SOMALIA —According to the tradition of the Church, June 29th marked the martyrdom of the apostle Paul. This year, several Christians around the world took time on June 29th and throughout that weekend to honor the legacy of those who sacrificed their lives for the advancement of the Gospel.Abdiwelli Ahmed descended from a long line of devout Muslims from Somalia, where “being Somali means being Muslim.” He was taught that Islam was in his blood. But in 1993, while he was in college, he began to question Islam and compare the Quran with the Bible.
I was brought up to believe that Islam is in my blood, in my thinking, in my heart, and everything. But in that way, God had a purpose and a plan for me.
He enrolled in a biblical university and immediately preached the gospel.
I was persecuted. I was chased away, then I was beaten up. I was chased away from home. All sorts of bad things were done to me. My whole life was in danger.
Abdiwelli got married, became a man of the family, and his ministry began to grow. On February 7, 2013, he was shot dead by three men on a street in northern Kenya. Those who did not understand his commitment to the gospel were shocked by the response of his wife, Helen, to the murder of her husband.
We have a triumphant God, and we know that he will triumph in this situation.
Long before his murder, Abdiwelli showed that he would pay any price for his obedience to Christ. Immediately after his conversion, he was beaten, and a crowd of 40 people came to his mother’s house to kill him. He escaped and said, “They were like a cat, and I like a mouse in my own city.”
He lived in Nigeria for three years and established his ministry in the Tuareg tribe. Overwhelmed by the compassion of his own Somali people, he moved to Garisa, 95 miles from the failed Somali state and terrorist seedbed.
The threats began again almost immediately. A group of Muslims arrived at the house of Abdiwelli and Helen with gas cans and intention to burn her.
“When we were threatened with death,” Helen said, “we prayed together. That gives us peace, because God said He would be with us.”
Finally, after more than two decades of putting his faith in Christ, three murderers shot him when he spoke with another pastor in the center of Gariza. The ministry of Abdiwelli was powerful. Helen returned to Gariza years later, and was surprised to learn that Abdiwelli’s reputation had spread.
He was told that all Somalis know his testimony. His influence is still felt in the Somali Christian community. We have found Somali Christians who have been inspired by his story throughout East Africa and even in Europe and the United States.
On this Christian Martyr’s Day, we celebrate the life and ministry of men and women Despite the threats, persecution, and even the face of death, they do not escape. They embrace with joy the risk and the danger to share the good news of Jesus Christ.
Source: Global News Alliance, The Testimony of Abdiwelli Ahmed Stands Out on the Day of the Christian Martyr