Bible study

At our weekly Bible study with class 8 students, eight Som** girls chose to remain in class and learn with the other students.
We were studying ‘Jesus is Lord and Saviour’. We had two passages to read and when I requested a volunteer, one of the Som.** girls volunteered and this brought a lot of cheer and clapping from the other students. There was more cheer and clapping at the end of her reading 20 verses and we could see she was encouraged and happy.
Please pray with us that God would open the hearts of these Som.** students to recognize Him as Lord and Saviour and the only true living God.
Also pray that God will bring them back to the next Bible study.

Inquisitive

This week after class when the students left, I stayed behind to wrap-up. Within a few minutes, Is***, an old student, walked in as he saw the windows open and knew there was someone indoors. He said he was just passing by to say hello.
Then he surprised me when he asked about the number of chapters in the Bible, and then went on to discuss about some of the people found in our Book and their book. He then said that there is very little difference between our faiths (which is not true!) and that it is important to find the truth (which is true!).
I suggested that we should both get time to have a study of the Books. He agreed but mentioned that he is currently busy with college work. Pray we could study together.

Please pray that God will open doors for time and opportunity to study His Word with my friend and that his eyes and heart will respond to the truth of the gospel.

Building relationships

We thank God for 5 Som** students in our English class. Tomorrow we will visit an orphaned children’s home to donate various items. We are also in the process of drawing up a program of various activities that we plan to do together over the next few months. We thank God for the unity of this group and pray that as we bond and share in various activities (including fun outings), He will give us opportunities to share of His love for All people and that this will be another avenue of pointing us to His Word.

My book your book

My S friend is moving to Turkey and will be in Som** for two weeks to sort out his papers as it is easier from there.
We held a farewell party for him, and I gifted him with a book, “My Book, Your Book”. This is in return for a book that he had given me earlier comparing our two faiths. Unfortunately, his book has a one-sided view and was generally not correct.

We have shared our beliefs in the past and my prayer is that as we keep in touch, he will read My book and have an interest in asking good questions. Pray that God may open his heart to believe and understand the good news. He plans to come back for a short holiday in September next year when we will reconnect again.

Outcry

Please pray for our brothers and sisters in the Horn. One of the letters from Ministry of Religious Affairs to the court regarding the release of the prisoners was leaked on public media yesterday. Now there is public outcry at their release. There is now fear that names, videos and photos will also be leaked. Please pray for the safety of our friends and wisdom to know how to live out their faith in light of this. Thank you.

Treatments

Praise God for more and more patients coming for treatments. Ask the Lord to open many hearts to spiritual treatment and healing!

Released today!

The court case and verdict was today for our friends in prison in the Horn and they were released! Bless the Lord! Pray for the Lord’s blessing and provision and wisdom what to do next.

Pray for a breakthrough

Pray for fruitful outreach among our neighbors, colleagues, and patients. Ask the Lord to open doors and open hearts to the Gospel. Pray for a breakthrough! So many are blind and deaf to the good news and held captive by the Evil One.

5th Letter from prison

This is my testimony while I have been in jail for my faith in the Lord: Shalom, I greet you in the name of our Savior Jesus Christ. When we went to prison, the Lord did not forsake us, He stood with us as He promised in His Word. He was not far from us a second, and He humbled the hearts of those around us, He caused the inmates, prison guards, and those visiting us to like us. The Lord has made the prison like a home for me. Prison doors are closed at all times but for the last 3 months I have been living alone in a room where I am able to close or open the door of my room. The Lord has given me perseverance and patience. The Lord has given me wisdom to use with inmates, and they all call me Mother. The Lord has given me all his grace and mercy. He wipes away my tears with His hand, my heart is with Him and He is closer to me than the breath I breathe, He is my Father and I am his daughter. He has raised my head to the point where the director of the prison asked me about the situation of the female inmates because he said, “She tells the truth- Christians do not lie.” I am happy to be a prisoner in the name of Jesus Christ because He has promised me that I will inherit the kingdom of God. My husband and I know very well that our real home is the Kingdom of God in heaven, and surely we are just guests on this earth. I love God with all my heart. Finally, my brothers and sisters in Christ, I love you and I know that you always pray for us because we are one body with the precious blood of the Lord Jesus Christ. We will definitely come out when we have finished the work that the Lord has brought us here to do and we will all celebrate the joy of our freedom. We are waiting for the day when the Lord will answer us. “The Lord is good, A stronghold in the day of trouble, And He knows those who take refuge in Him. But with an overflowing flood He will make a complete end of its site, And will pursue His enemies into darkness.” (Nahum 1:7-8)

4th Letter from prison

My dear brothers and sisters in Christ, I greet you first in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, and may the grace and the blessings of the Lord be with you all.

