Christian Leaders Fellowship in Mogadishu is a team of dedicated Christian leaders from the small number of Christian groups who live and work in the Somali capital’s protected ‘Green Zone’. APF have been supporting their dangerous but vital work for a few years now, most recently through their ‘Charity Program’, which seeks to engage with Somali nationals. Daniel Masiga, a Ugandan lay pastor who works in logistics for African Union peacekeeping forces in Somalia, describes what the Charity Program does and how this wonderful demonstration of love is opening doors.
We started the Christian Leaders Fellowship (CLF) in Mogadishu in June 2019 when Christian leaders of different nationalities serving in the United Nations and African Union peacekeeping efforts came together to strengthen each other and to share much-needed love and hope in Somalia.
Having witnessed the desperate suffering of the Somali people firsthand, we were compelled to mobilise resources and reach out to share the gospel. With the support of the APF, we set up the CLF Charity Program to better engage with Somali nationals in Green Zone hospitals and residing in the surrounding communities.
Through the Charity Program we are now providing support to local Somalis by distributing medicine, clothing, food, and other essentials. Through these donations, we have built strong relationships and trust in the neighbouring communities and have been able to share the love of God in a tangible way.
As Somali nationals tell us of their ordeals ranging from hunger and starvation to lack of shelter, trauma, bereavement, unemployment, sickness and insufficient medication, not to mention violence and insecurity, it is increasingly clear that greater support is needed. Most of them hope to be relocated if possible due to the extremes of their circumstances.
The Charity Program has already created many opportunities for us to engage with Somalis in meaningful conversations. These conversations often lead to prayer with those in need and, when possible, we share Jesus’ good news of life and hope.
APF has been a key partner in the hospital outreach ministry through their financial support and our prayer is that this continues and grows. There really is much more to be done. We look forward to having a place of safety where members can come together to worship, pray, and share the gospel with the Somali people and help them grow in faith.
Going forward, we are looking to better equip our team through training and with online education resources like APF’s eVitabu app. We are taking resources from eVitabu and translating them into booklets that share the good news. We also hope to offer more regular support to local families we have identified are in dire need.
We are constantly engaging with Somali nationals and, with the love and support of friends of Somalia and partners such as APF, we are confident that a lot shall be accomplished to the glory of God and the betterment of the lives of God’s people in Somalia.
A key part of the training was about accessing the eVitabu app. This was, for us all, the headline part of the experience. We learnt how to download and install eVitabu on our smartphones and how to search for resources in the app. eVitabu will quench my thirst for Christian education material because it has a wealth of information from many different contributors. I am really looking forward to exploring the app further and finding resources for my community, church and family.
We also discussed digital culture and theology. The training on digital theology in Africa was very timely. We were all forced to embrace digital ministry during the Covid-19 pandemic out of panic as a response to the crisis. We were reactive and not prepared. This training helped us build on those experiences by having time for theological reflection around the opportunities and dangers of technology in church ministry.