After almost two years of little to no action from the Nigerian government, to secure the freedom of 276– now, 218– young schoolgirls, from the Boko Haram insurgency, Nigeria’s president, Muhammadu Buhari, has declared, at the end of August, that Nigeria is now willing to negotiate with “bona fide leaders of Boko Haram,” for the release of the Chibok school girls (source). This newest development has spurred on new hope for the release of the Chibok girls, who have not been physically seen by the outside world– but are reported to be alive, as of December 2015. While Boko Haram has stated that a few of these precious young women have been killed by airstrikes, there is still sufficient cause to believe that the Chibok girls are alive, and ready to be free.
As this major development has occurred, one other major news development has come up: Aliko Dangote, called “The Richest African” by SuccessStory.com, has vowed to further support Internally Displaced Peoples, who have been chased out of their homes by Boko Haram militants. This welcomed news has stirred up the question, in this writer: “What can be done by Believers– and the Church, worldwide– to “rebuild the walls” of Northern Nigeria, and its people? Continue reading
In April of 2014, 276 girls ages 16-18 were stolen from their boarding school in Chibok, Nigeria.
Although the majority of the young women remain missing, 57 managed to escape. Three of them, along with one girl who fortunately, was not kidnapped, but saw the kidnapping and school fire’s aftermath, spoke with Abigail Pesta of Cosmopolitan Magazine concerning their stories. All four of these girls are Christian; and, although their experiences concerning Boko Haram and the Chibok Girls kidnapping are traumatic (to say the least), one of them, Mercy, has chosen to forgive their members, saying, “I pray to God to forgive them and cure their hearts… I do not want revenge.” By Jesus’ grace, these four brave young women are now studying at a Christian boarding school in Canyonville, Oregon.
When praying about this blog post’s topic, Jesus led me to write a letter of encouragement to my fellow sisters. Using God’s Word to exhort these brave young women, I pray it would encourage them to “keep their minds stayed” on Jesus. “You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you!” (Isaiah 26:3, NLT). I pray that it would keep all of our minds on Christ, and that it would bring close all those who are far away from Him.
They lied. It was four o’clock in the morning in Baga, Nigeria, and, drowsy from sleep, the men in each household were told to get up and follow Boko Haram members outside so that they “could explain everything.” As 14 shaking men followed the terrorists into the brush, they were told to lie on the ground. What they had hoped for– “an explanation,” anything to acknowledge that they were human beings, too– was all for nought. Continue reading
As of today, January 21st, 18 days have passed since the town of Baga, Nigeria was razed, where 2,000 of it’s innocent men, women, and children were mercilessly massacred. As Boko Haram’s bloodiest raid to date, most of its victims were women, children, and the elderly who could not escape the terrorists’ rocket-propelled grenades and assault rifles. As people ran, swam, and hid for their lives, thousands upon thousands drowned in nearby Lake Chad, where the body count was so high that soldiers stopped counting.
After reading horrific news reports surrounding the lives of 219 girls from Chibok, Nigeria– and countless more, from all over both the Northern and Southern regions of Nigeria– I am filled with an angry, bitter grief.