Refugees head home as missionaries

Somalia (MNN) – Despite Kenya’s High Court’s decision to overturn the government’s plan to shut down refugee camps in the country, Kenya’s government isn’t listening.
Dadaab: Refugees Sent Home
(Photo Courtesy United Nations Photo via Flickr) Aerial view of Refugee camp in Dadaab, Kenya

World Mission recently visited Dadaab, Kenya—home to the largest refugee camp in the world. Most of the refugees there are from Somalia, a war-torn country facing drought. The country’s border is about 25 miles east of the camp.

While at the camp, World Mission workers saw hundreds of Somalis put on buses and shipped back to Somalia. World Mission workers also discovered that out of the thousands of refugees in this camp, very few are Christians.

“[The Kenyan government] is trying to close it down,” World Mission’s Greg Kelley explains. “But you don’t just move 400,000 people with the snap of your fingers, so they’re doing it incrementally.”

Yet, after hearing the stories coming from Somalian Christians in the camp, it’s a wonder why more people aren’t eager to go home.

“They work like dogs all day long, the few Christians, to make the equivalent of one dollar, just so they can feed their family, “ Kelley shares. “And then a number of them told me that they sleep with one eye open because al-Shabaab is constantly prowling around looking for Christians and they’ll take their children, they’ll never see them again. So the persecution is just almost unbearable.”
In the Face of Persecution
Persecution in the camps makes living in Dadaab even worse for Christians than it would be in Somalia. Yet, they still choose to stay. The difference, though, in the refugee camp is that these Christians have access to the Treasure and discipleship.

The Treasure is World Mission’s solar powered audio Bible, which has been recorded in the Somali language. If the refugees were living in Somalia, which is ranked number two on the World Watch List*, it’d be much harder to get ahold of this tool.

However, for those Christians who are being sent home to Somalia, they’re headed home with a heart for missions.

(Photo courtesy World Mission) $50 puts a Treasure into the hands of a national believer.

“So our strategy really is to send the treasure, our solar powered audio Bible, into Somalia. And, we’re seeing the few Christian grow up and get disciple, and they’re being launched from Dadaab with the missionary heart to go into Somalia,” Kelley shares.

Churches are extremely secretive in Somalia and Dadaab. There’s a fear of being reported to the Muslim authorities for worshipping Christ and a literal manhunt for those in the camp who are Christians. Needless to say, going home with the Gospel isn’t going to be easy.
How to Help
So if you would, please pray for the Somalian Christians. They are in one of the most difficult environments for ministry, pray for their protection, discipleship, and for their faith to continuously grow. Furthermore, for the Gospel to be at work in both their lives and the lives of those they minister, too.

Also, would you be willing to donate to World Mission to continue putting Treasures in the hands of Somalian Christians? One Treasure costs $50 to put in the hands of a national believer. World Mission also sends over micro SD cards for individuals to be able to put the Bible and the Jesus Film onto their phones.

Finally, World Mission also sends over a device which creates a virtual hotspot. Any person within a couple hundred feet of the device can retrieve the Bible and more from the link.

So will you help put the Gospel into the hands of Somalia’s national believers?

To donate to World Mission, click here!

*The World Watch List (WWL) is a ranking of the top 50 countries where Christian persecution is the worst. The WWL is put out yearly by Open Doors USA.