The Love of a Parent

It was 11:00 pm at night. I had gone to a friend’s bonfire… almost another state away. I had left at 9 pm, but as I was driving down the rocky road down to the main highway, I found that the highway had been completely closed off due to a fatal accident and I had to turn back around.

Driving back to my friend’s house, I was suddenly filled with fear and anxiety. I called my parents, telling them about the situation. I didn’t want to stay overnight at my friend’s house, but with so much distance between me and my home, I thought I didn’t have a choice.

As I texted my parents about my anxiety, my mother called me. Although they were a good 60 miles away from me, they decided—at 11:00 at night!—that they would come and get me. It took them a good hour and a half to get to my friend’s house, and we finally got home at 2 am. My feelings of anxiety in the face of an unsure situation were calmed by the love my parents showed me, coming to get me when it was more than out of their way. Continue reading

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The Key to Resilience

“They snapped our photos and told us not to return to school, but I came back because I want to learn,” said Maryam, when asked about returning back to her school after being abducted by Boko Haram as a part of the “Dapchi schoolgirl kidnapping.”1

According to Maryam, Boko Haram took pictures of each and every girl they abducted, threatening to show up at their school and kill them if they returned to school.1 After having their pictures taken, Boko Haram members unusually dropped off all but one girl in their town. (In other situations, such as the Chibok schoolgirl kidnapping, this happened to none of the girls.)

What these girls have gone through is complete and utter hell. But even on the “outside” of captivity, life proves incredibly tough for these women, and others who have escaped or been freed from Boko Haram. Amnesty International has reported that Nigerian troops have perpetrated “vile abuse” on the women they have helped liberate and rescue; some women have been reported trading sex for food, while it has been reported that other women have been insulted and called “Boko Haram wives.”2 This kind of treatment is abhorrent.

Yet, the remarkable thing about these young women is how they, though they are victims, choose not to bow down to fear, current trials, or past tragedy. While there is much to fear—Boko Haram’s threats to kill them if they return to school are real—many students are not letting it keep them from doing what it is they want to do.LEARN.jpg

Though they carry around mental, emotional, and physical wounds, these girls do not let their fears of the future or the pain of the past define them. They resiliently press on.

How to Go On

But that does not mean that these girls are immune to fear. It can be easy to see these girls as tough and unbreakable; and that kind of tenacity is definitely seen in these beautiful young women. However, it is important to note that they are still human. Many of the girls, coming back to the school they were abducted from, were nervous, staying together in groups as they walk around campus, as All Africa reports.

It is important to see how these girls have found the strength to do such fearless things. Many girls cling to Jesus; they also cling to each other.

And as I am writing this, one thing becomes clear:

They need Christ, and they need each other.

Isn’t it the same with us? In conquering any fear, the key is knowing that we are not alone in that fear. That we have God, who Loves and Protects us as Sovereign over all; and we have each other to rely upon. This is how Christ created us.

With such faith in Christ first of all, and with a supportive community second, no one can get in these girls’ way. As Maryam so powerfully said, “I want Western education to improve my future. I came back to this school because I don’t want to change my environment. I have already started school here and I want to finish here.”through.jpg

Through everything from Boko Haram captivity, to the oppression of evil soldiers and people in authority, the Love, Compassion, and Strength of Jesus Christ will see them through. May Christ deal with those who trample upon his precious creation; and may we find resilience and strength in Jesus and in each other, too.


Do you know Jesus?

God made us to know Him, and to know eachother. Unfortunately, when Adam and Eve both chose to partake of the fruit of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, the problem of sin entered this world.

Sin keeps us from knowing God, and from the true community we were meant to be a part of and enjoy. Yet, Jesus was the remedy to our sickness.

Learn more about Jesus, and how He came to fix this problem of sin, here.


