Hundreds, maybe even thousands of young men have been arrested wrongly by the Nigerian military, accused of having links to/being involved in Boko Haram. Not only this, but hundreds, maybe even thousands, of young men and women have been kidnapped by Boko Haram, held tightly and oppressed. Leah Sharibu has spent 221 days in Boko Haram captivity, with no end in sight to her bondage.
I think of the innocence of these young people. The innocence of 15-18 year olds, ripped away from their freedom and families by Boko Haram—or even the military one should be able to place their confidence in. While it is my understanding that marriage and childbirth happens much younger in Nigeria, it still breaks my heart that these precious children, who have done nothing wrong, are being trodden on– left in the mud of an incredibly evil, oppressive, unjust society.
These children have dreams. Desires. Passions, likes and dislikes. They are to be protected and made to flourish.
They are children Jesus Christ Loves passionately. While the watching world is forgetting them, they, their pain, and their sorrow are ever before Christ.
With all of this in view, I am convicted. Many times, the pain and anguish these precious children are going through doesn’t make its way to my heart, and their situation is in one ear and out the other.
Something needs to change. These children, thrown into a cold, dark world, need to be cherished. Valued. Protected. Just as BeautyBeyondBones has said, we need to value each other as creations of God. And that especially goes for people who are too young or otherwise too disabled to speak for themselves.
What can we do? We can pray, putting all these people into the Almighty Hands of their Creator. We can fight for the least of these, refusing to let their needs go unnoticed. We can be advocates, knowing that Jesus is our Advocate before the Father (1 John 2:1).
We can Love them. In our prayers, and in the way we spend what is usually our most precious assets: time and money. The way we spend our money gives us power—it tells the world what is acceptable and favorable, and what is not. With this power, we can make sure that “the least of these” get the protection and love they so desperately need, all dependent upon how we spend our money.
Reload Love is just one nonprofit trying to give kids their innocence and childhood back. They take the spent bullet casings found in war-torn areas all over the world and make them into jewelry, with the donations and earnings going towards trauma relief, medical care, and even building playgrounds where there was once war (source).
There are many other organizations, striving to do the same thing (I am not just trying to give a shameless plug for Reload Love). It is just one organization out of many whose hearts are for the children caught up in these tragic wars.
And now, I ask you a question: How can you get involved in loving and helping to restore the lives of these children? I encourage you to bring it before Jesus and allow Him to speak to your heart. No matter what it is, may loving and protecting the innocence of children be something that remains heavy on our hearts and minds. What matters to Jesus should matter to us.
Do you know Jesus?
Jesus saw each person he interacted with for who they really were. He encouraged the little children to come to Him and changed the lives of marginalized people forever (Matthew 19:14; John 9:1-12).
Perhaps you feel like a vulnerable, scared, forgotten little child today. Jesus wants to comfort, strengthen, and most of all, save you. Learn more about who He is, and just how much He can save, here.
Please pray for…
- The young men and women being detained for having ties to Boko Haram. If they do, may they come to know Jesus; if they do not, may they be freed soon.
- The young men and women kidnapped by Boko Haram, which are usually the same as the first bullet point. May they be free soon.
- For Leah Sharibu, who is still in captivity for refusing to convert to Islam.
- For the people behind Reload Love, that God would have favor on it and would make it grow.
Thank you for your prayers!