Around The World: Somalia: Impoverished Secret Church Reaches Out to Persecuted Orphans

Orphans in Somalia whose parents were killed for their faith by Islamic extremist, Al Shabaab rebels are becoming more numerous – and hungrier, an underground church leader said.Somalia: Impoverished Secret Church Reaches Out to Persecuted Orphans

The pastor started a care center for the orphans three years ago in the Somali capital, Mogadishu, as more children of secret Christians were orphaned.

“Last year we lost a Christian family killed by the Al Shabaab, and the number of children rose from 30 to 35,” he said. “The Al Shabaab are now hunting down the children in Mogadishu, and we have moved the care center to a bit safer location.”

The leader has taken the children in because they had nowhere else to go, but he lacks resources to take care of them – the Christian orphans are crying for food, he said.

“The children look devastated and malnourished, so we as a secret church do appeal to our brothers and sisters in the free world to consider extending a hand to these persecuted children,” the pastor said.

The children receive little support from Somalia’s impoverished underground Christian community, and their needs are increasing as some have begun attending school, he said.

“If we can get at least $1,000 dollars a month, that will really lighten our burden,” he said. “Please pray for the future of the Somalia underground church. The orphaned children will form the future of Somalia’s underground church.”

The death penalty for apostasy is part of Islamic law according to mainstream schools of Islamic jurisprudence, and Al Shabaab and Al Qaeda adhere to the teaching.

Somali law and societal tradition create an atmosphere of hostility toward non-Islamic faiths similar to that created in regimes that execute apostates. The country’s Provisional Federal Constitution (PFC) does not explicitly prohibit Muslims from converting to other faiths, but leaving Islam remains socially unacceptable in all areas, according to the U.S. State Department’s latest Report on International Religious Freedom.

The PFC provides for the right of individuals to practice their religion but prohibits propagation of any religion other than Islam, and it makes Islam the state religion. All laws must comply with the general principles of sharia (Islamic law), the report states.

The past few years Al Shabaab has lost ground to government and African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) peacekeeping forces.

Rebels from Al Shabaab, which is allied with Al Qaeda, in February 2017 shot to death an underground Christian woman and her son and seriously wounded her husband. The family was asleep at their home at dawn in Afgoi, about 30 kilometers (19 miles) west of Mogadishu, when at least four armed men attacked them shouting the jihadist slogan, “Allah Akbar [God is greater],” and, “We cannot allow the defiling of our religion with a foreign, Western religion,” according to the wounded husband.

The assailants killed his wife, 35-year-old convert Faduma Osman, and the couple’s 11-year-old son, Ahmed Suleiman. The couple’s two daughters, 13 and 7, and their 9-year-old son were able to escape out a backdoor.

Somalia is ranked third on Christian support organization Open Doors’ 2018 World Watch List of countries where it is most dangerous to be a Christian.

Source: Christian Headlies

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Christian Setting Goals

Being a Christian and setting goals for yourself is not a sin nor a bad thing . The Bible encourages us to plan and set goals for ourselves. However, it’s important to set goals according to God’s will.

Knowing God’s will only comes by spending time with Him (reading His word, praying, fasting and etc).

Biblical Scriptures on Setting Goals
Here are 3 Biblical scriptures encouraging planning and setting goals:

1. “Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it. For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry. (Habakkuk 2:2-3).
2. Wise people think before they act; fools don’t—and even brag about their foolishness. (Proverbs 13:16).
3. Good planning and hard work lead to prosperity, but hasty shortcuts lead to poverty. (Proverbs 21:5).

Setting Goals That are in Alignment to God’s Will

It’s important to understand that when setting goals, we must set goals according to the will of God for our lives. God has a plan just for you and only His spirit can reveal to you what those plans are. God can reveal those plans to you while reading His Word, prayer, placing a desire within your heart and etc.

On the flip side of the coin, we cannot expect God to bless our goals if they’re not in alignment to His will. It’s imperative to understand that only when our minds are on Christ can we discern the proper course for our lives and know what to set goals for.

Trust in God’s Abilities; Not Your Own

Relying on our own abilities to make things happen is starting off on the wrong track. God will not share His glory with anyone; boosting on your own abilities to get things accomplish is not wise. God shows us in His word to trust in Him and not ourselves.

It is better to trust in God than to put our trust in man – including ourselves (Psalm 118: 8). “Blessed are those who trust in the Lord and have made the Lord their hope and confidence” (Jeremiah 17: 7). “Commit everything you do to the Lord. Trust him, and he will help you” (Psalm 37: 5).

Nowhere in the 3 scriptures provided nor in God’s word does it tells us to trust in our selves; it directs us to trust in God for everything. God wouldn’t be God if we didn’t need Him (if we could do everything on our own); but being that we do need Him, we need to trust Him.
While setting goals, make a decision to trust in the Lord to bring it into manifestation; trust Him and wait on Him while actively doing your part in preparation for the harvest.

