Praying for Somalia
by Brian C. Stiller
I really should not have traveled to Somalia, a war-torn country run by pirates and warring tribes. I had been appointed as Global Ambassador for the World Evangelical Alliance at the same time a massive famine broke out in northeast Africa, affecting up to 11 million people.
In this country, driven by harsh religion (93 percent of its girls are circumcised) and its men and family clans at war, women and children are left on their own in refugee camps, where they fight for food and search for places to lie down. The walls of their shacks are thin, hardly able to keep out the blowing sand. When their children pick up dysentery or a contagious infection or disease, these mothers plead for help.
I had gone to east Africa, encouraged by a promise that I would be flown by a relief agency to the Dadaab camps. When I arrived, my travel plans fell through. In Nairobi, I was briefed on the violence in the Mogadishu area and the vast numbers fleeing violence, drought, and famine. The morning news reported that Al Shabab, a terrorist group that controlled much of Somalia, had been pushed out of Mogadishu. We decided to try to visit the city. Aiah Foday-Khabenje, the African head of the Evangelical Alliance of Africa, and I got visas along with troubling warnings. We still set out into a country that was out of control.
Somalia is a country of such enormous needs that one almost wonders where to begin to pray. What never ceases to surprise me is that in the darkest of places, the Spirit is at work. Countries plagued by oppression, war, brutality, or famine, while seemingly hopeless to us, do not turn away the face of our Lord. God’s economy relies on our faithfulness. Investment of prayer activates the Spirit to be in places where we can’t go.
Father, in this country of Somalia, where sorrow and tragedy seem the lot of so many, I pray there will be rain for harvest, peace to bring an end to the unceasing inter-clan warfare, and opportunity for the development of a stable government. Regardless of religion, these are people whom you love and for whom you gave your life. May young men and women be found who will learn of this love and with joy give witness to others of their faith. Bring your special blessing to Somalia. Amen. arring tribes. I had been appointed as Global Ambassador for the World Evangelical Alliance at the same time a massive famine broke out in northeast Africa, affecting up to 11 million people.
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