My name is Ekram Dawod, and I am now an assistant pastor at Family Fellowship (Santa Fe Springs South Foursquare Church), an Arabic church in Los Angeles. But my journey began in Egypt, where I was born and grew up.
As a teenager, I lived a normal life. I went to the Coptic Orthodox Church, but inside I was dead to God. Then, one day, a man of God asked me to go to a meeting in one of the Orthodox churches.
I decided to go—I felt in my soul that something great would happen this day—and I invited one of my best friends to come with me.
I didn’t listen to the sermon, nothing at all. But the Word of God touched the heart of my friend. After the sermon, I decided to leave; but my friend wanted to go to the front and pray. I said: “O.K. Two minutes—go. I will wait.”
He went, and I waited. After 15 minutes, he was still praying. I walked up to the front to grab him, but then I saw tears in his eyes.
So I began to pray. Traditionally, as I used to. As I prayed, however, I saw a vision. A fire came from heaven toward me. I looked at myself and found my clothes were so dirty.
“Jesus, forgive me!” I cried out. “Give mercy to my soul.” I saw the hand of Jesus—just His hand—and I saw the fire of God through the hole in Jesus’ hand.
After that, everything in my life changed completely. I began to read through the Gospels, and God opened my eyes and my mind to the Bible.
Two days later, I went to school and began to talk to my friends. Many of them were astonished. “Do you have a serious disease?” some asked. “Are you going to die?” However, many of them also gave their lives to Christ, even though this was very difficult in my country because it was Islamic.
After I graduated, I went on and worked for 22 years in Egypt as a pediatrician. I was a full-time doctor and full-time minister at that time—don’t ask me how!—the grace of God, for certain.
As a minister, I traveled to many places—Australia, Europe, even the United States. While visiting here, I went to an Arabic meeting where I was invited to preach, and I met Dr. Sterling Brackett, who serves as senior pastor of Family Fellowship.
At that time, God guided Sterling to encourage me to become a Foursquare pastor and missionary for Arabic people. I found that the Foursquare doctrine is what I believe exactly, and it was amazing because God had prepared a church for me here.
Sterling became my mentor, and continues to be a huge blessing to my family and me. God has encouraged me a lot through this man; he is a man of God, and I have come to love Foursquare through him.
In addition to serving as assistant pastor at Family Fellowship, helping to minister to, encourage and pray for the Arabic community here, I share testimonies through a program on an Arabic TBN channel, about how God is saving people.
Right now we also are praying for a new expansion for the Arabic people in Anaheim. We need a lot of prayer for this expansion, and we trust we will see the hand of God. People need to be touched by the Holy Spirit, and they can be through the ministry of The Foursquare Church.
Please pray for us, and for the Arabic church here.