This article from Si is part of the Somali Bible Society Journal: Volume I, Issue 1
The Lord God almighty rules supreme in heaven over everything, for all time. The Prophet Isaiah wrote: “for I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me, declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose, . . I have spoken, and I will bring it to pass; I have purposed, and I will do it” [Isaiah 46:9- 11]. This paper seeks to briefly outline God’s master plan of salvation of mankind, quickly narrowing down to His current purposes that He is bringing to pass in the Islamic world at this present time; before then specifically focusing on what the Almighty is doing amongst the Somali people.
God’s Sovereign Plan of Salvation
The Prophet Job in an encounter with God cries out in worship, “I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted” [Job 42:2]. The living God can do all He wants; nothing He has purposed can be stopped. Indeed, Proverbs 21:30 says, “No wisdom, no understanding, no counsel can avail against the Lord.” No matter who opposes God or how clever they may be, there is no hope of victory over what He has purposed [Psalm 2, Acts 2:22-24]. So, it is theologically safe to assume that the tragic fall of the human race as recorded in Genesis 3 did not thwart God’s plan for mankind as laid out on the 6th day of creation. Gen 1:27- 28 states, “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. And God blessed them. And God said to them, Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”
Mankind is made in the image of God, the only physically created thing to be described in this way. As image-bearers God commissions humanity to fill the earth and rule over it as His representatives. Calvin (Genesis 2001: 27) notes “God could Himself indeed have covered the earth with a multitude of people but it was His will that we should proceed from one fountain.” For the omnipotent one who wanted the world populated with His image-bearers could have easily done this from the start.
Thus, God choosing not to use this approach must have been done with purpose. Calvin notes that part of this purpose is we shall all proceed from one source (more on this later). However, this is only part of the reason God wanted His image- bearers to have a part to play in fulfilling His purposes here on earth, the privilege of co-labouring with Him. Hallelujah.
God started by giving Adam the Garden of Eden in which to work out His purposes. Mankind’s growth and dominion over the earth, in their pre-fallen state, would have been perfect. Therefore, naturally bringing God glory as they ruled over the created world exactly how the Lord would want them to. Thus, to use the Prophet Habakkuk’s words, “For the earth would have been filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD as the waters cover the sea.” [Habakkuk 2:14] (Italics – changing the prophecy to what would have occurred). However, mankind’s rebellion against God after giving into Satan’s temptation led to sin, death, and destruction being in God’s world. What was once going to happen naturally was now impossible. Now the human race is born dead in its sin, opposed to God and under His wrath [Genesis 6:5, Ephesians 2:1-3]. But remember, “No wisdom, no understanding, no counsel can avail against the Lord.”
The scene is now set for God’s redemptive plan, devised before the foundation of the world, [Ephesians 1:4, Revelations 3:8] demonstrating the amazing grace and steadfast love of the Lord, swings into action. Rescuing Noah and his family from His divine judgement on the earth through the ark [Genesis 6-9]. Choosing Abraham and his chosen descendants, Isaac, then Jacob and through him the people of Israel, to be blessed by God and through whom He would bring blessing to the world. To Abraham, and through him the people of Israel, he gives the promised land in which to work out His purposes; to be like a kingdom of priests, a holy nation [Exodus 19:6]. However, the Bible shows how Israel, due to sin, failed to fulfil this and ended up in exile under the Babylonian empire. This demonstrates that man in his own efforts cannot fulfil the purposes of God [Romans 8:7-8]. Yet, God in his grace brought them back to the land, although the physical kingdom was never really what it once was. All through Israel’s past though, even in the glory days of King David, God’s prophets had been pointing forward to a coming anointed one who would establish God’s eternal rule over the whole earth [2 Samuel 7:12-13, Isaiah 9:6-7, Daniel 7:13-14]. The Messiah, literally translated as ‘Anointed one’ or Christ in Greek.
