the Syrian Ministry of Health to undertake graduate studies in Clinical Pharmacy. My real passion however, has always been serving my people. I’ve always felt motivated to reach out to the next generation of Syrians with the message of discipleship, and train them to disciple others. When the war started, this passion became ever more kindled in my heart. I have served as a youth leader for the Good Shepherd Alliance Church in As.suwayda, and I also worked at the Central Pharmacy as an administrative manager.
However, I believe that I am called into full-time ministry. It is for that reason I have chosen not to work in the pharmaceutical field and seek a degree in Divinity instead. I believe, that I am gifted in the areas of leading, teaching, and counseling. My heart has always been in discipleship; I believe that this is the core of the Christian mission. Furthermore, my standing in the community as a Christian leader, psychosocial support expert, as well as a pharmacy professional gives me many opportunities to engage with Syrians of other faiths on a regular basis. I have built bridges of cooperation with people from Christian and Muslim backgrounds.
My specific personal vision is to develop young leaders from all backgrounds and cultures towards spiritual and emotional maturity, by implementing intensive, Biblical, practical discipleship conversation in order to rise up a new generation of leaders that will eventually disperse to begin new ministries.
I am now seeking to further polish my skill base and education in order to meet the need for such a difficult time in ministry. I chose Harvard Divinity School because I wanted to be challenged by different schools of studying the scripture to be able to have conversations with people who have different faiths from mine. My first year was very difficult because I was overwhelmed by the secular and liberal environment in HDS. However, I feel now that I am more rooted in Christ and in the scripture. Being exposed to such different theologies made my appreciate the conservative way of reading the Bible more on the one hand, and gave me tools to have a voice and speak up when I have conversations with people with whom I disagree.
Currently, my plan is to be sponsored by Christian church/organization that has the same vision that God is calling me. I am so happy to find an Alliance community here. Through this sponsorship, I will be able to adjust my status from F1 visa (student visa) to I-360 (Religious Leaders Green Card). I am open to what God wants me to serve while I am in the US. This might take many years, which will be a great opportunity to learn from the ministry here. After this, I am also open to serve in the Middle East if God led me to there. I pray to God to fulfill his will in this process.
I need your prayers.