I am a Christian believer, a husband and a father of two, a nurse, student, leader, and campaigner for human rights.
Today I am here to share with you my testimony of how God saved me from many dangers in Somalia and in other places around the world. The Lord protected me when I was a child, the Lord helped me when I was in the middle of nowhere, and the Lord is still protecting me today – thanks be to the Lord.
I have been listening to Pastor Andrew on the SCM website (www.somalichristians.org). Pastor Andrew’s words are real because they are words from the Bible – the Book of God.
I remember when I was a child my mother would always calls me Angelo – a name which means “messenger of God”. But my relatives liked to call me Mohamed or Jilal. Jilal is a Somali name which in English means summer. I was born in December which is a summer month in Somalia and incidentally used to by my mother’s favorite month. My mother loved to celebrate Christmas which we did in December.
During my childhood we would go to church every Sunday. We attended a Catholic Church in the city of Merka. I grew up during the era when a man by the name of Siad Barre was President of Somalia and during that time my country was experiencing peace, prosperity and religious freedom. We were free to attend church without the fear of death even though there was a bit of persecution for our Christian faith.
My mother and father did not want me to stay in Somalia and go to school there because we would still feel political pressure and persecution for our faith from Yemen which is a country to the east Somalia. Yemen shares the Gulf of Aden between our countries.
Siad Barre. President of Somali 1979-1991. This photograph is in the public domain and is free to use. http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Siabar_003.jpg
The Lord knows how to help his people when trouble comes
When I was almost 5 years old my family and I travelled together to Italy where my mother Mariam took me to church to be baptized.
At that time my grandfather, the father of my mother, was living in the city of Montreal in Canada. My family decided to go and live with him for a few years from Italy but when we arrived in Canada we were not able to meet with him. I asked my mother where my grandfather was and why it was that we were not able to meet and live with him. She told me that granddad worked for the Canadian military and was not in the country.
There was a lot of arguing between my father and mother about where Angelo would live and go to school. My mother advocated for me to be raised in Canada and learn English in the schools there. She said that Angelo should receive an education in Canada. But my father argued that Mohamed Jilal should be taken back to Somalia so that he could to learn the Somali language. My mother she was a very kind and respectful woman and gave in to my father’s request. But things went very wrong after that.
We moved back to Somalia
We now moved back to Somalia. At that time the Somali government of Siad Barre was collapsing and tribal and civil warfare was starting to break out. We tried to move back to Canada or Italy, but we were unable to go anywhere by plane as the airport was closed. Our situation was getting worst.
We were robbed of all our money. People were dying every minute around us from shootings or looting. Our church was destroyed and Islamic radicals were persecuting Christians. Somali Christians were found out and pressured to go to the mosque. One day a contingent of radicals showed up at our house with guns and pressured my father, my mother, my sister, and I go to the mosque.
My mother and father said they would rather stay in our home and worship God there instead of going to the mosque. With that answer my mother Mariam, my father and sister and I were shot. My three closest family members were killed and I was left for dead. I had fainted from the bleeding of my wound and woke up only a few hours later. In my weakness I was tended to and recovered from my wounds.
Escape from Somalia
In my heart I could not make the decision to go to the mosque to save my life from the radicals. So I joined others who were fleeing my war torn country and were heading westward towards Ethiopia, south Sudan, Chad, Nigeria and other parts of Africa. I wanted to find a country where I could go to church and worship my Lord.
Finally I settled in a refugee camp in the country of Ghana in West Africa. There for the first time in many years I found the freedom to go the church. I prayed and thanked the Lord that he brought me safely to where I now found myself. Glory to the Lord.
Here is a map which shows the area surrounding Somalia ( I went from Somalia in the red to Ghana in the green):
This map is in the public domain and is free to use: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Map-Africa-Regions.png
I would go to church every Sunday and prayed asking God to help me rebuild the churches in Somalia and to bring the word of God to my brothers and sisters in Somalia and around the globe. That is now becoming a reality. I have sold myself to the Lord Jesus Christ and seek to His will.
If you want to grow stronger in your faith then put your faith and trust in God. Please do not trust in human beings just trust God. The Lord will help you make your dreams come true.
A call to believe
God has told us into the Bible that “God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have everlasting life.”
I am happy to share with you about who Jesus Christ is to us. Jesus Christ is our Savior, He died for us on the cross and rose up from the grave after 3 days. Jesus gives eternal life to all who believe in Him.
I am saying to you – my fellow Somalis – the reason that Jesus came into this world was to save our lives, he came to save everyone’s life, not just the Somalis. Everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord will be saved. Jesus Christ is our supreme Savior, He gave me eternal life and He will do the same for you if you only believe and put your faith in Him. Please accept Jesus, please accept Him into your heart. Open your heart and let Him come in.
Sometimes when I talk about the Eternal life to Somalis they don’t understand what eternal life means, so please let me explain.
Someone might say that eternal life means that you live forever in heaven or in hell. It is true that we live here on earth only once and when each of us dies we will go either to heaven or we will go to hell. But that is not what eternal life means. Eternal life does not mean that we are simply going to exist forever in either heaven or hell.
Eternal life means that we will forever in heaven. In fact Jesus said that: “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abideth on him.” (John 3:36).
Everlasting life is a present-tense possession. It’s not something that begins after you physically die and go to heaven. Eternal life starts right now if you believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross for your sins and you put your faith in Him.
There are a number of scriptures that speak of everlasting life as something we possess in this life.
“But those who drink the water I give will never be thirsty again. It becomes a fresh, bubbling spring within them, giving them eternal life.” – John 4:14
“I tell you the truth, those who listen to my message and believe in God who sent me have eternal life. They will never be condemned for their sins, but they have already passed from death into life.” – John 5:24
“But don’t be so concerned about perishable things like food. Spend your energy seeking the eternal life that the Son of Man can give you. For God the Father has given me the seal of his approval.” – John 6:27
“For it is my Father’s will that all who see his Son and believe in him should have eternal life. I will raise them up at the last day.” – John 6:40
“I tell you the truth, anyone who believes has eternal life.” – John 6:47
John 3:16 says: “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life”. This is true.
Invitation for you to believe in Jesus Christ and be saved
Please my fellow Somalis give your time and life to Jesus Christ. If you can’t give one hour to Jesus Christ every day then please give him one hour every week. Please do so. You can find many useful teachings on Somali Christian Ministries’ website by Pastor Andrew. May God bless you wherever you are in the world.
Don’t feel fear, because fear is a license for the devil to run his game on you. When you put your faith in God faith gives God the license bless you. God will bless you when you give your time, heart and love to Jesus Christ, the Lord.