I want to share two areas of concern I have since being in prison: I have seen youths being arrested in the police station that I am detained in, and the reason they got arrested is drugs and alcohol. I have seen the hopelessness of those young people, they don’t have hope, and they don’t have people who take care of them. These problems are getting worse in the communities.

Pray for healing from drugs and alcoholism for the young people here. Pray they will find people who love them and take care of them, and pray many will find the hope and the peace and the love that only Jesus Christ can give. Pray for a breakthrough from this addiction of drugs in the community that are affecting mainly young people.

The other problem that I have seen is an increase of children with autism being brought to the police station. When a child with autism gets lost, they bring him to the police station, and I see this as a problem facing the community. Pray that these neglected and unloved children will find people who will take care of them, and who will love them.

Thank you so much my dear brothers and sisters in Christ.

Diaspora in Portland

Please pray for one of our Somali sisters here in Portland. She was coming to a church gathering for a while and was engaging in spiritual conversations, but lately has been struggling with depression and has been pulling away from believers in the area. Please be praying for healing for her heart and that she would be drawn into the beauty of Jesus.

Diaspora in Missouri

Pray for “MH” who works at a meat packing plant in SW Missouri. Recently he has experienced stomach problems and is seeking medical consultations. He’s planning to move to another state so he can get a job driving commercial trucks but the stomach problem has prevented him from moving. Pray that MH will hear the Gospel from his Christian friend before he moves.

Diaspora in USA

There are several thousand Somalis living in Louisville, Kentucky. Many work at meat processing plants and own small businesses. Pray for divine meetings and crossing paths with local church members so they can experience God’s love in deed and in truth.

Still in prison

Please continue to pray for our friends in prison for their faith. They have still not had their final hearing. Pray the Lord would sustain and encourage them, and give courage to the judge to do what is right.

Prodigal son

Moh., who initiated and brought students together for our English class, has been seeking to understand some English phrases/words. He sends me messages on WhatsApp, and I reply. Recently he asked me the meaning of ‘prodigal son’. This was a great opportunity to add to my answer the way the father forgives his son when he returns and welcomes him home, … God also waits for humans to realise that they have done wrong and ask for forgiveness and welcomes them back when they do.

Pray that when we meet physically, he will want to know more. Pray that God will put into his heart similar questions where we will only be able to get the answers from the Bible.

Kidnapping

In the news for the last two weeks there are reports about S@mali girls and children being kidnapped, and abused or murdered if ransom is not paid. One of the girls was kidnapped in the capital, with serious injuries, but now thankfully she has been rescued by policemen. However, there are still some girls missing. Please pray for them.
This news makes our students and other S@malis living in the neighbourhood very frightened. May God protect them and pray the kidnapping gang will be arrested soon.

Time

Please pray for 3 MBB’s (M* background believers) that God may give them time so that we can share our lives and walk together. They are busy trying to balance their work and travels and time to connect with us. Pray that God may give them time for fellowship and friendship with our team.

New students!

Moh*, one of our very good friends and a man of peace, asked if we could start an English class for 6 students. This was an answer to prayer that God bring the students back to class!
We accepted and thanked God for this new class. Our first meeting to meet the excited students and introduce the class was last week. Four students (2 guys and 2 ladies) came. We agreed on a plan to have 3 classes per week starting this week. Please pray that God will lead us to connect to their hearts as we teach and share our lives with them.

Diaspora in Canada

Pray for “A” , a Somali man who lives in Toronto. He’s asking questions about Jesus and the meaning of the “last days”. Pray that the Gospel will become clear in conversations with him.
Also, pray for “Harry”, a believer from Somali background. “Harry” is traveling to Somalia to visit his family. They are eager to win him back to Islam. Pray for strength, courage, and endurance for him when he visits his family this summer.

Diaspora in the UK

Pray for the Somali women and children in Cardiff, England who attend sewing groups and homework clubs. Ask God to open their hearts to the love of Jesus they experience as they hear Bible stories and interact with church volunteers.

Outing

Our friends appear to be very busy with their various engagements in classes, work, etc. … They have not had time for our training and meetings. We are therefore planning an outing to visit a recreational park and have some fun with games, etc.

One of our Som.* friends is so excited about it that he has offered to mobilise a small team/group that will go on the outing.

Please pray that God will reconnect us, renew and refresh us as we share what He places on our hearts.

Pray for an exciting and joyful day and an opportunity to create similar outings in the future to share God’s love and good news.

Transformation

We had a lesson on Personal Growth with two of my S* friends (Ged** and Ahm**) and I mentioned transformation, unlearning (letting go) and relearning (change) and how one’s faith (relationship with God)  influences their relationship with others.

Pray that Jesus will enable them to be transformed and the roots of their faith uprooted from their hearts so that they may know the truths of the Good News of our Lord and Saviour.

