SFJ. 07 February 2013
Updated 14 February at 17:00 local time
Suspected Al Shabab Islamists opened fire on two somali Christian leaders in Garissa, Kenya, killing one immediately and wounding the other.
Rev. Abdi Welli Ahmed, a longtime missionary in West Africa and East Africa, was shot and killed this morning around 11:00 AM local time. Pastor Ibrahim M. Makunyi who was with Rev. Abdi Welli at the time of the attack sustained gun wounds.
The two Somali church leaders were ambushed in Garissa's main market.
Rev. Abdi Welli, a Somali Kenyan, is survived by his Nigerian born wife, Hellen, and three children.
According to eye witnesses, Rev. Abdi Welli's last words were: "it's good to be in the hands of Al Shaddai."
The Lord found Rev. Abdi Welli in 1990 and was baptized in 1995 , Rev. Abdi Welli returned to Kenya in 2000 after serving in Niger as a missionary. He was ordained in 2004.
A Somali church leader in Mogadishu, Somalia, said in a telephone interview, "with the martyrdom of Rev. Abdi Welli, the Somali church has lost its only eye." He described Rev. Abdi Welli as a "fearless evangelist, pastor and gifted missionary."
The Somali Christian community will miss Rev. Abdi Welli dearly. The Somali church has shown in the past to be very resilient.
A house church pastor in Baidawa, Somalia, described Rev. Abdi Welli as "one of the finest ministers the Somali church has ever produced." She continued and said "the Somali church is the Lord's and he will protect it from the evil one. No degree of Muslim persecution will destroy the Somali church."
Rev. Abdi Welli's widow, with the help of the Christian community in Garissa, is prepared to bury her husband but Rev. Abdi Welli's Muslim relatives are demanding to bury him based on a clannish tradition.
Some Christian leaders in Garissa expressed concern that Muslim relatives want to burry Abdi Welli because they want to humiliate and desecrate his body to send a message to the Muslim background Somali Christians in the town.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of the two leaders.
Somalis For Jesus condemns in the strongest terms possible the cowardly attack on peace loving individuals who positively contribute to their communities.
February 14 update:
Rev. Abdi Welli was buried today by his family with the help of the community of faith.
The funeral was attended by hundreds of mourners including Muslim friends and family members.
May the legacy of Rev. Abdi Welli last forever. He was indeed a true example of a follower of the Messiah who refused to run away when threatened by Muslims. A family member told SFJ that Rev. Abdi Welli once said "how can flee from the ones who need the gospel the most? Who will stay behind to disciple when I run away for my life?"
Rev. Abdi Welli never ran away. He stayed until he was shot multiple times by Somali Muslims. May his killers confess, repent and accept to follow the Messiah, the Prince of Peace.