Some people hear about my calling and commitment to live among Somalis and their jaws drop in horror. Maybe it's more worry or maybe it's really just baffle....like I just said I was an alien in a foreign tongue. Some mothers even confront me with stirring eyes, asking how in the world I reconcile my responsibilities as a Christian mother with my decision to live among a population of Muslims that are
known for chaos and brutality. They especially wonder why I do this now in the current global Islamic climate. I silently wonder back if all they can picture is pirates, poverty, and persecution. I get it. The havoc of the pirates and the poverty and the persecution have become famous world wide, that is for sure!
I was a teenager when I first heard the word "unreached". I didn't understand at the time the technical meaning of the missiological term. I just listened in inspired awe as a tall thin man in a bulky yak fur cloak spoke of trekking in remote Tibet. He stood there talking about sharing Jesus with people who were hard to literally get to and maybe even harder to stay and live with. Most importantly, I heard him speak of his privilege to share Jesus with a people who not only had never heard of the Gospel but had no other access to it- no Christian neighbors nor Christian church anywhere around to ever tell them. As I listened to this faithful servant, God shaped my
perspective and my priorities. Shortly after that talk, I made a commitment to prioritize this kind of lost, even if they were hard to get to or even harder to stay and live with.
I try to see Somalis beyond the world famous pirates. I try to get close to Somalis even while disturbing, poverty wraps itself around them. I try to stay even when I hear of violent persecution coming from a few of their hands. For wasn't our beloved Paul once a bloody Saul. I try to remember, I am only another sinner saved.
We are commissioned to go and make disciples from our nearest to the farthest on the planet. Our lives are not our own. In the Kingdom of God, my money is not my own. My future isn't my own. My time is not my own. My family is not my own. For me, obedience is reaching the "unreachable", loving the "unlovable" Somalis. I want to be Jesus extended to those who have some of the least access to the Gospel in the world, to those who are hard to get to even if they are harder still to stay and live with.
I know this makes my life a little alien. That tall thin man wearing the huge yak fur looked strange. Honestly, I do feel a little strange most days, with my baby. Somali language attempts sweating buckets just to get near enough to love Somali sinners at one utter edge of the earth.