Please pray for (you can find the prayer sheet for the blog post, here):

  • The Chibok & Dapchi Girls. As these girls continue to go through hell on earth, please pray that they would come to know Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, and would trust Him to heal and restore their lives. Find their names and pictures, here.
  • These people have gone through unspeakable, horrific things. Things that deserve Justice. May Christ bring them Justice both on earth and in the life to come.
  • The Nigerian military. The news that such revolting acts have been done by those in the Nigerian military shows that Justice needs to be served, and that the military must be changed!

Thank You for your prayers!!!

 

1 http://allafrica.com/stories/201805220171.html

2 https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/05/23/charity-accuses-nigerian-troops-abusing-boko-haram-wives/

 

Focused Prayer: The Captive Chibok School Girls

Hi Friends and Readers of ISAIAH 62 PRAYER MINISTRY,

If you have read this post, you will know that one reporter, Ahmed Salkida, has reported that only 15 of the 112 still-captive Chibok girls are still alive.

Such a prospect fills me with grief; and it is during times such as these that I ask you all to please join me in prayer that focuses on these young women. Whether there are actually 15, or there are 112, I ask that we focus upon their freedom– that we would pray for a breakthrough for these young women (I ask that we would include Leah Sharibu, of the #DapchiGirls, as well).

Will you join me? You can go here to look at the girls’ names and pictures as you pray, if you would like. Please let me know of anything you find/discover in prayer; please also let me know of any comments, concerns, or prayer requests you have!

Things start changing when the church starts praying. Let’s lift up these precious young women to Christ, shall we?

“Indeed, when the women are not free, the society cannot claim to be free.”
–Dare Babarinsa



Do you know Jesus?

Learn more about this God who died to set us free– and what He has freed Believers from– here.


Please pray with me (find a prayer journaling sheet, here)…

Dear Lord Jesus,
We thank You, and praise You, that You have won the war on sin, guilt, shame, and death by Your sacrifice on the cross. We thank You for every Chibok Girl, both freed and still held captive. We pray, in Your glorious, amazing Name Lord Jesus, that You would show Your Power, Goodness, and Wisdom in each of these girls’ midst. Please bring Truth, Power, and Breakthrough that only You can, Lord Jesus. May each of these young women be freed. In Jesus’ Name we pray, Amen!”

“Rejoice Always”: Hope, 4 Years On

Friends and Readers,

Thank you for spending your time today, reading this blog, and praying for the many people it advocates for.

For obvious reasons, today is a sad and solemn day. For those of you who do not know, as of today, it has been four years since the Chibok schoolgirls were kidnapped by Islamic terrorist group, Boko Haram. 276 innocent young women were kidnapped and condemned for simply going to a school that was deemed “sinful” by Boko Haram (their name in Hausa, the local language in Northern Nigeria, means “Western Education is sinful.”)

Over these past four years, approximately 164 of the young women were either freed through negotiations, or made their way out themselves. This is a cause for beautiful celebration. Continue reading

The Chibok Schoolgirl Kidnapping: 4 Years Later

Almost four years ago, I was grieved like never before for the plight of 276 schoolgirls from Northern Nigeria.

In an online devotional, I came across women who were praying mightily and fervently for the release of these girls—and I have been praying ever since.

Over the past four years, much has changed. Nigeria has gotten a new president; the Nigerian government has fought Boko Haram with noticeable success. But, for 112 of the kidnapped Chibok girls, and their friends and families, little to nothing has changed. Continue reading

April 2018: Where are we in the war to free the Chibok Girls (and those like them)?

With April 14th, 2018, coming up soon, I have created a facts sheet of where the Chibok girls’ situation lies, as well as to encourage prayer for them this week. To share this information by print and/or digitally, view, share, and download this flyer.

On April 14th, 2014, 276 women, ages 16-18, were kidnapped by Boko Haram, a muslim terrorist group. Four years later, here are the facts:

  • 164 of the young Chibok women have escaped or been freed.

