Two years ago, the 218 Chibok school girls who remained in captivity, after 57 had fled, seemed, in the world’s eyes, to be a lost cause.
There were reports of their parents dying from heartache, and Boko Haram attacks. The girls were nowhere to be found, and false reports of hope for their release broke the hearts waiting to see their loved ones, again.
Boko Haram closed in on Chibok. Raids and massacres all over Northern Nigeria were had. As Boko Haram raised their black flag over Chibok, candle-light vigils for the Chibok girls seemed useless. As one article, from that time, said, “…few Chibok residents believe all the schoolgirls will ever return home.”
It sounds like the sorrow felt in verse 4, of Isaiah 62. Called “Desolate,” and “Deserted,” Israel cried out for Christ to redeem them. But, amidst all the pain, Christ’s Promise was clear: “No longer will they call you Deserted, or name your land Desolate. But you will be called Hephzibah, and your land Beulah; for the Lord will take delight in you, and your land will be married.”
Even after all the bloodshed,
Even after all of the pain,
the seemingly irrevocable death,
Jesus brought life.
Isaiah 62 Prayer Ministry is overjoyed to announce that 21 of the kidnapped Chibok schoolgirls have been freed, today, on October 13th, 2016!!!
After countless prayers, many tears, and 84 blog posts, the International Committee of the Red Cross, and the Swiss government made a deal with Boko Haram, allowing 21 of these precious young women to go FREE.
“Can plunder be taken from warriors, or captives be rescued from the fierce? But this is what the Lord says: ‘Yes, captives will be taken from warriors, and plunder retrieved from the fierce; I will contend with those who contend with you, and your children I will save.”
(Isaiah 49:24-25, NIV)
The names of the 21 Chibok girls are: Mary Usman Bulama, Jummai John, Blessing Abana, Lugwa Sanda, Comfort Habila, Maryam Basheer, Comfort Amos, Glory Mainta, Saratu Emannuel, Deborah Ja’afaru, Rahab Ibrahim, Helen Musa, Maryamu Lawan, Rebecca Ibrahim, Asabe Goni, Deborah Andrawus, Agnes Gapani, Saratu Markus, Glory Dama, Pindah Nuhu, and Rebecca Mallam. Some of their names can be found here, on a post dedicated to specifically naming each Chibok girl who (then) was still in captivity.
I, the writer of Isaiah 62 Prayer Ministry, held on to Jesus’ Promises, that these girls would be rescued… but, at times, those Promises seemed so far off that I was on the verge of unbelief. Especially in the darkest times of the insurgency, when my own personal life was falling down all around me, I couldn’t help but cry out to Christ, “Please. Please show us what Victory looks like.”
Even amongst that frustrated, heartbroken prayer, prayed out of exhaustion and deep discouragement, Christ answered.
And it looks like this.
The road to recovery has just begun. But, thank You, Jesus, that it has begun.
Please continue to pray for the 21 freed Chibok girls, as well as the 197 that remain in captivity.
Thank You, Jesus, for Seeing, Loving, and Knowing Your children. With You, nothing is impossible. Let us rejoice in the AMAZING ways You are restoring, and redeeming, the Chibok girls, and Northern Nigeria, as a whole!
In Jesus’ Name I pray, Amen.