Goals Are Subject to Change by the Leadership of the Holy Spirit

In the mist of all our planning and goal setting, we must understand that our goals are subject to change. Meaning, we shouldn’t hold tightly to plans and goals that we’re disobedient or “deaf” to the voice and instruction of the Holy Spirit.
Often times during our walk with God, goals need to be adjusted. I remember earlier this year (2009) one of my goals had to be adjusted. It wasn’t easy, but it’s better to be obedient to the prompting of the Holy Spirit than to experience the affects of being disobedient.

Start Setting Goals for Yourself

I encourage you to set aside some time and think about where you see yourself a month, 2 months or even a year from now. Where is it you want to be spiritually, financially, socially and so on?

Understand that it’s ok to be a Christian and set goals for yourself ; the bible encourages it. However, remember to set goals that are in alignment to God’s will.
Trust in the Lord’s abilities and not your own and never keep too tight to your goals that you’re unwilling to be lead by the Holy Spirit – even if it goes in the opposite direction of your plans and goals.

In closing, I ask you: what are your goals? What is it you want to have accomplished? Could it be surrendering your life to Christ , establishing a relationship with God, getting a promotion at work, getting out of debt or spending more time with the family?

Whatever goals you have, go ahead and write those things down. Though it tarries, wait for it to manifest because it will surely come to pass (Habakkuk 2:2-3).

Be blessed in Jesus name.

There’s A Reason Why God Brings You Closer To Certain People And Then Lets Them Go

I can’t get enough of Rania Naim. I get lost to her words and writings as she digest the reality of life to the understanding of readers. This is for you!!!

You feel a certain way about someone. Why you click with some people more than others or why you suddenly feel connected to a stranger. I feel like God brings us closer to certain people because these are the people we need in our lives right now. These are the people who will either teach us important lessons about life or about ourselves.

There’s a reason why God moves your heart toward a specific person and a reason why you get attached to certain people more than others. When I look back, there’s not one person I got really attached to who didn’t have something valuable to teach me or didn’t play a major role in my life. And the irony is, most of these people were temporary because their duty was to show me a different way and then set me free.

Sometimes the stage of your life determines what kind of people you attract and I think that’s the beauty of faith, God sends you the people you need at exactly the right time. He gives you the answers you were looking for through these people. He enlightens you by bringing you closer to people who bring out the best in you. He helps you when you’re struggling by pulling you closer to those who are capable of digging you out of your darkness.

It’s just that sometimes we try to turn these temporary people into forever people but that’s not their role. They’re not meant to stay in our lives forever. God called them to be there for us for only a short period of time. God called them to be in our lives so they can make us better for the ones who are meant to stay forever.

The problem is we become frustrated when these people leave because we can’t let go. We don’t understand why God would take away something so beautiful or someone who healed us but if you look at it from the perspective that if these people overstayed their welcome, their beauty will fade away, their love will die, their story will not be inspiring anymore and they will turn into a burden we’re not meant to carry, it will all start making sense.

The essence of letting go is faith. Faith that this story is better left the way it is. It’s better left the way God wrote it. Maybe rewriting it will ruin the story. Maybe changing it will not give you a happy ending. Maybe these people are angels sent to you to teach you a lesson or heal you or make you a better person and when their time is up, they fly away. They’re meant to be placed in someone else’s life.

Maybe these people are also teaching you how to let go, how to detach, how to realize when someone’s part in your story is over and have faith that the next person God brings you closer to is exactly who you need, even if you don’t know it yet.

Because I know that the day we meet the person who is meant to stay forever, we’d be able to spot them from a mile away, we’d recognize them in a crowded room because we finally understand the difference between someone who touches our hand and someone who touches our soul.

Overcoming Anxiety With Truth

When I stopped running from God, I found a love so pure, so real and so true,  that it filled something in me that was lost, empty and scared to death.  When I embraced Jesus Christ as my saviour and thanked Him for dying for my sins- and believed, truly, that He died for me- I realized there was no turning back. 

The truth is, God is in control. It starts with Him;  it ends with Him. 

He goes with us into our darkness hours. We have someone to turn to, someone more powerful than anyone and anything on earth.  Whatever we fear, whatever we’ve done and whatever has been done to us, we have a place to go and seek wisdom. 

Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you;  He will never leave you nor forsake you (Deuteronomy 31:6)

Overcoming anxiety in a given moment means facing fear with truth, especially we admit ultimate truths and pray for help to go from there. Pray for truth to rule your life in the name of Jesus Christ. It’s not always easy because we live in a world of lies. 

Most of us don’t know what to do with the situations we find ourselves in. We get stressed, and the truth gets fuzzy. James 1:5-8: if you don’t know what you’re doing, pray to God. He loves to help. You will get His help, and won’t be condescended to when you ask for it. Ask bodly, bekieveingly, without a second thought. People who worry their prayers are like wind -whipped waves. Don’t think you’re going to get anything from the master that way, adrift at sea, keeping all your options open.