That’s one of the messages Pastor Jaali has reiterated to his congregation in recent months. In fact, he recounts, “out hope is rooted in the very act of suffering – the suffering of Jesus Christ.” His church members live along near Kenya’s border with Somalia, where much of the persecution of Christians in Kenya is sourced. (While conditions have improved somewhat in the past decade, the just-published 2022 World Watch Lists still lists Kenya among the top 50 most difficult places for Christians to live. Somalia ranks as the third-worst nation for Christians in terms of discrimination and persecution.)
Last year, Islamic militants attack Jaali’s congregation during a worship service, killing 14 church members and causing 60 to be hospitalized. Pastor Jaali was among the survivors. The faith of many of the minority Christians in this Muslim-majority region was shaken. Yet Jaali sees his mission as one in which he must continue to fan the flames of faith instead of fear, and help the church mature in the midst of hardship and grief. “The gospel of salvation must be preached, and for that reason I continue to hold to my faith in Jesus Christ who suffered for me, ” he explains. “If God was prepared to go to the length of giving us his precious Son to save us, he will certainly five us everything else we need to achieve our sanctification (Romans 8:28-31).”
Ask God to empower Jaali to effectively comfort, guide, and challenge his community of Christ-followers as they move forward in mission. Pray that the Christians can live and worship at peace with their neighbors. Intercede for the provision of construction materials so the congregation’s meeting site can be rebuilt, and praise God for the assistance that FMI supporters have already had in refurbishing their sanctuary. “While our faith was severely tested on that day, the gospel that leads to salvation must still be preached,” Jaali says, “and so I’m holding onto the faith which tells me that Jesus is holding on to me.”
Thank you for your contributions to FMI. Your generosity helps buoy and fortify Jaali in his ministry as well as the ministries f FMI’s other church planting partners in Africa and Asia. May your lives also reflect hope in Christ by which Jaali and his church members are gripped.