“When the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons.” [Galatians 4:4-5.] Jesus Christ came from heaven to earth on a rescue mission at precisely the right time in God’s master plan. He lived a perfect life, the only one who God could look down from heaven and be well pleased [Matthew 3:17]. Jesus accomplished all the work the Father had given him to do [John 17:4]. Then the Son of God willingly laid down his life on the cross as the perfect sacrifice, taking on himself the wrath of God as He bore the punishment of mankind’s sin upon his shoulders [Romans 3:21-26], before three days later rising victorious from the dead and offering the hope of salvation now to all people [Romans 1:4-6]. The key thing for one to be right with God now has nothing to do with one’s ethnicity, gender or social status, but whether they are in Christ or not [Galatians 3:38, John 1:11-12].
The resurrected Jesus before ascending into heaven gives his disciples what has commonly come to be called, The Great Commission.’ “And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.
And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” [Matt 28:18-20]. God desires people from all nations, all over the earth to be saved and made righteous by Christ. Then through the power of his Spirit that now works in His redeemed He enables them to supernaturally live in a way that is pleasing to God [Ephesians 1:19- 20, Colossian 1:29].
Amongst many other things which are not the remit of this paper, the Great Commission is clearly a recommissioning of the Genesis 1:28 command to mankind on day he created! For the Lord has purposed so it will come to pass [Isaiah 46:11]. What once would have happened naturally, due to sin can only happen supernaturally through the power of the Holy Spirit at work in those who come to Jesus. As Calvin noted on Genesis 1:28 that God wanted mankind to all proceed from one fountain, Adam. Now in order to fulfil God’s command we need to be in the new Adam [Romans 5:12-20; 1 Corinthians 15:20-22, 45]. Christ is the true source humanity needs to be united with, in Him is the fulfilment of God’s plan in heaven and on earth. As the Apostle Paul writes, God was “making known the purpose of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ, as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and on earth.” [Ephesians 1:9-10].
Just like in the beginning, God wants to involve his redeemed people in His eternal plan of fulfilling his purpose. Commenting on the Great Commission, Piper says (2000: 173) “It was not merely given to the Apostles for their ministry, but was given to the church for its ministry as long as this age lasts.” God could easily do it all Himself, but He has given the privilege to His adopted children to be His representatives, His image-bearers, to be involved in His eternal purposes.
The Apostle Paul explains in Ephesians 2:8-10, “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” Bruce (1984: 291) commenting on this passage says, “If those who belonged to the old order were dead through their trespasses and sins, those who belong to the new creation are characterised by good works,’ works performed not to secure salvation but as the fruit of salvation.” A large part of those good works pertains to the people of God, the church, engaging in their part in the Great Commission. The late J. I. Packer said (1961: 75), “If therefore we love God and are concerned to glorify him, we must obey his command to evangelise.” Jesus is clear he will not return until, “this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.” Matthew 24:14.
Edward Dayton in Perspectives on the World Christian Movements makes clear (1981: 581), “The Lord Jesus Christ has commanded his Church to make disciples of every nation. Every Christian in every local church, in every country of the world, is called upon to be a witness to the saving power of Jesus Christ.” (1981: 595)
Revelation 7:9-10, “After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!” Which should come as no surprise as the Lord God almighty knows the end from the beginning and nothing can stop His purpose. If He wants the gospel preached to all nations (or better understood all ethnic groups), it will come to pass. This is a picture of the future that the Apostle John saw. The end of the story is certain; as the Lord has spoken and will bring it to pass. Christ has all authority in heaven and on earth so none can stop Him!
Amazingly, the church of Jesus Christ has been given the privilege of being the main agent through whom God chooses to usher in his plan on earth. Yes, He could use angels to appear and bring about His purposes on earth and he does sometimes, and of course scripture does not tell us all they are doing in the spiritual realm either. However, the commission is given to the Church of Jesus Christ, His redeemed people, with all their weaknesses and mistakes they make. The sovereign Lord will work out His eternal plan, and all onlookers will be able to do nothing but marvel at the wisdom of the almighty. Ephesians 3:10 says, “So that through the church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places.” Hodge commenting on this verse says, “This gives us our highest conception of the dignity of the church.” [1994: 109]. Over the last 2000 years, God has been outworking His plan through His people, in His own time, the Lord is not slow to fulfil his promise as some count slowness [2 Peter3:7-12].
