"Thank you, Jesus for not wasting anything." These words from Fady Ghobrial sum up his testimony. A life journey from drugs to faith in Jesus.
Fady Ghobrial grew up in cairo, egypt, in a coptic christian family. As a child, he has difficulty living the traditions of his family, the moments of confession with the priest, the physical violence of the teachers of the Jesuit school he attends. Fady is sure of it, God is wicked.
Then his family left for the United States in 2002. But as he recalls, living in Boston a year after the September 11 attacks when you are a "chubby kid from the Middle East who did not speak English" is not easy.
With his family, he goes to Coptic Orthodox services, where he is the victim of intimidation.
So, when he arrived in high school, Fady was very far from God.
“When I got to high school, I was so disillusioned with the faith that I went from being a 'good religious child' to the opposite extreme. "
He discovers new friends and leads a life of parties, drugs and sexuality.
“Things got so bad that I ended up selling drugs. Perhaps saddest of all was the influence it had on my younger brother, Joe, who was only in college and ended up venturing down similar paths. "
He remembers a night when he comes home and sees his mother in tears and in prayer. He would later understand that God was working the hearts of his closest friends.
This is the case of George, his "best friend" and "partner in crime" and his brother Mark. Both begin to attend the Arab Baptist Church. Every Friday, friends bring Fady and his brother Joe there.
Fady often goes there reluctantly but is however struck by the sincerity of these Christians.
“The people there sincerely loved God. They were kind and not hypocritical. They really liked me and made me feel welcome. Wow, I thought, these Christians are having fun and enjoying their relationship with God. God seems so real to them. "
At the same time, her mother prays and reads the Bible on the phone with another mother in the church.
“Around the same time that my brother and I were put in touch with the youth group, the woman who would become my mother-in-law was praying and reading the Bible with my mother on the phone. I started to notice a different and more peaceful environment at home. "
At the end of 2008, Fady's parents and brother were involved in this church. His father is organizing a Bible study at his home. Fady loves the people, the atmosphere, but comes to his studies while taking drugs.
“I went to church meetings because I loved the people there and felt loved in return. But I presented myself under the influence of drugs. Even though I really needed Jesus, I still looked for satisfaction in all the wrong places. "
In July 2009, while at university, his father enrolled him in a camp organized by the church. Fady goes there "dragging his feet", and with drugs "to help pass the time."
“I was not open to hearing from God. But I discovered this weekend that even the fiercest resistance or coldest indifference is irrelevant once God decides to act in your life. In the conference, I heard the gospel with new ears. I heard that God loves me so much that he sent Jesus to die for my sins. And I understood that by trusting Jesus, all my sins would be forgiven, and that I would be accepted by God and in order with him. "
Then comes a time of struggle, but Fady understands that “what Jesus had done was enough” to purify him.
“I distinctly remember a feeling of internal struggle in my soul: How could God forgive all my sins? And how could he forgive me when I couldn't even forgive myself? At the time, I did not have the capacity to fathom the lavish mercy and undeserved grace of God. And yet I couldn't escape the feeling that God had cornered me with His love and I had no choice but to drop my resistance and surrender. I realized that what Jesus had done was enough to cleanse me from my sin and make me new. "
That evening, his brother also turned to Jesus.
“My joy was doubled though, because my brother Joe, who is now pastor in our church, was also saved that same weekend. We both had an overnight detox with Jesus and were miraculously freed from drug addiction. "
Both throw away the drugs they still had and go home, "completely transformed".
Fady has a Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary Master of Divinity. He is ordained to the Southern Baptist Convention. He frequents and still serves God in this Arab Baptist Church in Boston where he is a youth leader and worship leader.
Fady ends his testimony by declaring, "Thank you, Jesus, for not wasting anything."
source: Christianity Today
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