Somalia, the country known for pirates and camels, also boasts a population that is over 99% Muslim, placing it among the most Muslim nations in the world. Unique, however, is that fact that Somalia has had over 40% of its population displaced in recent years due to civil war. Somalis fled to refugee camps in Kenya, Ethiopia, and Yemen, and have made their way to American states such as Minnesota, California, Georgia, Maine, and Washington. They are here in numbers so significant that they demand our notice and attention.
Over 3,000 Somalis now call Lewiston, ME, home, and over 10,000 have made their way to San Diego, CA. Even larger concentrations of Somali immigrants can be found in Seattle, WA, and Columbus, OH. However, the largest populations of Somalis in North America are in Toronto and Minneapolis/St. Paul, both of which contain an estimated 60-80,000 Somalis.
They come with a history of trauma, often struggling with depression from the war and the loss of so much. Many come with a radical faith—from environments in which Sharia law is strictly enforced. They come with large families, or what remains of them, but little in terms of material or educational means. As they struggle to make sense of a new land, many Somali immigrants also face prejudice and cultural misunderstanding. Their strict adherence to Islam isolates them in their new country.
A Somali proverb says, “Only water in your hands can satisfy your thirst.” But Jesus once told a foreign woman at a well that “Whoever drinks from the water that I will give him will never get thirsty again–ever! In fact, the water I give him will become a well of water springing up within him for eternal life.” (John 4:14)
What if God uprooted a nation and inserted them into ours so that they could find Water that would never leave them thirsty again? How satisfying would that Water be for their thirst? Who will put it in their hands?
Used with permission from Global Gates.
Pray for openness of Somalis to hearing the Gospel.
Pray for the Holy Spirit to begin working on the hearts of Somalis to recognize that intimacy with God comes only through a relationship with Christ.
Pray for gospel laborers to enter into the harvest field of Somalis who are living among them.