Before jumping forward to this present time to look at part of God’s plan unfolding; it is worth noting that from a human perspective the outworking of God’s plan is not straightforward and there seems to be countless setbacks that make no sense at a human level. Remember, “For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.” 1 Cor. 1:25. Just before Jesus ascended into heaven, the disciples wanted to know times and seasons for Israel in Acts 1:6 which the Lord responds by saying, “It is not for you to know times and seasons that the Father has fixed by His own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and all Judea and Samaria and to the end of the earth” [Acts 1:7-8]. Calvin (Acts 1995: 30) notes on Acts 1:7 “He is speaking about times and seasons; but since the same principle applies in other things we should accept this as the universal precept, that we are to be content with what God reveals and regard it as unlawful to inquire what he does not reveal.” Indeed, in the sovereignty of God His salvation plan is unfolding and whilst one may not be able to predict or strategize how this plan is to develop, church history would show that the Lord has times and seasons for different peoples to be reached with the gospel and times when it appears the church gets distracted and loses ground.
The wind of the Spirit moving across the Islamic World
As this paper is concerned with the emerging Somali Church, it is important to briefly consider the rise of Islam and the historic response of the Church to it, before looking at what God is currently doing in the Islamic world today.
Church History 101 notes (2016: 32) “By the turn of the (7th) century, within 80 years of Mohammad’s original vision, Islam began to sweep through the Middle East. It saw success in North Africa, often through sheer brutality. But its advance ground to a halt in Spain…The historic Christian communities of the Near East and North Africa were either destroyed or reduced to the status of despised and oppressed minorities.” Sookhdeo comments (2002: 14), “The church which had known the leadership of such men as Augustine, Athanasius, Cyprian and Tertullian found itself quite unable to resist the advancing armies of Islam. The ruins of ancient church buildings are the sole remains of a once vigorous church.” As stated why the Lord allowed this is unwise to claim complete understanding; however, Church History 101 makes this poignant point (2016: 34) “While there is a time and a season for everything, the church must not forget what matters most: it must remain clear and steadfast on the great commission proclaiming the gospel to a lost and dying world.”
Sadly, in the 12th Century, “Rather than relying on the spiritual weapons of faith, love prayer, evangelism, and good works, the church looked to political, military, and financial might to answer the threat of Islam. It was thought that the only language the Islamic forces would understand was the language they themselves spoke – the language of violence. The Crusaders failed to understand that Christ enjoins His people to speak a different language. Ours should be a language of humility and love in the name of Christ, not violence, slaughter and retribution.” (Church History 101 2016: 56). This action of the flesh left a deep scar in the Islamic world, inoculating it from the gospel for centuries to come.
David Garrison in his book, A Wind in the House of Islam, explains (2014: 17) that there were no known movements of God where people voluntarily turned to Christ from Islam in its first 1200 years! A movement he defines as (2014: 5) “either 100 churches planted or 1000 Muslim Background Believers (MBB) baptised in less than a 2-decade period. Then in the 19th century there were 2, followed by a further 11 towards the end of the 20th Century. However, in the first 14 years of the 21st century there have been a further 69 movements of God right across the Islamic world. He concludes this summary with, “Something is happening – something historic, something unprecedented.” (2014: 18). Garrison is not alone in recognising this. Mike Shipman writes in his book Any 3 (2013: 15) “This is God’s day of salvation for Muslims.” Even seasoned Bible smuggler Tom Hamblin is recorded as saying (Meroff 2016: 203), “Tens of thousands of Muslims are disillusioned with Islam, and God’s Spirit is at work to open their hearts to the message of Christ Jesus.” Whilst there are a multitude of factors causing this turning to Christ, one also has to stand back in praise of God and acknowledge the Lord is on the move in a powerful way. Peter Wagner comments in Perspectives on the World Christian Movements (1981: 574) that it is helpful to have 4 strategies in mind when thinking of Mission.
