Somali Muslim Refugee-Turned-Missionary

Osman Jama, a Somali Muslim refugee turned Christian missionary, has called on American churches to increase their efforts in evangelizing the growing Islamic community in the United States.

Speaking at the Presbyterian Church in America’s 51st General Assembly in Richmond, Virginia, Jama was one of two speakers at the seminar “From Islam to Christian Ministries: Journeys of Two PCA Men.”

During his address, Jama recounted his Islamic upbringing and his conversion to Christianity in 2007 while residing in Minnesota.

In an interview with The Christian Post, Jama emphasized the need for Christians in America to focus on personal discipleship and actively engage in evangelizing nonbelievers.

“We excel at studying and personal growth, but our commission is to make disciples of all nations,” Jama stated. “We are called not just to study but to go.”

He highlighted the importance of local evangelism, stating that while many are sent overseas, there is also a critical need for evangelism within local communities.

Jama shared his personal experience of being disowned by his family upon his conversion to Christianity, a decision that led to a permanent estrangement, with limited communication over the years.

Initially, the event was to feature Hamid Hatami, the first Iranian American from a Muslim background to be ordained as a teaching elder in the PCA, who had to cancel due to health issues. Instead, Iranian Pastor Ramtin Soudmand addressed the assembly via livestream, discussing the increased persecution of Christians in Iran since the Islamic Republic took control in 1979.

Soudmand shared that despite recent political upheavals in Iran, the persecution remains unchanged, and any reported reforms are merely superficial.

The seminar was part of the broader PCA General Assembly, which was held June 10-14 and had the theme “Knit Together.”

PCA Stated Clerk Bryan Chapell, in his welcome letter, expressed the assembly’s aim to highlight the denomination’s unity in faith, scripture authority, and commitment to the Great Commission.

Chapell encouraged attendees to listen with humility and courage, celebrating the work God is doing through their shared beliefs.

Reflecting on his journey and message, Jama noted that Somalia, his birthplace, is considered one of the most challenging places to evangelize. Yet, he remains hopeful, asserting, “If God can reach me, He can reach anyone.”

Jama concluded by challenging the seminar attendees to reflect on how God might call them to engage in this local or global mission.

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