More Than an Afterthought | The Stories of 7 Chibok Girls

It’s been 1331 days since the Chibok school girls were kidnapped.

1331 days ago, 276 school girls, on the precipice of going onto higher education, were kidnapped, stolen instead of supplies (source).

But for all this, these young women– 113 freed, and 163 still within Boko Haram’s clutches– are more than numbers. They are more than percentages, more than statistics, and more than a headline in a news story. They can be these things (being quote more than numbersaware of the numbers and statistics and news stories is not wrong), but they are more than these things.

Think of all of the numbers, all of the statistics, you are apart of. Perhaps an illness makes you a statistic. Or a job, or an interest, or a life experience. Even just who you are can label you, and make you a number to be calculated.

But to Jesus, you are more than a number. You are more than an afterthought. To Jesus, you– and each and every one of these kidnapped girls– are deeply and perfectly Loved.

I deeply believe that these wonderful girls’ stories deserve to be told– making them more than just a number, and celebrating their lives as a testament to Jesus’ Love and creativity in making them. While one cannot relay the stories of each and every one of these girls, I have strived to learn what I can about some of these different girls, sharing just a little bit of their story here with you as a resource for prayer.



 

lydia final 1Lydia Pogu: Lydia is also one of the Chibok girls who were able to become free, by jumping from a moving vehicle of Boko Haram’s soon after she was kidnapped. After running away from Boko Haram, Lydia was reached out to by the Jubilee Campaign centered in Virginia, which connected them to Mountain Mission School in Grundy, Virginia, in 2014. Lydia later attended Canyonville Christian Academy in 2016, where the US Government covered her full tuition to the private Christian academy (source). She planned to go to Southeastern University in Florida this past fall; I assume that is where she currently is. Lydia was able to meet US President Donald Trump on June 27th, 2017, along with her friend and fellow “Chibok girl,” Joy Bishara. You can see the picture, here. According to People Magazine, Lydia would like to become a lawyer, to help those who have no voice (source).

Sa'aSa’a: Sa’a (a pseudonym she uses for her safety) spoke to NPR almost a year ago about her story, how she got free, and what she is doing now. Now most likely 21 years old, Sa’a jumped from another moving vehicle of Boko Haram’s, along with her friend. After both her and her friend got help from a nearby shepherd, they were taken back to their families. US Congressman Christ Smith came to Nigeria to learn about what happened; after hearing Sa’a’s friend’s story, Smith told Sa’a’s friend that she should come to America to study, because she was not safe to study in the area where she currently was. Sa’a’s friend did not want to study abroad without her; and while Sa’a was terrified of going back to school at first, she decided to go with her friend, after being encouraged to study in the USA. She had planned to start college in January of 2017, and I assume that is where she is at, now. She told NPR that she wants to study medicine.

lugwaLugwa Sanda: Lugwa Sanda was one of the 21 girls who were initially freed in a high-up negotiation, that took place in October of 2016. She was brought by the Nigerian government to the Women Development Center, by the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs, to be rehabilitated and re-integrated into society. When told that she, and others, were going to go to Abti Academy– a school close to where Boko Haram has recently staged attacks– Lugwa protested by trying to take her own life. She drank a huge amount of a household chemical named Jik during the night. Although she suffered damage to her bodily organs, Lugwa is still alive, and was taken to the hospital belonging to the Deparment of Security Services in Abuja, Nigeria (source). Upon researching how she is doing now, I have yet to find anything. If any details emerge, I will try to keep you updated.

rebeccaRebecca Mallum: Rebecca Mallum is one of the 21 Chibok girls who were freed on October 13th, 2016. Rebecca, a Christian young woman, was/is also apart of the same rehabilitation/re-integration program that Lugwa is currently apart of. Last Christmas, Rebecca Mallum was able to see her loved ones, and told CNN that she feels both “beautiful and grateful” for being able to be free, and for being able to see her family, once again (source).

debbie 2Debbie: Although her last name has not been made public, Debbie was one of the 57 Chibok girls who ran away from Boko Haram early on in the Chibok school girls’ kidnapping. After becoming free, Debbie was sponsored by a charity program in Nigeria to go to a prestigious, American International high school in Washington D.C. She went with her friend and fellow Chibok girl, who goes by the name of Grace. Debbie spent her junior and senior years of high school there, and Debbie graduated from her prestigious international high school in the summer of 2017.