- Right Goals
- Right Place at the right time
- Right Methods
- Right People
Whilst acknowledging that all situations need people working in them, Wagner goes on to write (1981: 578), “But no one who takes strategy seriously would advocate for a massive labour force in green fields. Jesus wouldn’t. He does not tell us to pray for more labourers to go to the green fields or to fallow fields. The labourers are needed for the ripe harvest fields.” Wagner highlights that in Matt 10:5-6 the disciples at that time are told not to go to the Samaritans but only the Jews, as the former were not ripe at that point. However, not long later the disciples were told to go to reach Samaria. The time was ripe for harvest.
In the purposes of God, it would appear that the time is now ripe for a massive move of God across the whole Islamic world, despite the harsh treatment many MBB face from leaving Islam. Garrison interviewed many MBB (2014: 232) “whose communities had beaten them, arrested them, tortured, shunned, poisoned them, and stripped them of their jobs, possessions, and families.” This is also the testimony of many Somali believers too. According to Patrick Sookhdeo (2009: 30 & 38) “All schools (of Islam) agree that it is permitted to kill apostates from in front or from behind, that their blood shed requires no vengeance, that their property belongs to true (Muslim) believers, and finally their marriage ties become null and void.” Again, sadly this assessment by Sookhdeo is the regular experience of Somali Muslims who turn to Christ.
In spite of this Garrison notes (2014: 5) “Muslim movements to Jesus Christ are taking place in numbers we’ve never before seen.” MBB are choosing to deny themselves, take up their cross and follow Jesus [Matthew 16:24], even though for some it will end up with their bodies being literally nailed to a cross for this decision! Yet still they come to only one who has the words of eternal life [John 6:68], who promises his followers who take up their cross, “. . . whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.” Matt 16:25. The one who can say to all who turn to him, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die” (John 11:25-26). Garrison observes (2014:243) “The Qur’an offers no assurance of salvation. For assurance of salvation, one must turn to the person and work of Christ.”
God is at work bringing his plan of salvation across the Islamic world, the church must learn the lesson from the past and not use natural means to try to deal with Islam; but double its efforts on reaching the 1.8 billion people in the House of Islam with the good news of Jesus Christ. As Garrison (2014: 248) encourages, “Muslims are neither a religion nor an ideology; they are individuals in need of a Saviour, individuals for whom Christ died.” Shipman notes (2013: 97), “When you witness, even to unresponsive persons, you are never wasting your breath. The Holy Spirit is convicting them of their sin and disbelief. Though they cannot see Jesus with their own eyes, the Spirit is revealing Christ to them. The Spirit is also convicting them of the judgement to come.”
God wants so much to move in the Islamic world that there are literally thousands of stories of God giving the church a helping hand in this mission. Garrison records (2014: 238) God are visiting these Muslims through dreams, visions, and answered prayers in the name of Jesus. Virtually everyone who has worked in ministry to Muslims can attest to the pervasive presence and work of the Holy Spirit.” Many Somali Muslim Background Believers give testimony to God meeting them in this way. Alongside this, as in the past in the West, “Scripture in the local language has been instrumental to every movement we have examined,” Garrison observes (2014: 237). Indeed, several Somali Believers I have spoken with, including 2 key leaders in the Somali Church came to Christ through reading the Bible. One leader said to me, “When I was in Khartoum studying Islam, someone gave me a Bible, which I threw on the floor. Then a voice inside of me said, You need to know why they are wrong so you should read it.’ So I picked up the book and started to read it. After two years of studying Islam in an Islamic country and studying the Bible on my own, I chose to reject the god of hatred and violence and chose the God of love and grace.” These means God is using do not negate the work of the church; but aids it. Piper says, (2000: 210), “There is a distinct calling on the church to do frontier missionary work amongst all the remaining unreached people groups..So the goal of Christ’s work and ours is that God might be glorified by the nations as they experience his mercy.” Experience His love and grace!
The miracle of the emerging Somali Church
It is in this wider context of the Spirit of God blowing across the Islamic world that we see him moving in what Miller (2006) calls, the Hardest place.’ That is in Somalia and amongst the Somalis. If it was called the hardest place in the Modrickers time, it is even more difficult now due to near 3 decades of war. Mohamed Abdulahi’s book, The Silent Gun, is a harrowing read, as it records current issues that are killing the Somali people and yet no one hears the gunshots that are bringing death. His excerpt on the back cover reads, “When drafting this book, I was like someone whose house was on fire, whose family members were living in that house including his mother, father, spouse and siblings with no fire extinguishers nearby.”
