Brother Billy

Somalia might be the most dangerous place in the world. Decades of conflict have gutted the country’s infrastructure. Somalia’s economy ranks dead last among all nations, and it isn’t a matter of if you will experience a terrorist attack but when.

Billy was born into a religious family in Mogadishu. His father was a tribal and religious leader who had memorized the entire Koran. Out of curiosity, Billy started studying an English Bible alongside his Koran. After three years of study, he converted to Christianity. He learned a lot from Christian radio broadcasts from the Seychelles and Kenya, and it was on the radio that he first heard the voice of another Somali who was a Christian.

Billy’s family threatened him when he confessed his new faith. That was when he first began to understand the words of Paul in 2 Timothy 3:12: “Everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.”

Six years after his conversion, Billy met his first Christian Somali. Together, as underground Christians, they gathered fourteen believers and started an underground church. A year later, Muslims discovered the growing Christian community and started persecution in earnest.

One of their church members, Liibaan, now a famed Somali martyr, was the first to be murdered. Then a doctor who attended the church was shot to death. An educator was kidnapped and executed. A Christian man and his Muslim wife were executed together in their bedroom. Another church member was taken off a bus and executed in broad daylight.

Twelve in all were murdered. None of the murderers were ever prosecuted.

Today, just two members have survived out of the original church of fourteen—Billy and one other. Billy escaped many attempts on his life before moving to another country. From that base, he travels in and out of Somalia, planting and nurturing underground house churches. No longer are there only fourteen Christians in Mogadishu. The church is quietly growing, partly because of the testimony of those twelve who died for Christ.

2 thoughts on “Brother Billy

  1. The Lord allows some Christians to be killed and some Christians to be protected. Here is a powerful story of the Lord protecting some Christians in Africa:

    This is from What Saith the Scripture?:

    The current fighting in Central Africa is a regional war which now involves eight African countries. Last summer it spilled over into Congo where American Baptist Missionaries have remained. The genocide and senseless killings in some areas have occurred so often that many in the Western world have become immune to the tragedy in this part of Africa. But God’s people have been praying and He responds in sometimes miraculous ways. The following story did not make the evening news.

    Tutsi soldiers had broken down the door of a young pastor’s house and stood poised to slaughter by machine gun fire, him and his entire family right where they sat. Their intent was to massacre the civilians in this Hutu village. “Wait! the young man implored, would you not allow my family and I a moment to pray before we die?” I can almost picture the sneers on the face of these soldiers as they watched this family, an African couple and their young children soberly kneel, arm in arm, in a circle on the floor and pray to God for mercy. The remarkable thing is that the expected shots never came. After praying, the family slowly stood up and saw that the soldiers were gone, not only out of their house but away from their village as well. It was not until several months later they found out just what had happened.

    At a church meeting in another town where Christians from both sides had gathered to pray, this young pastor told his story and the seemingly miraculous way in which the soldiers “just disappeared from his house and village.”

    “I think I can explain,” came a quiet voice from the back of the room… spoken by one of the Tutsi soldiers who had been there that fateful day. “You see,” said the soldier, “I was there when we broke into your house. I was one who had your children lined up in my rifle site as you kneeled and prayed… when suddenly a wall of fire, fierce and ferocious, jumped up and surrounded the lot of you. We couldn’t even see beyond the flames. Due to the intense heat and fire, we knew the house would burn down so we fled. When we went outside and saw your home consumed by fire and yet not destroyed, we fled the village as well. Later I realized that this was not the type of fire we are familiar with but a fire sent by God. If this is how your God responds, I want to know Him too! I am tired of the fighting and the killing… this is why I came tonight.”

    Miracles abound in war torn Central Africa. Prayer is, and will always be, the only response to the tragedies and crises in our lives.
    A mighty fortress is our God…

    “For I, saith the LORD, will be unto her a Wall Of Fire round about, and will be the Glory in the midst of her” (Zechariah 2:5).

    Liked by 1 person

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