graceGrace: Grace was also one of the 57 Chibok school girls who fled from their captors soon after their kidnapping. Along with Debbie, Grace attended a prestigious, American International high school in Washington, D.C. for her junior and senior (11th and 12th grade) years. She graduated from this high school in the summer of 2017, as well, and gained recognition for being “The Most Hardworking Student” in her English as a Second Language Class, Reading Level 3 (source).

joyJoy Bishara: Much like Lydia Pogu, Joy Bishara also fled Boko Haram by jumping off of a moving vehicle. She was also able to go to school in the US with Lydia, through help from the Jubilee Campaign. She attended both a school in Grundy, Virginia, as well as a Canyonville Christian Academy in 2016, from which she graduated high school. She is now going to Southeastern University to study for becoming a doctor. “What I want to do is save lives,” she told People Magazine, here.



Luke 1:49 says, “for the Mighty One has done great things for me– holy is his name.”

“for the Mighty One has done great things for me– holy is his name.”
(Luke 1:49, NIV)

Researching each of these amazing young women’s stories filled me with awe, wonder, and tears of both joy and pain for them. My heart wrenches for young women like Lugwa Sanda, who are still reeling in deep fear and PTSD from their past experience with Boko Haram, wanting never to re-live that horrific tragedy, again. While there is no doubt that each of these young women have a lot of healing ahead of them, it has been absolutely crazy to me that Jesus has sustained them to live another day, even after all that has happened to them. It encourages me to pray for them– and to see the ways Jesus is restoring me and moving in my own life. I pray it has done the same for you.

Please continue praying for these young women, and please pray for the 269 other Chibok girls whose stories I have yet to know and tell here, on this blog. After all, “Our God is an awesome God,” and He can, most certainly, do anything.



Do you know Jesus?

You are not an afterthought to Jesus. In fact, you were the reason He came down to earth.

Christ knows your story. I’d even venture to say He knows it better than you do. Christ did not just die for the whole of humanity; He died for you, personally.
Whether you know Him personally right now or not, His Perfect Love for you remains the same, and He longs to have a relationship with you that is both close and personal, a relationship that brings Him Glory, and you wholeness.

Jesus Loves you perfectly, deeply, and uniquely– and He proved it on the cross. Learn more about what Jesus did– and how much He Loves you– here.



Please pray for…

  • Debbie. Please pray for the season of life she is in right now; that she would make Jesus her Lord and Savior, and follow Him where He leads her. Pray she would experience Jesus’ Love and Healing in her, and her family’s, lives.
  • Grace (the girl spoken about in this post). Please pray that she would draw near to Jesus, and would let Him heal the places within her and her family’s hearts, minds, and souls that are seemingly irreparably broken.
  • Lydia Pogu. Please pray that she would know Jesus, and that He would light her heart on fire for loving those around her, by sharing the Gospel. Pray for blessings in her studies, and for wholeness for her and her family.
  • Joy Bishara. Please pray that she, too, would follow Jesus, and that He would use her to save the lives of many others, as she has said she desires. Please pray for her studies at Southeastern University, and that Jesus would help her and her family through any problems she is experiencing.
  • Lugwa Sanda. After trying to take her own life, please pray for Lugwa Sanda’s healing and wholeness– mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. Pray that Jesus would conquer the darkness and demons trying to pull Lugwa down, and that He would use her mightily for His Kingdom. Pray she and her family would be blessed with Love, Courage, and Support from those around her, as she continues to heal and recover.
  • Rebecca Mallum. Please pray that she continues to heal, and is able to continue to see and be with her family and loved ones. May Jesus bless this beautiful young lady, inside and out!
  • Sa’a. That Sa’a would come to know Jesus, and that her dreams of helping others by studying medicine would be able to be fulfilled, if He wills for that to happen. Please pray for her  and her family’s own healing, as well.
  • For the rest of the Chibok girls, in all. Pray that those in captivity would be free, soon; and that those free would find the freedom, healing, and courage to share their own stories, as these seven girls have.

May these girls never stop dreaming.
Thank you for your prayers!!!

