Vision Of Christ Led Me To The Truth
Fatima from Morroco
A. Tell us a little bit about yourself before the conversion
I Grew up in a moderate home. Not fanatical Muslim
but we practiced the five pillars. Eight children, I am the
5th of five girls and three boys. I enjoy memories of
dinner, playing together, and growing up in the Middle
East . I Loved Ramadan time because of the social activities with friends. Parents and brothers were protective. Out of protection for me and my sisters, we were always with our brothers. I had a happy childhood. I was the closest one to my father. He was a good father, very reserved. Mild and average discipline. My mother, a house-wife, was more the discipliner. I always wanted to travel as a child. I went to Europe many times. Never really planned on marriage, but if I did I did not want a middle eastern guy, even before I became Christian.
B. How did you get introduced to Orthodoxy?
I was never very religious. I worked with logic, very pragmatic. I believed in a God, but had no relationship with Him. I loved mother Teresa and Gandhi. I ended up in Florida. I had citizenship and marriage problems. I never felt happy or peaceful. One day I was crying and walking when I was a approached by two guys preaching. Most of my middle eastern friends were Christian but all my Moroccan friends were Muslim.
A fellow worker helped me during some hard times and introduced me to God as Love. Her Christian friends seemed more at peace. So I went to the two guys' church, called Resound, and sat there listening. This old lady came to me and she started to pray for me and I saw a light and I started crying. That night was the most peaceful rest I ever had. I started to study the Bible. I moved later, and I did not go to church because I was afraid I would be found out.
Then I was introduced to Mohammed Rahouma. I studied his story, he encouraged me to come to California. In 2013 I was again troubled and one night I was crying to God for help. "What should I do", I asked. At 4 am I saw Jesus coming to me out of the ocean and He smiled at me. I was sitting on a little mountain with four little girls behind me chanting “Jesus is the way, Jesus is the way”. When I woke up the room was filled with daylight and I was so relieved. I called Rahouma, he asked me to come to California and I met with an Orthodox priest .
C. What attracted you to Orthodoxy?
I had a hard time accepting the trinity, But I loved the teachings of Christ. I love how the orthodoxy has kept the faith. I read father Matthew the poor and I loved the desire to leave this world’s wealth.
I loved the prayers, the chants, the hymns, and the incense.
I truly loved the congregation of my parish, St Marina.
D. What were some of the hurdles you faced in your conversion?
All the rituals and practices were overwhelming at first. The ancient language was very strict and it reminded me of Islam.
The way they deal with the priests, bishops and leaders and some of the cultural influences. I feel they are still only human, they do not need to be elevated. I am not knowledgeable enough to know the difference.
But I feel loved, wanted and welcomed. And my father the priest is also very generous.
I also don’t fully grasp the mysteries.
E. What would you like to say to the youths in the Orthodox church?
You have to hold on to your church traditions.
You must understand that the church is a shell to protect you from the outside world.
The church is your family. Let all the activities be inside the church, to give you strength against the desires of the world that can call you away.
F. What would you like to tell someone who maybe considering Orthodoxy?
1.You should just come to church.
2. Read the Bible: start with St Matthew.
3. Sit down with a father that was raised in your country.
4. Give it a try.
5. Meet other converts.