Day of the Christian Martyr 2023 inductee
According to church tradition, 29 June marks the martyrdom of the Apostle Paul. This year, Christians around the world will take time on 29 June and throughout that weekend to honour the legacy of those who have sacrificed their lives for the advancement of the Gospel.
Click here to view these free digital resources to inspire your church, small group, class or family to witness boldly for Christ:
a powerful video testimony of Abdiwelli Ahmed
questions for reflecting on Abdiwelli’s sacrifice
a sermon outline inspired by those who gave their lives to share God’s saving grace
an inspiring Day of the Christian Martyr church bulletin insert
guided prayer slides to inspire your church, small group, class or family with examples of Christians who gave their lives for the sake of the Gospel
The Story of Abdiwelli Ahmed
Abdiwelli Ahmed descended from a long line of devout Muslims from Somalia, where “to be Somali means to be Muslim.” He was taught that Islam was in his blood. But in 1993, while in college, he began questioning Islam and comparing the Quran to the Bible.
The more Abdiwelli read the Bible, the more he fell in love with it. After many discussions with a Christian friend, he put his trust in Jesus Christ. When other students and faculty learned that he had left Islam, they considered Abdiwelli dangerous to their faith.
“I was beaten up,” Abdiwelli said. “All sorts of bad things were done to me. My life was in danger.”
Eventually, he sought guidance from a relative, Pastor Ibrahim, who had years of experience sharing the Gospel with Somali Muslims. Ibrahim took Abdiwelli to a campus ministry centre, where he met a woman from Nigeria named Helen.
“When I first met Abdiwelli,” Helen said, “he told me, ‘I love the Lord and I’m ready to die for Christ.’”
Eventually, the two married and served the Somali people through an agriculture-development ministry and boldly shared the gospel with them.
“When we received death threats,” his wife Helen would say later, “We’d pray together and that would give us peace because God said he would be with us.”
At noon on 7 February 2013, 20 years after Abdiwelli placed his faith in Christ, three assassins shot him to death as he talked with a pastor in the centre of town.
Despite her great loss and sadness, Helen said she knew God would use her husband’s martyrdom to advance his kingdom. “We have a triumphant God,” she said. “We know God is going to triumph in this situation.”