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IN MOROCCO ON A ROAD LESS TRAVELLED

Rachid, a pastor serving in several areas of Morocco, describes his experiences and faith in his day-to-day life.

RACHID DESCRIBES THE LONG AND SURPRISING COURSE OF HIS JOURNEY TO FAITH.
I am Pastor Rachid from Morocco. I lead a Church here and serve Christ in several parts of the country through discipleship training, education, church planting and media. My journey to faith in Jesus Christ and service in Morocco has involved many twists and turns, but my life began like that of any other Moroccan.

I grew up in a typical Moroccan family but we were not conservative or religiously strict. Then at high school I began to interact with more conservative and fundamentalist friends as well as classmates who impacted me with their thoughts and style of living.

CHANGING DIRECTION
When I graduated from high school I decided to major in religious studies despite the disapproval of my father and my family. I enrolled in a specialised institute for three years until I graduated as a religious teacher. However, by the end of the third year I had decided to distance myself from these beliefs. I had begun to test and question whether they were truly bringing me closer to God and whether they were producing peace and love in myself or in those I studied with.

After this another phase of my life took over. This was a period of atheism that lasted for two very difficult years. I became addicted to drugs, alcohol and other things. And yet, when I look back at this time, I see how the Lord was always by my side and how His hand was guiding me. During the last six months of those two years, the Lord began His work in my life – so much so that I could not sleep at night. I was tormented by many crucial questions concerning my life and God.

I decided to start a thorough-going search for God, seeking to know Him through many different avenues. One day the Lord arranged the opportunity through Christian radio and TV channels, including SAT-7. I was a fan of several such programmes, especially those focused on North Africa, and was already in correspondence with them when one day they introduced me to a Moroccan Christian brother who was himself a pastor. Thus, after almost one and a half years of study and research with the help of this brother, I was able to accept the Lord as my Saviour in whom I found the ultimate goal of my search. Peace, love and reassurance entered my life and my heart.

I was baptised in 2007, and starting from 2008 I was called by the Lord to serve Him, make disciples, and plant churches. In 2012, I devoted three years of my life to the study of theology and practical ministry in the field, to acquire more experience and serve Christ in a better and more powerful way.

GOD ON THE MOVE
In eight years of serving Christ I have gained a lot of experience and met with a great deal of success as well as many challenges. Ministry in North Africa is not at all easy, as it is an environment where there is a great deal of religious absolutism and control. There is a very flagrant contradiction in North African society: although there is relative freedom on how strictly people follow their inherited beliefs, when it comes to faith in Christ, the community reacts very disapprovingly.

Nevertheless, the Lord keeps moving in these regions as He keeps seeking His people. This is especially true in recent years. In particular, He is using the technological information revolution which is very effective in giving access to the Gospel to young people. We can say that despite state control there is a spiritual revival and awakening to varying degrees in North Africa.

I think of a friend of mine. Our friendship remained the same even after I came to Christ and we used to talk continuously about Jesus until one day this friend accepted the Lord and became a believer. What touched me was that in his testimony during a church meeting he said that the positive changes in my life were what impacted him most and contributed to his giving his own life to the Lord.

I always say that we witness to Christ in three ways, namely:
1. Directly with the mouth (preaching)
2. With the pen (writing)
3. Through life example before everyone

Please pray with us that we will see a true spiritual revolution spread all over Morocco especially and across North Africa in general, with servants of Christ carrying the torch and churches being planted on sound and strong foundations.

Across North Africa and the Middle East spiritually thirsty seekers are searching to know the truth about God and long to have a strong personal relationship with Him. SAT-7 programmes enable viewers to learn how they can have this relationship through Christ. A gift from you today will help more people hear the Gospel in the safety and privacy of their own homes.

SAT-7 has a growing number of programmes for North Africa. Among these are the series Worship at Home, in which a group of Moroccan believers meet together for prayer, praise and studying the Bible, and Me and My Daughter, a series in Moroccan and Lebanese dialects which presents a positive model for family relationships.