My colleagues and I are ready to be used as vessels of this transformation in our friends lives and to disciple them.

Sharing food

Our immediate neighbours are Somalis. A very friendly family. As they celebrated Eid Fitr, they brought us some cakes and food! … I am not sure we had planned for lunch that day! … But then, love came through these very good neighbours.
We thank God for our relationship, and we pray that He will shine His light in their hearts so that they may see Jesus.
We reciprocated after a few days and we bought them some drinks and scones for the children. They were surprised and excited! Am glad this was well received as my wife is our bridge to the family. The mother of the Somali home is working in Somalia and she will be away for a couple of months. My wife keeps in touch with her and they also pray together on phone.
May God use all these connections to reveal Himself.

Trial update

The final court hearing with the verdict has been postponed, so our friends are still in prison. Pray the Lord would sustain and encourage them in this long ordeal.
Please pray the judge would not be swayed or intimidated from doing what is right. That he would fear God rather than men.

Healer

As our friends come to the end of one month of fasting (Ramadhan), we pray that Jesus, the Great Physician and Healer, will heal their spiritual blindness. I particularly want to mention my good friends: Moh, Mun, Naj, Abd, Ham, Iss, Abu, Suf, Ali, Kass, Ahm, Yaa, and Hak.
May they see the true Light and have their hearts transformed.

Update on trial

God has answered our prayers and the judge has moved forward with this case telling both sides that the case will not be changed from now on (no moving to use sharia law), the verdict will be given according to the constitution, and the judge was very sympathetic to our cause. All glory to God! The judge will give his verdict after the Eid holiday on today. Let’s keep praying for this case, the judge, our friends, and for great news after Eid!

Believers to grow in Christ

Recently, God connected me to 3 MBBs (M. background believers). One of them wants to study the Word with me but he appears to be very busy at his workplace. Pray that the Lord may release him to have time for Bible study. The other one is also busy, and I am so glad he has been sending me daily Bible verses. I thank God for this! I think he also sends them to all his contacts. Pray that God will enable us to have a one-on-one connection so that we can grow together. The 3rd one has a very different approach to the way forward. Maybe that’s God’s way!
May the Lord give us wisdom and clarity of direction to show us the way He wants us to go and what we should do.

Prayer

Lord, even though the numbers of believers from this community is very low, help those who believe in You to know that they are cherished and loved by You. Help them to trust in Your promise that you are gathering a people from every tribe and tongue and that even where it seems impossible, You are working to fulfill all You have promised. Help them reach out to their brothers and sisters with this assurance. In Jesus Name.

Third letter from prison

I urge international observers to attend our next court day, it is the day that we will defend ourselves against the accusations, and it is important to have witnesses that day.

We now belief that the police are against us only for believing Jesus is our Lord and Savior. Today the investigator was more into why we follow Jesus and left Islam. And in court he even said, “Leaving Islam is a crime according to Sharia law that we use.”

Prayer requests:

· Pray God will strengthen us during these trials, that we will rejoice in every circumstance that we go through.

· Pray God will change the decision of the government in favor of us.

· The police are against us for leaving Islam, and the main investigator said that we are apostates- pray for a divine intervention, and for God to change the outcome of the court.

“Remember those in prison, as if you were there yourself. Remember also those being mistreated, as if you felt their pain in your own bodies.” Hebrews 13:3

Court case

Court went fairly well Thursday. Thanks for praying. There were at least 2 observers from the UN, but not as many international observers as last time and no ambassadors. Next court date is tomorrow, Sunday, May 2nd.

The police presented the evidence they had against our brothers and sister. The primary investigator was supposed to be a witness today but he was absent. Another witness was sick and also absent.

The final court date is set for Sunday. It is possible the witnesses absent Thursday will testify then. Sunday is also the day that our brother and sister will have the chance to defend themselves in court. While it is possible that the judge will give a verdict on Sunday, it is not expected. Most likely the judge will deliberate and return with a verdict on another day.

Let us keep asking and believing for release and for the character and testimony of our brothers and sister facing persecution. Here are some specific requests: favor with the judge, continued absence of witnesses, increased presence of international observers and ambassadors, for wisdom and boldness in preparing their defense, and for the HS to fill the courtroom.

