The believers arrive one-by-one at a secret location. Outside, it is sweltering, and inside it is not much better. The thermometer indicates well over 100 degrees, with over 80 percent humidity. Though a large fan is trying hard to bring relief, the heat and heavy air are suffocating.
But as soon as our meeting starts with the group singing God’s praises, my skin defies the heat and breaks out in goose-bumps. There are no instruments and no hymnals, but it is one of the most beautiful things I have ever heard. “Worship and serve the Lord/He gave us life, Hallelujah!/Worship and serve the Lord. He gave us life, Hallelujah!” go the lyrics of the simple but profound chorus.
The Somali people are most commonly associated with Somalia, but they are a people group who make their home throughout East Africa, particularly in the Horn of Africa region. Somalis are 99 percent Muslim, and leaving Islam can invite death. Yet here I am, among a group of them eagerly gathering to learn about Christ. Today’s teaching is part of a series on how to study the Bible and share your faith with unbelievers. There is lively interaction as the attendees share their experiences.
After the meeting, the believers linger for a precious few hours of fellowship. It is only when they are here, among other followers of Isa al Masih (the Arabic name for Jesus), that they can relax a little. It is a time to freely listen, read, discuss, pray and even hang out more casually together and get to know each other and Jesus better.
A diverse crowd, passionate about Jesus