Coming to the Faith


 God sought me out, and he used the love for my wife to do it.


     Although born and raised Catholic, I grew up around the world’s mystic influences (Tarot Cards, Past Live Portraits, Palm reading etc…). I met Fadia scuba diving 45 miles away from where God spoke with Moses, off the Sinai Peninsula. We met, she fell in love (I was too stupid to realize I had too), I then called her a week later from Germany and asked her to marry me.


      Through our time to get to know each other (talking regularly over the phone from the US to Egypt), she shared with me that her faith had helped her get through some very challenging and difficult times in her growing up in Egypt. So it was very important to her to raise our family in the Orthodox faith. Amendable to all things, I agreed. I was baptized 10/06/95.


     We raised our children to be active in the faith, the church and its services. But for me it was merely social and (not being an Egyptian) always felt somewhat of an outsider. In 2005 I was faced with two very challenging and life-changing events - one business-wise and one professional. I was, at that moment, seeking God fully.


      As an English major I love literature. Old and new. I was at St Marina Coptic Orthodox Church, waiting for an English meeting and was perusing the library. There sat a white covered book with red letters called “Unseen Warfare”. I opened it up in the middle. I have always judged the value of a book by its ability to grab you from the very page you open it up to. I started reading, and within minutes over an hour had gone by. This book spoke to me directly, specifically about the two challenges I was facing, as if it had been written just for me…and it was over 200 years old. That book changed my spiritual pursuit.


     Over the years the faith has become my own. I may have

been grafted to the vine by marriage, but I have fully

accepted the faith as my own. Its depth, its history, its

struggles, its importance, and its ever-present ability to

remain relevant no matter what age we live in. But it was

Father Bishoy Kamel who pointed out how complete my

transformation had been.


     I was born 06/10/65 and was baptized 10/06/95. God had

turned my whole life, literally, upside down.


     In the cradle of God’s care I know this: Noah’s ark had no mast, no sail, no rudder, no compass, no steering wheel. Just a single window mounted high so that when you look out, you look up to God. I find my faith to be exactly like this.


Glory be to God.

Ted Gillebaard