“When I became a Christian I had decided that it was going to be all or nothing, and that meant that if God wanted me to become a missionary then so be it.”
Growing up in Australia and finding faith
For Moussa Ghazal, it was a long journey for him to come to, and hold fast to his faith. Born in Syria to a Syrian Orthodox family, Moussa and his family moved to Australia when he was around four years old. Growing up, Moussa wanted to fit in with the other kids, but found that difficult to do coming from an ethnic background.
He shares, “As a family we were introduced to an Arabic speaking protestant church that taught us the gospel. I came to understand the gospel from a young age but when I became a teenager I had no desire to follow Jesus since Christians were unpopular and I just wanted to fit in with others. Coming from an ethnic background meant I didn’t really fit in and the other kids let me know it.”
During his teenage years, his sisters and other family members tried to evangelise to him, but he was quick to refute their claims and developed arguments against what they were saying about Jesus and the gospel. It took a few years before Moussa accepted that he didn’t believe his own arguments and that there must in fact be a God. He concluded that since he didn’t believe in Jesus, he was destined for hell.
“Towards the end of Year 11, the fear of hell drove me back to Christianity but I just couldn’t live the Christian life. I found myself sinning continually and it drove me to despair. After about 6 months of despair I came to realise that I needed to rely on Jesus to pay the price for my sins and even provide the power to change me and I started to follow Jesus with a new found faith and desire to live for him,” Moussa shares.
All or nothing
When Moussa decided to commit to becoming a Christian, he knew it was all or nothing. He also accepted that if God wanted him to become a missionary then that is what he’d do. He considers this a part of his conversion.
Moussa studied at the University of New South Wales, and during the end of his studies, he was approached by a few staff workers from the Christian group, Campus Bible Study (CBS) and encouraged to consider undergoing an MTS apprenticeship.
He put a plan together not long after and began his MTS apprenticeship.
Moussa found that his MTS apprenticeship provided him with a ministry philosophy and helped him to hone his skills in ministry including leading small groups, doing 1-to-1’s, training students and writing talks. He says it also increased his passion for the Bible and encouraged him to dig deep into God’s word.
“I really looked forward to going to theological college and then putting this knowledge into practice in future ministry,” he shares.
Seeing God at work
Today, Moussa is using the skills that he learnt and honed during MTS, in his work at the University of Sydney (USyd) in the Evangelical Union (EU). His role is to engage and interact with students from various ethnic and faith backgrounds, and to encourage Christian students to do the same.
He still wants students to consider going to the nations, but he also loves the fact that in Australia we can play our part in reaching the nations without having to go overseas. God has brought the nations to us!
Moussa says there is a great need for more people willing to share the gospel with those from different backgrounds or who have different beliefs. Since he is from Syria, a majority Muslim country, he really loves speaking to and engaging with Muslims.
Moussa shares “I have seen Christian students challenged to reach out to those who are different to them. A number of them have moved across Sydney to places where ethnic migration is high, to support the local churches and their outreach ministry. And some have gone on mission overseas or are preparing to go on mission.
He says that he has seen students at USyd from other faith backgrounds come to know Christ and says it is a great joy to see God at work in these ways.
Please pray for Moussa as he works with the EU to share the love and salvation of Christ to the students, and as he connects with those who are from different faith backgrounds. Praise God for his own conversion and for those who shared the Gospel with him and encouraged him to pursue a life of ministry.