Advertisements

Urgent Prayer Request: Worldwide Floods

worldwide flooding

While many know of, or have experienced Hurricane Harvey, not much of the world knows about the Benue flood currently happening in Makurdi, Benue State, Nigeria.

Nigeria_Benue_State_map

Benue State, Nigeria. More than 110,00 people have been displaced by this flood, which started August 27th, 2017.

In fact, according to this CNN report, six other places around the world are experiencing horrific monsoons and floods, killing thousands and displacing hundreds of thousands.

The amount of flooding, displacement and death from all over the world seems too vast to even comprehend, much less do anything about. But there is One who is Sovereignromans 8.28 over it all, working to bring about good for those who love Him: Jesus Christ (Romans 8:28).

“Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”
(Hebrews 4:16, NIV)

Will you join me in coming before God’s throne of grace, and lifting up these people?

“Dear Lord Jesus,

There is so much flooding… You know this full well. It seems all too much for us to think about, Father God, but we know that You do not miss a single hair on any Believers’ heads.

Father God, we lift up those in Hurricane Harvey, in Texas, and also those who are experiencing flooding in the surrounding states. Dear Jesus, please show all people involved in this horrendous experience that You are Lord of All.

We lift up those in Benue state, Nigeria. Dear Jesus, please bring these people out of the floodwaters and give them all the comfort, safety, and security that they need. Please show us how we can donate to all of these disasters, and provide the comfort, safety, and security that they need. Please cause the floodwaters to go down, soon.

Dear Jesus, we pray for Bangladesh, where, so far, hundreds have passed away. Dear Jesus, please show the people of Bangladesh that You alone are God; please reveal Yourself mightily to the muslims, buddhists, and other nonbelievers that are in that region and area. Please use this evil and tragic thing for Your Glory and their good.

Father God, we lift up those in India. Please give those who trust in Your Name respite from the storms; please show those who do not know You that You can be their refuge in the storm. Please raise up humanitarian organizations to assist and aid those in deep distress!

Father God, we pray for your intervention in Sierra Leone‘s mudslide and flooding. You know every person who has suffered and died in this flooding; please bring Peace, Comfort, and even Joy to their hearts, amidst the pain.

Lord God, we also pray over the landslides in Nepal. Dear Jesus, we pray in Your Name that You would provide shelter for those crying out to You in the midst of their terror. Father God, please show us how we can love these people. Provide Your People in the lives of those in these places, to hug, hold, and uplift those who have lost everything. Please let their loving, compassionate care lead them into a Personal relationship with You.

Lord, we lift up Pakistan and the city of Karachi, where monsoon flooding has occurred. Jesus, we lift up the 27 people who have passed in Pakistan, as well as the approximately 593 others who have passed in flooding worldwide… we pray that these death tolls do not rise more, Lord Jesus. We ask, and beg in Your Name, that You would preserve the lives of these people, and would bring them to You.

Dear Jesus,
Please, protect those currently dealing with Hurricane Irma. Both in the Caribbeans and on the east coast of Florida and surrounding states, please give these people wisdom, guidance, and understanding; please help them to evacuate, before Irma hits, and help those who have already gone through Hurricane Irma. 

Lord Jesus, please help those suffering from Hurricane Katia in Mexico… please hold those who are losing their homes, and protect these people from death tolls.

Thank You for all of this, Lord Jesus.

In Jesus’ Name we pray,

Amen.”

Please click on the following links to donate to these places!

UPDATE: PLEASE PRAY OVER HURRICANE IRMA’S TARGETS– THE CARIBBEANS AND FLORIDA!
PLEASE ALSO PRAY FOR THOSE IN MEXICO, AS HURRICANE KATIA HITS!

 

Thank you for your prayers, donations and support!

Follow ISAIAH 62 PRAYER MINISTRY on Twitter!

 

Prayer for Day 6 of GLOBAL WEEK OF ACTION: #3YearsTooLong #NoMoreExcuses #BringBackHisGirls

This week, the Bring Back Our Girls’ movement is commemorating the third anniversary of the Chibok Schoolgirls’ kidnapping by having what they call a GLOBAL WEEK OF ACTION. During this Week of Action, they have daily marches from the Unity Fountain in Abuja, Nigeria to the Nigerian President’s villa gate, as well as holding different events every day. To also commemorate the Chibok girls’ kidnapping, ISAIAH 62 PRAYER MINISTRY will be saying a prayer each day for the Chibok girls, as well as highlighting what the Bring Back Our Girls’ movement is doing each day.

