Thursday, February 07, 2013

Prominent Somali Christian Martyred in Northeast Kenya

SFJ. 07 February 2013
Hargeisa, Somaliland 

Updated 14 February at 17:00 local time

Suspected Al Shabab Islamists opened fire on  two somali Christian leaders in Garissa, Kenya, killing one immediately and wounding the other.

Rev. Abdi Welli Ahmed, a longtime missionary in West Africa and East Africa, was shot and killed this morning around 11:00 AM local time. Pastor 
Ibrahim M. Makunyi who was with Rev. Abdi Welli at the time of the attack sustained gun wounds.

The two Somali church leaders were ambushed in Garissa's main market.

Rev. Abdi Welli, a Somali Kenyan, is survived by his Nigerian born wife, Hellen, and three children.

According to eye witnesses, Rev. Abdi Welli's last words were: "it's good to be in the hands of  Al Shaddai."

The Lord found Rev. Abdi Welli in 1990 and was baptized in 1995 , Rev. Abdi Welli returned to Kenya in 2000 after serving in Niger as a missionary. He was ordained in 2004.

A Somali church leader in Mogadishu, Somalia, said in a telephone interview, "with the martyrdom of Rev. Abdi Welli, the Somali church has lost its only eye." He described Rev. Abdi Welli as a "fearless evangelist, pastor and gifted missionary."

The Somali Christian community will miss Rev. Abdi Welli dearly. The Somali church has shown in the past to be very resilient.

A house church pastor in Baidawa, Somalia, described Rev. Abdi Welli as "one of the finest ministers the Somali church has ever produced." She continued and said "the Somali church is the Lord's and he will protect it from the evil one. No degree of Muslim persecution will destroy the Somali church."

Rev. Abdi Welli's widow, with the help of the Christian community in Garissa, is prepared to bury her husband but Rev. Abdi Welli's Muslim relatives are demanding to bury him based on a clannish tradition. 

Some Christian leaders in Garissa expressed concern that Muslim relatives want to burry Abdi Welli because they want to humiliate and desecrate his body to send a message to the Muslim background Somali Christians in the town.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of the two leaders. 

Somalis For Jesus condemns in the strongest terms possible the cowardly attack on peace loving individuals who positively contribute to their communities.

February 14 update:
Rev. Abdi Welli was buried today by his family with the help of the community of faith.

The funeral was attended by hundreds of mourners including Muslim friends and family members.

May the legacy of Rev. Abdi Welli last forever. He was indeed a true example of a follower of the Messiah who refused to run away when threatened by Muslims. A family member told SFJ that Rev. Abdi Welli once said "how can flee from the ones who need the gospel the most? Who will stay behind to disciple when I run away for my life?"

Rev. Abdi Welli never ran away. He stayed until he was shot multiple times by Somali Muslims. May his killers confess, repent and accept to follow the Messiah, the Prince of Peace.


Samuel I. Ibrahim said...

Each time when I read about the martyrdom of a Christian, believe me, it breaks my heart. I am an Assyrian Christian from Iraq.Probably you are aware of the sacrifices and suffering sustained by Christians of the Middle East since advent of Islam.I have been following the events in Somalia since 1966 due to Somali classmates. Somalia started deteriorate after assassination of president Abdirashid Ali Shermarke.
Whenever I read what Al-Shabab are doing in your country I remember a quote of William Shakespeare "HELL IS EMPTY, THE DEVILS ARE ALL HERE."
May God bless you and your country and may God end the suffering of Somalia.

Anonymous said...

They are evil. I am finding out almost all the Somali Muslims are Islamic fundamentalists like Alshabab. They are hateful, ignorant and racist, it doesn't matter if they are in Europe, Africa or America.
May God bless this poor man and he may rest in peace.

TheWIMAYMovement said...

I too am saddened by this loss - very much so. At the same time I rejoice that our brother is in the arms of El-Shaddai. What could be better? Oh that we would honor his memory AND his LORD by loving our enemies. Is it like Jesus to shame all Somalis for the behavior of some? I understand the anger but I do not share the sentiments of our anonymous friend who finds all Somalis to be Islamic fundamentalists. There are some, to be sure, and there are some suras in the Qur'an that seem to support their behavior. But other suras call for Muslims to consider their Christian neighbors as closest of friends and most Somalis I know chose to focus on these suras. To show grace in times like these is the Way of the Master, Jesus. May we do the same.

Ellen Burkowitz said...

Thanks for taking the time to discuss this, I feel strongly about information and love learning more on this. If possible,it was extremely helpful for me.

Unknown said...
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Anonymous said...

May his memory be blessed, may his wife and children be blessed, may his life be vindicated by the Holy Spirit bringing thousands and millions of Somalis to the faith of Jesus Christ, the One true Saviour of all men. May his family live in the peace and protection of our mighty Lord and Saviour. Amen and Amen!

fierydarkwood said...

I love the thought of Somali Christians! I hope to meet a Somali christian soon in Kenya.Beautiful people !

Unknown said...

Sad and heartbreaking! I'm Somali ex-muslim and Christian. Never a had chance meeting you but my brother in Christ we sure meet in his kingdom⛪