Even amongst Muslims, life is incredibly cheap and killing of innocent people is not uncommon. Abdulahi (2018: 26) tries to address this; he writes, “Islam teaches that killing an innocent person has no place in the religion. . . Killing innocent people whether a Muslim or non-Muslim has no place in Islam.” Yet, if life is bad for the so called Innocent Muslim,’ Abdulahi acknowledges, it is much worse for religious minorities (2018: 49). Thoresen writes (2014: 1), “The church among the ethnic Somali population in the Horn of Africa constitutes a culturally marginalised and persecuted minority.” Yet, like across the rest of the Islamic world, there is a growing vibrant Somali Church. When it comes to the work of salvation, Jesus said, “What is impossible with man is possible with God,” Luke 18:27. Hudson Taylor puts it so aptly, “I have found there are three stages in every great work of God, first, it is impossible, then it is difficult, then it is done!” Those who want to minister among Somalis have a pre-Islamic foundation on which to build.
The first Somali converts in recent history, according to Thoresen (2014: 51), came to the Lord in 1898. However, it is worth mentioning, as the Reverend Mahad Birik comments in his Master’s Dissertation, there is evidence of pre-Islamic Judeo- Christian influence amongst the Somalis (2019: 1). Over the next 37 years, Thoresen says (2014: 57), SEM saw 450 Somalis turn to Christ and be baptised. In 1935, Thorsen notes, “A stronger emphasis was to be placed on the training of national co- workers and stationing them in various towns and villages.” Somalia’s changing political situation with colonial powers and its own internal rise in desire to be independent led to, (2014: 59)” Former Muslims who turned to Christianity were subject to harassment and social isolation not only for leaving the faith of their fathers, but also fraternising with foreigners.” However, the general picture given through Thoresen’s research is slow growth, with some setbacks as always until the late 1960’s. Interestingly, much of the setbacks were to do with ecclesiological difference between the different mission agencies. During the 1970’s the now autonomous Somali Government nationalised the properties of many mission agencies, and curbing their missional activity. By 1989 as opposition to Siyaad Barre turned violent, it drove the country into chaos; Pietro Salvatore Colombo, OFM, the Bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Mogadishu was murdered and with that the last of the expat missionaries left Somali promptly (Thoresen 2014: 69). The Somali Church had little choice but to go underground or flee to neighbouring countries.
The Modrickers were based in Somalia from 1954-1973 before they were expelled. They briefly lived in Ethiopia where they were involved in setting up a radio station which continued the mission of reaching Somalis. The radio ministry was highly effective in reaching Somalis with the truth of the gospel and I personally have met several Somalis whose testimony involves the radio being a key part to them beginning of their journey towards Christ. Today both in Kenya and Ethiopia I am aware of Somali Muslim Background Believers who are broadcasters on radio stations giving the good news of Jesus to the Somali people. Likewise, social media is proving to be a highly effective platform to engage with Somalis before leading them through to saving faith in Jesus. Amazingly enough, now Somali MBB’s are at the forefront of that ministry. A brave Somali couple in the UK publicly broadcast on social media pointing people to Jesus on a regular basis. They show their faces openly and have received many death threats from Muslims because of this, sadly even from their own family. Others from Sweden, Nairobi and Ethiopia are actively engaged in using social media platforms to reach their own people for Jesus.
There have be several attempts in both Ethiopia and Nairobi in the 1990’s and early 2000’s to establish larger Somali Church congregations, but this just made them easy targets for persecution, even in countries where legally speaking they had religious freedom. The murder of an outspoken Somali evangelist, David Abdulwahab Mohamed Ali in May 2008 is an example of this. However, the biggest factor for the struggling of Somali believers to form a united growing church network according to Somali MBB’s I have met is the meddling of various mission and church-based agencies. One Somali Christian leader put it like this:
“Everyone wants a piece of the Somali Camel meat, to be able to say to people back home, look at how much Somali Camel meat we have.’ Not realising that the Camel is actually alive and wanting to walk and grow!”