Please join in prayer for today, the sixth day of the GLOBAL WEEK OF ACTION.


“Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank You for making each and every one of us, 
all because You Love us, and want to be in relationship with us.
You are beautiful, Lord Jesus!

Lord Jesus,
I pray, in Your Name,
That You would touch each Chibok girls’ life in a very real, tangible, and transforming way, today.

Please show each one of them how much You Love them; may that Love, even in captivity, transform their lives, and give them unmistakable Hope for the Future.
Please, speak out for them today, and intervene on their behalf, Lord Jesus.

May they be brought Home, in Your Mighty Name, in Your Precious Timing.
Thank You, Lord Jesus!
In Jesus’ Name I pray,
Amen.”

Today, aside from their daily march, the Bring Back Our Girls’ movement had an evening with Creatives and Artists. Please check out their webpage and scroll down to the “Activity Sheet for Three Year Commemoration” for more details, and to try to participate!

Thank You for your prayers!

Prayer for Day 3 of GLOBAL WEEK OF ACTION: #3YearsTooLong #NoMoreExcuses #BringBackHisGirls

This week, Bring Back Our Girls is having a Global Week of Action, where they are commemorating the third anniversary of the Chibok Schoolgirls Kidnapping, which happened on April 14th, 2017. They are demanding during this week that there would be #NoExcuses, and that the Chibok Girls would be found, freed, and brought back home.

As apart of this Global Week of Action, ISAIAH 62 PRAYER MINISTRY has decided to pray each day for the Chibok girls; ISAIAH 62 PRAYER MINISTRY also wanted to highlight the different events going on in Nigeria and around the world for these girls.

Today, the Bring Back Our Girls movement will be marching (as they will be every day), and also had a Workshop on Missing Person’s Register at 10 AM in Yar-Adua Center in Nigeria. To see more of what is planned for this week, feel free to visit the Bring Back Our Girls’ website!

In light of all of this, let’s pray.

“Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank You for being present with us, wherever we are,  however we are, and whenever we are. You are “Emmanuel”: “God With Us.” Thank You for this amazing privilege!

Dear Jesus,
We pray over the Chibok school girls; we thank You, that they are all alive (source), and that You are still working in their lives. 
Dear Jesus, 
We pray in Your Name that these Chibok school girls would be filled with Your Joy, Hope, and Peace, as they come to know You– and that this Joy, Hope and Peace would not be able to be stolen from them.
Please protect these things in Your Name, Lord Jesus, 
and please, give their families, loved ones, and all who care about them this same Peace, Hope, and Joy, as they look to You to save and deliver the Chibok girls.
We trust You, Lord Jesus.
We ask in Your Name, along with the Bring Back Our Girls’ protesters, that they would be brought soon, and alive.
In Jesus’ Name I pray,
Amen.”

Thank You for your prayers– May Jesus bless you! 🙂

Prayer for Day 3 of GLOBAL WEEK OF ACTION: #3YearsTooLong #NoMoreExcuses #BringBackHisGirls #BringBackOurGirls

This week is the GLOBAL WEEK OF ACTION, created by the Bring Back Our Girls movement to commemorate the kidnapping of 276 Chibok schoolgirls, three years ago, as of April 14th, 2014.

Today is Day 3 of the Week of Action, and Isaiah 62 Prayer Ministry will pray each day of the Global Week of Action, for the Global Week of Action and for the Chibok Girls.

Please pray with us:

“Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank You for bring the God who gives life, and who restores.
While we know that this horrific tragedy was not of your doing, but the doing of sinful mankind,
we know that You can and will use even this event to bring beauty from ashes.

Dear Jesus,
This is what we pray for today: that You would protect each Chibok schoolgirl that continues to be missing and held captive by Boko Haram. Please protect every captive, according to Your Goodness, Grace, and Mercy. 

Please give those participating in events as apart of the Bring Back Our Girls’ Global Week of Action Strength, and please let them come to see and know You, as apart of this week’s events.
As we commemorate this horrible occurrence, we look for Your Hope and Deliverance, Lord Jesus, for NOTHING is impossible with You!

In Jesus’ Name I pray,

Amen.”

