I am Algerian, I live in Algeria and I am married and have four children. I was born in a practising Muslim family.
When I was 10, my mother asked a Christian couple she knew to accept me at ‘Sunday School’. This ‘school’ consisted of a dozen children, and they met on Thursdays and Sundays.
We gathered around the Bible to learn its beautiful stories, and also to pray together. There were also handicrafts, games and competitions. I liked these classes, all these different activities pleased me. I joined in enthusiastically, and I was a good student. The wonderful Bible stories, including the capture of Jericho and the struggle between Goliath, the giant, and the little shepherd David, for example, captivated my imagination.
As for the gospel of Jesus Christ, over the next few years as I became more familiar with this new teaching for me, I gradually understood that it was about me. It was not only a matter of knowledge and remembering facts and stories. The words of Christ were much more than that. They were calling me to a commitment.
Beginning in 1966 I strengthened my knowledge of Biblical teaching through a Bible correspondence course. I learned so much in this way. I also met a nearby Algerian Christian who encouraged me to follow Christ’s path.
At that time I was concerned about several questions:
- Was the gospel of the Bible true?
- How do we know if Jesus Christ really died for our sins?
- In my country we say that Jesus came for Westerners, Moses came for the Jews and Mohammed for the Arabs. Is that true?
- How can anyone have certainty about God, about Jesus?
- How can we know without any doubt what we must believe, who we must follow?
One verse from the Bible never let me down:
“For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have eternal life” (John’s Gospel, Chapter 3 verse 16).
“God is one and cannot have a child,” my religion said. I had great difficulty grasping and accepting the notion of Jesus as the “Son” of God. After a year of inner struggle I realised that it is a spiritual notion, which has nothing to do with a physical son arising from a sexual relation with a woman. I also realised that there are not several ‘gods’ in the Bible. No, it is God Himself; He is the One, who came among men in the person of Jesus. He is truly God, and yet also truly man. He is One Divine Person, yet He has two natures. No prophet was born of a virgin, only Jesus could be born in this miraculous way. No prophet lived on earth like Jesus Christ without committing the slightest sin. Only Jesus, lived completely without sin, and therefore He alone could take upon Himself the sin of mankind. During a time away with Christians in 1968, I took the step, I finally went to Christ with the burden of MY sin; I decided to believe in Him, to follow Him and to serve Him. I turned to Him and repented of my sin. I was converted..
My new faith was not immediately understood by everyone. There was mistrust in my friends and family, and I was even questioned by the authorities about my Christian convictions, but the Lord delivered me and protected me. “If God is for us, who will be against us?” says the Bible.
Today I am am able to live with my family. They respect me. Everyone knows that I am a Christian, but they also know that I am a serious husband, father worker and citizen, that I will not be seen wasting my time and money, that I am trying to do my duty, to do a good job. I pray that God will strengthen me in my faith, to help me to be a good citizen and a good worker.
May God keep our magnificent country under His protective hand and peace be with all of you who read this.