April 2021 Newsletter: I Will Show You the Most Excellent Way
April 16, 2021
As Iron Sharpens Iron, So One Person Sharpens Another
March 15, 2021

With All My Heart and All My Mind

The story of our student Zineb from Morocco

Since 2006, Zineb has had a heartfelt desire to study theology. After moving into full-time ministry with a Christian media center in 2010, she became a speaker and presenter of a Christian TV show seen by tens of thousands of North Africans. Since she had to present biblical devotions, Zineb needed to be well versed in interpreting Scriptures faithfully. Sensing the need for theological education, she joined our Online Certificate in Ministry program in July 2016 and graduated in June 2017. At that time, she could not put her ministry on hold to join our residential Bachelor of Theology program in Lebanon. Today, with our move to a new hybrid model, Zineb is pursuing her Bachelor of Theology at ABTS through our Integrated Theology Program.

How did she come to find Christ and follow Him wholeheartedly? Here is Zineb’s Story.
It is not easy for a woman to live in a fundamentalist North African community. She can rarely choose a destiny for herself different from the one her guardians chose for her. Zineb was born to a conservative non-Christian family, but even as a young child, she had displayed signs of intellectual independence. At sixteen, she began to contact a Christian foundation secretly by email. “Our exchanges taught me much about the character of Christ,” she shared, “and I learned that Christ would come again in the last days, so I began to wait for His return with all my heart and all my mind.”

After graduating from high school, Zineb and her brother went to pursue their college education in Russia where she got to read the Bible, and soon, she fell in love with it. At that time, she said, “I did not intend to change my faith, yet I had a feeling that God was right beside me.”

“In 1999, I saw a dream that changed the course of my life. I saw that I was watching over a group of children. One of them ran across the street and was hit by a bus. When I approached the scene of the accident, I heard a man say that the child is dead. I stood before the child’s corpse and declared, ‘In Jesus’ name, I tell you to rise!’ And, indeed, he came back to life.” Zineb returned from Russia to Morocco in 2003 to get her papers ready to move to Spain. During her stay in Morocco, she found out that the child she saw in her dream was indeed hit by a bus, but he miraculously survived. Through this experience God showed Zineb the power of Christ’s name. She experienced many other miracles that confirmed to her that she was on the right path.

“I had reached a point where I wanted to give my life to Christ. At the same time, I didn’t want to go against my family, and I wondered if God would still accept me if I left my religion. Having decided to follow Christ in 2003, my brother first found out about my faith, and then the rest of my family found out, and they tried to stop me in all sorts of ways. For the next five years, I could not practice my faith openly. I felt so alone, and yet I knew that He was with me.”

In 2008, she met her future husband Atieh [also currently an ABTS student from Syria] while in Spain. When they got married, things became complicated with her family. They were hoping that her “fascination with Christianity” would be no more than youthful curiosity, and that it would eventually wane, but that was not the case.

“My husband and I would spend hours discussing the gospel with Moroccans online. One night, we asked God to guide us where He wanted us to be, and His answer was the south of Spain, although we were living in the north at that time. In 2009, I went to record episodes for a Christian TV show in the Moroccan Arabic dialect and that led us to meet the group with whom we serve today. We have been in full-time ministry with the media center since September 2010.”
Through her TV show, Zineb would interact with believers, seekers and other non-Christians with whom she would later follow up through social media platforms. As part of her ministry, she needed to present devotions and reflections on Biblical verses and themes. “My theological training enables me to write devotions that I could not have written prior to my education […] and thus present my ideas to them in a systematic and better-organized way.”

Currently, she and her husband have shifted their outreach strategy from TV to social media. Today, Zineb heads the follow up department of the ministry center, and she writes online material. Her vision is that many of her people in Morocco may come to know Jesus. She is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Theology through our Integrated Theology Program. “The more I study, the more I learn and, hence, the better I teach,” she stated, “I love searching and learning. I love to study God’s word. My sense of responsibility toward the people of my country who are seeking the truth urges me to learn more so I may be ready to answer as many questions as possible.”
Her journey, as well as that of her family, hasn’t been without its challenges. For a while, her two daughters remained without a citizenship. Sadly, neither she nor her husband could grant them their nationalities due to their respective Arab countries’ religious laws. However, they were able to pass on the Spanish citizenship to them after a long process. Zineb prays that her daughters would know Him even at this young age and reflect Him to others.

We ask you to pray with us that the love of Christ overwhelms Zineb’s family so that they come to know Him. Please pray for Zineb and for the rest of our Moroccan students and graduates who are serving their people faithfully. We also ask you to pray for Moroccan believers to be empowered by the Spirit and that the Moroccan Church grows and shines the light of Christ more brightly in the country.