a blog post from Galen Dalrymple, with Medical Ambassadors International
Solomon. Solomon Habila.
Remember that name as you will meet him someday in glory.
Solomon was a co-worker of mine at Medical Ambassadors International, living in northern Nigeria with his wife and three beautiful young daughters. Solomon and I never actually met but from every report about him and hearing his wife and brother speak about him, there is no doubt that he was a man captivated by the love of Jesus.
Not long ago, we received word that Solomon had been killed by Boko Haram. Northern Nigeria is not a very safe place if you are a follower of Christ, but Solomon called it home and had raised his family there over the years.
Prior to Solomon’s death, my dear friend, Isaac (not his real name), talked to Solomon about his concerns for Solomon’s safety. Isaac himself lives in Nigeria, but farther south where the risk is substantially less. Isaac suggested to Solomon that he should take his family and move them to another place where they’d be safer. But Solomon wouldn’t hear of it. In response to Isaac’s suggestion that he move, he replied, “But if I go, who will tell them about Jesus?”
One day, Boko Haram entered Solomon’s village and kidnapped one of his daughters. As they dragged her away, Solomon rushed after them and attempted to free his daughter. They shot him on the spot.
Thanks to God, in the ensuing chaos, Solomon’s daughter was able to escape and hide with her mother and sisters. They have since been relocated to a safe place.
Solomon is a martyr – one of those who are underneath the heavenly Altar, of whom John wrote:
When he ripped off the fifth seal, I saw the souls of those killed because they had held firm in their witness to the Word of God. They were gathered under the Altar, and cried out in loud prayers, “How long, Strong God, Holy and True? How long before you step in and avenge our murders?” Then each martyr was given a white robe and told to sit back and wait until the full number of martyrs was filled from among their servant companions and friends in the faith.Revelation 6:9-11 (MSG)
What possesses a man to not only risk his own life for the sake of the Kingdom?
And they have defeated him by the blood of the Lamb and by their testimony. And they did not love their lives so much that they were afraid to die.Revelation 12:11 (NLT2)
Solomon loved the souls of the Boko Haram and others where he lived so much that he was willing give his life, and die at their hands, on the chance that they would come to know Jesus.
Missionaries all over the world are like Solomon. They recognize the infinite value of the Christian message and the urgency of telling others about Jesus. While we are not all missionaries, we all are sent to tell others about the One who has captivated us by his love. We do that everywhere we are and everywhere we go, starting in our own front yard. The question is: will we?
I look forward to meeting Solomon. I think you should, too.