Her name is Ngozi, and the comic she will be starring in as the first superhero in a real-life African country (Nigeria) will be called “Blessing In Disguise.” Her creator, a Nigerian-American bestselling writer named Nnedi Okorafor, stated that “it was an important decision” that she based the superhero on the Chibok girls. According to All Africa, Okorafor said, “They [the Chibok girls] were normal girls who suddenly had to deal with a huge change in their lives… and their story of perseverance is so powerful” (All Africa, “[Chibok girls]” mine).
Indeed, it is. To this date, 106 of the Chibok girls have either escaped or been rescued by the Nigerian government; 113 still remain. The story of the Chibok schoolgirls kidnapped sparked international outrage, and an outpouring of protest and prayer.
Now, almost three and a half years later, details about the freed Chibok girls’ experiences in bondage are coming out. One of the perhaps most shocking details is that the Chibok school girls kept diaries, that they passed around to each other to complete, in which they claim that their kidnapping was actually just a failed robbery. In these journals, stories of beatings, Koranic lessons, near-death experiences, and rampant abuse were told “in passable English and less-coherent Hausa,” according to Reuters. Though incredibly dark events transpired, the girls gave nicknames to their captors, keeping their spirits high.
Thinking about and praying for the Chibok girls, we are blessed beyond words to be seeing the fulfillment of God’s promises to free and restore these young women– and are amazed at how Jesus has, so compassionately, finally given the public world insight into what these girls went through.
This news– the news about the comic, and about the girls’ journals– highlights the beauty, and necessity, of telling our stories. It reminds one of those who went off and told their stories after Jesus had healed them– or of Nehemiah, in the Bible, and his chronicling of how God called him to restore the gates of Israel.
It is no secret that the Bible tells the stories of people; but only a few books of the Bible are told autobiographically, or as a memoir. At the start of the book, we find Nehemiah, a Cupbearer to the King of Persia, hearing about the destruction of Jerusalem’s gates, walls, and truly, people (Nehemiah 1). Nehemiah is so moved to sorrow over this news that he cries, fasts, and prays to God for days. After four months of being in prayer to God about what to do next, Nehemiah is able to speak with the King of Persia about his distress over Jerusalem and it’s walls– and, by the grace of God, is given permission to travel down to Jersualem. He is not only given permission to go down to Jerusalem to do this thing– he is given the letters from the King that are needed to supply him with resources, and the permission to pass through foreign countries to get to Judah!
As inspired and led by the Holy Spirit, Nehemiah told his story of how God used him to rebuild the walls– and restore Judah’s people (read the book of Nehemiah online to see just how.). More than this, the Holy Spirit gave the readers of this Old Testament book a biblical account of God’s love for Israel, passion for restoration, and complete faithfulness.
While the stories we tell of our own lives are not Holy Scripture by any means, they too can be testaments of Jesus’ work and movement in our lives… of how what once was dead can be made alive, and the beautiful lessons learned along the way.
As this comic is being made, and the lives of some of the Chibok girls are being restored, there are countless hundreds– maybe even thousands– in Northern Nigeria who still have no voice. Held captive by Boko Haram– and then, when physically free, held captive by the PTSD and trauma they have experienced– still have little to no voice to express the pain they have gone through. Children, even babies, continue to be used as bombs for Boko Haram; and women continue to escape captivity, only to find that they are pregnant with their captor’s child. Little boys are made into child soldiers; little girls are “married off,” suffering horrific sexual abuse. Even the freed Chibok girls are struggling with finding their voice; so much so that they are trying to kill themselves to protest what their words are afraid to convey.
They continue to be oppressed.
They continue to be silenced.
Friends, this is why this blog exists. To give voice to those in this insurgency who have no voice. Until they are able to tell their own stories, this blog will continue to tell them– with the prayer to Jesus that the stories and lives of these people intersect with His Story, the grandest story of them all: the Gospel.
The power of telling our own life stories– of how they intersect with Jesus and His transforming work in our lives– is great.
So, friends, as we read the Chibok girls’ stories as they spring up like flowers in the springtime, let us not forget to continue to tell the stories of those with no voice. For many, it is the difference between action and inaction— even life and death.
Tell your own story. Tell the stories of the voiceless. May they ring out as Francis J. Crosby wrote in the praise song, “Blessed Assurance”:
“This is my story; this is my song / praising my Savior, all the day long.”
For in Him, our true story is found. ❤
Do you know Jesus?
The entire Bible, from beginning to end, speaks of one main thing: The first and second coming of the Messiah, Jesus Christ; and the Gospel: How Jesus died for our sins.
Perhaps you have never heard this true story, before.
Perhaps you have heard it until your ears have bled and your eyes have rolled with disdain.
Maybe you have heard it happily, but are unsure on if it is true– and what that could mean for you.
Whoever you are, and wherever you are at in life, the Gospel is the grandest, most true story ever told— but it is not just a story. At it’s core, the reason for why this story is so powerful is that it is God’s Story for mankind.
If you know the Maker of this story, your life will change forever. But if you don’t know the Maker of this Story, it will stay just that– a story.
Meet the Maker of this Story– and realize what He has done for you, so that You can know Him, personally– here.
Pray with me…
“Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank You for the greatest story ever told– Your Word.
Thank You for wanting to not only create us, but communicate with us; thank You for making a way for us to be with You, by dying on the cross for our sin.
We thank You for the new comic coming out, having been inspired by the Chibok girls!!! Jesus, Your Word in Zephaniah 3:15-17 says, “The Lord has taken away the judgments against you; he has cleared away your enemies. The King of Israel, the Lord, is in your midst; you shall never again fear evil. On that day it shall be said to Jerusalem: ‘Fear not, O Zion; let not your hands grow weak. The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.‘” Jesus, thank You for doing this very thing in our midst, as 163 Chibok girls have escaped or been rescued!!! You have done amazing things, Jesus; we are filled with Joy (Psalm 126:3).
But, dear Jesus,
There are still many, many people still missing. We pray that You would unleash Your power in their lives; we pray, most of all, that they would know You, personally.
Please bring the Chibok girls– and so many others– back to their homes.
Please stop this evil that is Boko Haram, that is Jihad, and that ultimately, is our sinful nature mixed with satan’s schemes.
Please heal those who are broken and wounded. Please bring Lugwa Sanda to You, dear Jesus, and show her that You are the only One worth living for.
Please avenge the helpless and destitute.
But until You come back, Lord Jesus, please use us to be Your Hands, Your Feet, and Your heart to this dying, sick, broken, lost world. Please use us to heal, to restore, to bring justice, and to bring voices to the voiceless.
Give us Kingdom mindsets, that hallow and glorify Your Name.
Please come soon, Jesus.
In Jesus’ Name we pray,