Thank you for your prayers! To be involved in the daily events occurring in honor of the Global Week of Action, please click here.
Be blessed!

Prayer During Global Week of Action: #3YearsTooLong: #NoMoreExcuses #BringBackHisGirls #BringBackOurGirls

Yesterday, April 7th, 2017, marked Day 1 of BringBackOurGirls’ Global Week of Action, with the theme: “#3YearsTooLong: #NoMoreExcuses #BringBackOurGirls” (Source).

If you would like to participate in any way in this Week of Global Action, please visit the Bring Back Our Girls website, by clicking here. While the writers Isaiah 62 Prayer Ministry cannot be there, in Nigeria, to walk with, pray with, and participate in the weeks’ events, it has pledged to pray each day of the week this week– and to share with others the sad fact that it has been 3 years since the Chibok schoolgirls have been kidnapped.

Because yesterday was the first day of the Global Week of Action, there will be two prayers, today. Please join in prayer:

“Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank You for all that You have done in our lives. Thank You for being the great “I AM,” the Creator of all things, Sovereign over every event in our lives.
Today, 
Lord Jesus,
We mourn the fact that it has been 3 years since the Chibok school girls have been kidnapped, while 195 remain missing.
It is our Prayer, Lord Jesus, that You would instill Hope, even now, in the hearts of the Chibok Girls, their parents, loved ones, and the rest of the world, looking on this sad, sad anniversary.

We pray that broken, crushed Spirits would realize how near You are (Psalm 34:18), and that they would seek You out, and find You as their Lord, Savior, and God of all Comfort (2 Corinthians 1:3-5). 

We pray all of this in Your Name, Lord Jesus.
Amen.”



“Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank You for also being the God that is faithful to provide. 
You provided Yourself, for the problem of sin, so that now we can live and be with You! 
Your Word says, “He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all–how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things” (Romans 8:32)?
We cling to Your Word now, and ask in Jesus’ Name that You would provide for the release/rescue of the Chibok Schoolgirls, Soon, according to Your Will and Timing, Dear Jesus. 
As these young girls still sit in captivity, please provide for them, for their daily needs: food, water, and shelter, but so much more, dear Jesus, we pray You would bring them to You. 

Please fill these girls with the Peace, Joy, Love, and Comfort that Your Presence brings, even in captivity. 
We know nothing is impossible for You, Jesus, and so we ask this in Your Name.
Amen.”

 

Thank you for your continued prayers. Please share this with everyone you know!
Jesus bless you.

“PRAYER FOR THE CHIBOK GIRL OF THE WEEK”: A new prayer resource

Almost a month ago,  Isaiah 62 Prayer Ministry was led by Jesus to create a new feature, focused on praying for each individual Chibok schoolgirl.

Because of this, Isaiah 62 Prayer Ministry has created a new prayer page, called “Prayer for the Chibok Girl of the Week.” Each week, a new Chibok school girl from this image will be featured. Their name and picture will be posted, as well as a short biography about them. If they are free or not will be noted, along with a short prayer for the young woman. It is Isaiah 62 Prayer Ministry’s prayer that all of the girls will be freed. Therefore, Isaiah 62 Prayer Ministry is committed to loving, supporting, and praying for each Chibok schoolgirl, while helping readers to do so, as well.

After the Chibok Girl to Pray for of the Week has been featured, they will then be featured in the page, “PRAYER OF SURRENDER/RELEASE” (found in the drop-down menu under “PRAYER FOR THE CHIBOK GIRL OF THE WEEK”). This page will feature the Chibok girl again, and will include a separate prayer, releasing and surrendering the Chibok Girl into Jesus’ Hands. While this does mean that they will no longer be especially featured in this way, it does not at all mean that we have stopped, or should stop, praying for them as an individual. Jesus told His followers, in the Parable of the Persistent Widow, to never stop praying until they see results: And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly” (Luke 18:7-8). Isaiah 62 Prayer Ministry encourages readers to continue to pray for each one of these girls, as they are led!

It is the hope and prayer that this new feature will encourage you, as a reader, to pray for the Chibok girls: as a whole, but also as an individual. May Jesus bring each one of these girls to Himself– and therefore, to complete freedom.

Click here to read this week’s Prayer for the Chibok Girl of the Week!