The late influential Somali believer, Ahmed Ali Haile, noted a similar problem (2011: 115), “Whilst we were concerned with Islamic militancy during our years in Nairobi, one of our greatest challenges was coping with some of these Christian groups who came to Kenya to help’ us.” Elsewhere in Ahmed’s book, Teatime in Mogadishu, he writes (2011: 65), “The death of culture happens when the society insists that it has the best culture; that is disease which is afflicting the Somali Culture today.” He is writing this about Al- Shabab in Somalia, but sadly the same principle pervades much church-based and mission agencies approaches to reaching the Somalis for Jesus.
People want a church like the one back home! Thoresen notes, (2014: 2), “The way in which Somali Christians have conceived of the church, and related to it, may be the reasons why the number of Christians has remained small.” The way Somalis have conceived or related to church historically will be massively shaped by those who have introduced them to the church i.e. mission and church-based agencies.
The Somali Church whilst still needing some support and help from outside also needs the freedom to grow in its own cultural context, creating its own traditions and norms based on the Bible, not church (and particularly Western Church) tradition.
Garrison would argue that this is not limited to the Somali Church but many emerging church movements across the Islamic world. He writes positively that (2014: 33) “These movements may be forming new expressions of Christian faith that are distinct from the various other branches of Christianity around them.”
Over the last 7 years God has miraculously enabled the emerging Somali Church movement, made up of Somali Muslim Background Believers and led by Somalis themselves. This movement has grown from dispersed and sometimes despondent MBBs, into a church planting network that spans across 6 nations in the Horn of Africa and reaching into a 7th. It is also involved in reaching out to Somali diaspora around the world and for the last 3 years has been training Pastors from non-Islamic backgrounds on how to evangelise Muslims. The Somali Believers Ministries Network (SBMN), as they are called, describe themselves as, “A Christ Centred Community, whose vision is to, “Create a united Somali network of house churches, to reach the Somali people in the Horn of Africa and beyond with the love of Jesus.” The Somali Camel’ is most certainly not dead, or even sick; it is up, walking and affectively reaching Somalis with the good news of Jesus Christ, whilst helping others to do likewise.
One of the SBMN leaders who has been a Christian for many years described this growing movement as the most exciting thing he has seen happen amongst the Somali MBBs, however, as always in God, the best is yet to come. The miracle of the emerging Somali Church may be moving from the impossible to difficult stage according to Hudson Taylor’s understanding, but that means it is well on its way in the sovereignty of God to being done! This is not to minimise the long hard road which has much suffering ahead of it for the Somali Church as daily attacks and even killings take place against Somali Muslim Background Believers. Even in the last month I am sadly aware of another Somali MBB who has gone to be with the Lord because of his faith and others who have just been released from prison and have to leave their country because they refused to turn their back on Jesus. In both these cases great will be their reward in heaven.
John Piper says (2000: 11) “Mission is not the ultimate goal of the church, worship is. Mission exists because worship doesn’t. Worship therefore is the fuel of mission.”
Jesus told us that the Father is seeking worshipers who will worship him in spirit and in truth [John 4:23]. One of the key ways anyone worships God according to the Apostle Paul in Romans 12:1 is to, “to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.” The Lord wants people from all over the world, from every tribe tongue and nation to worship him and bring him glory, including many representatives from Somalia.
Whilst the road ahead will be difficult, the Lord will have his beautiful Somali Church in his time, or more correctly he will have many glorified Somali Christians included in His Church. As I started this paper with a quote from the Prophet Isaiah, it is fitting for us to finish with another. One that assures us of the completion of God’s unfolding plan or redemption including those from amongst the Somalis even as it happens in somewhat perplexing ways.
“For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return there but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it” [Isaiah 55v9-11].
Use of the Bible
Unless otherwise stated, all quotes from the Bible are from the ESV. The Bible is the authoritative word of God, its veracity untarnished and teachings relevant to all.
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