Ayaan* is from Somalia. She was just 19 when she decided to follow Jesus after He spoke to her in a dream. She dreamt that she walked into a Christian’s home and heard a magnificent voice. “I have never heard anything like it before or since,” she says.
“Later, I was very unwell for two days. I asked my friends to take me to church and there I wrote a prayer request on a piece of paper and asked the pastor to pray for me. All signs of illness disappeared. I knew Jesus was the truth and I committed my life to Him.”
But once her family discovered that she had become a Christian, Ayaan was in grave danger. “My family forced me to leave. My brother told me that my faith is ‘Haram’ – deserving of death. They searched for me many times to kill me.”
She spent a night hiding in a tree, terrified and with nowhere to go. She went to see her mother the next day to beg her to let her stay for even one night in their family home. Her mother threw hot tea in her face, shouting, “You are not part of me any more!”
Ayaan left and prayed, “If the men in my family find me now, they will kill me. You know how angry they are at me. You know the community expects them to punish me. Show me the way.”
She ended up back at the church, and the pastor’s family took her in. Ayaan was heartbroken to be rejected by her earthly family, but your support has helped her to find a new family in God, through a Bible study facilitated by Open Doors.
Ayaan says, “We meet twice a week to study the Bible in Somali. This helped me a lot. Before, I did not know such fellowship. But now it is really exciting to learn in my own language and have fellowship and meet other Somali believers. When we face difficulties, Open Doors stands by us – like when some of our brothers were imprisoned over false allegations. I love this Bible Study!”
She still lives alone, away from her own family, but they have learned to tolerate her since she first decided to follow Jesus 11 years ago.
“They haven’t accepted my faith yet, but they know they won’t be able to win me back to Islam. God has given me a chance to share the gospel with them. I trust that the Lord will cause the message to bear fruit in time.
“Thank you for providing a place where I can feel the love and warmth of a family. God bless you and multiply your service. A lot more people are waiting for us to reach them with the good news. We kindly request you to continue to stand with us.”
Your prayers and long-term support that have made it possible for Ayaan to find her new family in God – thank you! And thank you for being family to many Somali believers like her.
Please pray for them. Ayaan says, “Pray that God would connect me with people whose hearts He has prepared to receive the gospel. And please pray for peace and security in our region.”
*name changed for security reasons
We support people who are beaten, tortured,
imprisoned, falsely accused, and hated simply for following Jesus.