January 2015 – Somalia is often called “the country most hostile to the Gospel” – a seemingly impossible mission. In the militantly Muslim country of Somalia, threats to physical safety are so great that only 0.01% of the population dare to call themselves Christian.
It would seem impossible to share the Good News in such a hard place, but God provides the opportunity! As Somali people pour into refugee camps in Kenya, Lutheran missionaries and evangelists now have a new resource to share with them: A Child’s Garden of Bible Stories, translated by LHF into their Somali language.
“Somali children, as well as adults, need to read and study the Bible because there are so many false teachings around,” reflected Muhamed Gurhan, LHF’s Somali translator. “The Bible is the measuring stick by which they can distinguish the truth from error.
“Like any other Christian children, Somali children need to find answers for their questions about life and God,” he added. “What is the purpose of life? Where did I come from? Is there life after death? God answers these and many more of their questions through this Bible storybook.”
Gurhan knows that the Bible storybook will be used by more than just children, however. “A Child’s Garden of Bible Stories is written in a simple, day-to-day language with short sentences that can be easily read and understood by children as well as those adults learning to read their own language for the first time.
“The Holy Bible was translated into the Somali language in early 1960s, when the language has not yet developed its Christian terminology, with long sentences and many difficult words,” Gurhan said. “Therefore, it’s difficult for most children and many adults to read and understand this older Somali translation of the Bible. The Child’s Garden has become the only option for many.”
Funding for the Somali Child’s Garden has been provided in large part by Lutheran Sunday school, day school and vacation Bible school students from across the United States who adopted the “Mission: Possible” project with their mission offerings. Their offerings have also provided for the printing and distribution of Somali Small Catechisms.
Only with your help can this important work continue. Prayerfully consider how you can help support LHF projects.