2nd letter from prison

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
Speaking on behalf of my husband and I, I am sending you this letter from prison for having faith in Jesus Christ, and following as our Lord and Savior.
We send this letter to all our brothers and sisters united in the blood of Jesus Christ.
May grace and mercy be with all of you in Jesus Christ.
My husband and I would like to share with you our situation in prison and how God is with us in every situation.
When my husband was arrested he was put in solitary confinement as a punishment, but he spent the time with God, and he is happy for the trials that he is going through now.
A week ago he was taken out of his solitary confinement, and they put in a large room with 17 people in it. The officer told inmates to stay away from him since he is a follower of Jesus, and then inmates told him to stay and sleep near bathroom, which is unclean and dirty place, he accepted and stayed there. While he was sitting there, he found four Ethiopian believers that were arrested with him. One of them recognized him and quickly came and hugged him, and they became five believers in that room.
They prayed together for a while and then the prison guards removed him and they brought him back to his previous lonely room.
Brothers and sisters, God is with us at all times and all of us as followers Christ, we expect trials as Christ foretold us. He is our Good Shepherd. The Lord is always with us.
On the day of our trial, the Lord gave us strength and a happy and fearless face and we stood in front of the devil with the weapons of God.
And God will be with us to the end.
Brothers and sisters, pray for us without ceasing.
May the blessings of Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Amen.

“Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.” (James 1:12)

Many Challenges

We have a young friend who became disillusioned with her faith and left Isl@m.  After leaving her religion, she became an agnostic. Eventually she was led to faith in Jesus through a relative who had also left Isl@m. It has been about a year now, and she faces many challenges and still struggles with past and current circumstances that result in anger, hurt, rejection, and fear. Because she does not live nearby, it has been difficult getting together with her to encourage her during this past year of covid. We are thrilled at her decision for Christ, but her faith is not yet strong.
Please pray God’s strength will sustain her, and that the Holy Spirit will bring His truth, love, and comfort to her situation and her wounded heart! Please pray she will cling to the Lord and His Word in the midst of her troubles.

Letter from prison

Our court trial has been set- we will go to court on April17th 2021. Keep us in your prayers dear brothers and sisters in Christ. Ask God to turn the court decision as He turned the position from Mordecai to Haman in the Book of Esther.
I would say, be courageous and pray without ceasing, there is nothing that can separate us from Christ, whether it is persecution or trouble or loneliness, nothing can keep us from Christ our Lord and Savior.

Classes on Zoom

Please pray for our Somali students and classes. Now that the government has issued a new directive that prohibits all in-person classes and meetings until further notice, we have had to turn to training our students on zoom.

Pray that although this is impersonal, and with no physical contact, that we will be able to convey our lessons with clarity and the students will be willing to join the digital/virtual classes. Pray for wisdom on the best way to communicate and when time permits, to get to meet each student on a one-on-one basis at our training centre.

May they see the beauty of Truth

Ask that the Root of Blessing falling here is recognized as He Who Has Come, and none other.
Bring before His Throne those who hear Truth yet remain in the old man’s thinking. Have mercy LORD.
Ask that the Glory of Wisdom miraculously overtakes all earthly nature of reasoning here in men and women’s lives.
Ask that breakthroughs come to listening and pondering hearts –
and they see the beauty and trustworthiness of Truth and follow.

Pray Deuteronomy 30.19-20
that many will “choose life… so that both they and their descendants may live;
that they may love the LORD God, obey His Voice, and cling to Him as life and the length of their days, and dwell in the land that the LORD has given…”

Lord have mercy.

The weeks are passing and our dear ones are still detained. Please ask that they see His Goodness and Faithfulness and know liberty in their souls, as well as bodies.

Pray for God to open the eyes of our teacher

At the end of today’s Som* language class, our teacher shared at length how he has been listening to Genesis on audio and how it compares to the Qur’an. He quoted their book which says that those in doubt should ask those who read the Taurat and Gospel (Injil) before them (that is Christians). He also said that a Muslim who does not believe in Jesus or the stories of Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, David, is not a true Muslim!

Let us pray for him that God may open his inner eyes, ears and heart as he listens to the audio and reads the Scriptures, … and as we seek God’s help to share more with him regarding the Way, the Truth and the Life. He already has the Bible in Arabic and Som.*

Suffering

A group of believers have been detained for 45 days. It looks like their trial is delayed at least another month. Please pray Psalm 9 over them:
The Lord is a stronghold for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble. And those who know your name put their trust in you, for you, O Lord, have not forsaken those who seek you.
Be gracious to me, O Lord! See my affliction from those who hate me, O you who lift me up from the gates of death, that I may recount all your praises.
Arise, O Lord! Let not man prevail; let the nations be judged before you! Let the nations know that they are but men!

Needing revelation

My language helper Mo is a deeply religious Muslim. Several times God has given us the opportunity to discuss Islam and Christianity. I also have had a chance to share the good news with him during our lessons. Mo said if someone could show him where the Quran is wrong, then he will accept Jesus as his God.
Actually, he knows some but just his heart is hard like a stone! May Jesus Christ destroy the work of Satan in Mo and reveal Himself to him in a dream, so Mo will know who the true God is, Jesus Christ as his saviour.

Visits

We have had good visits and connections recently. We’ve had tea together and shared and watched the Jesus film. Pray for these seeds to sprout and grow.