57 of the Chibok girls were able to run away from Boko Haram members shortly after being kidnapped; afterward, one Chibok girl by the name of Amina Ali was found on May 17th, 2016. The Nigerian government and the International Red Cross freed 21 of the Chibok girls on October 13th, 2016, in exchange for four Boko Haram members (source). 82 more Chibok girls were freed on May 6th, 2017, in a negotiation by Mustapha Zanna, an ex-lawyer to the creator of Boko Haram, Mohammed Yusuf (source). On January 3rd, 2018, Salomi Pogu, along with another kidnapped young woman (outside of the Chibok girls) Jamila Adams, was found by the Nigerian military, having escaped from Boko Haram with Jamila Adams.

  • 112-114 of the Chibok girls are still in captivity.

Counting up every instance of where the Chibok girls have publicly been freed, there is approximately 112-114 Chibok girls still left. Many women who claimed to be a part of the Chibok girls were seen in a video released in January of 2018, claiming that, concerning coming back home in freedom, “by the grace of Allah we are not coming back.” After much prayer and thought, ISAIAH 62 PRAYER MINISTRY was continued, seeking to be faithful to Christ in this particular situation. While these young women may be telling the honest truth, there is also a big chance that they were coerced into believing these things. Whatever the truth is, Christ can still do a miracle here, freeing these girls.

  • The State of Chibok, Nigeria

In 2016, BBC reported the state of those in Chibok, Nigeria—many of whom are waiting for their daughters, kidnapped by Boko Haram, to come home. One father, given the name Daniel to protect his and his daughter’s identities, said he called her mobile phone after she had been kidnapped; the person on the other end of the line was a member of Boko Haram, who said that the phone number belonged to his wife (source).

Even in the face of such tragedy, many of these people still keep up hope. “’I gave birth to that baby,’ one mother said of her kidnapped daughter to BBC. ‘Even if she comes to me with a gun in her hand, let her kill me, but I will still welcome her.’”

Now, it has been said in some reports that Boko Haram still has an enclave in Northern Nigeria, contrary to the claims of the Nigerian government, who has said that Boko Haram has been defeated in the Northern region of Nigeria (source). Still today, no one can know the truth, for sure.

  • What has happened to the freed Chibok girls?

Many of these freed Chibok girls have bravely gone to the United States in pursuit of higher education, while the majority of others have been undergoing psycho and social therapy, having been able to go and see their families only on a few occasions.

One Chibok schoolgirl, faced with the possibility of going back to Chibok, tried killing herself (source). Fortunately, she did not pass away from her attempt, and was only injured badly.

These girls, so easily identified by numbers alone, are real young women; each with their own abilities, skills, interests, and dreams.

Not only this; but there are still hundreds of people out there, waiting for their loved ones—the Chibok girls—to come back home. Each day, they wait; they hope; and they pray.

 

As long as these girls are not with their families, we will pray for them, too. Please join us, this April 14th, for a day of prayer for, and awareness about, the Chibok girls.

Because they are not just OUR girls… they are His.

To share this information by print and/or digitally, view, share, and download this flyer.

As of late, I have read this article, where Amina Ali Nkeki stated that she is “not afraid of Boko Haram,” because “they are not her God.” This young woman is so fearless! This post is in tribute to her. Please pray that Amina Ali Nkeki, the first Chibok girl who was freed, would trust in Jesus– and would be further down the path of healing mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually than ever.


Do you know Jesus?

3000 years ago, God became a Man. And because He knew that we would never be able to save ourselves, He gave Himself so that we could be saved– not based on anything we did, but solely based on accepting what He did.

Learn more about this Man, and how you can be saved by Him, here.



Please pray for (get the prayer sheet for this, here)…

  • The Chibok girls, and Leah Sharibu. Leah is the only girl from the Dapchi school kidnapping who is still not home– all because she refused to renounce Jesus. Please pray that she would be able to be free, soon.
  • The families and loved ones of the Chibok girls, and Leah Sharibu.
  • For increased awareness of the plight of the Chibok girls and Leah Sharibu, this week. As we approach April 14th, please pray that Jesus would put the Chibok girls in the world’s spotlight; pray that the Nigerian government would not give up trying to save these women.
  • Amina Ali Nkeki. Please pray that she would trust Jesus, and would be more healed than ever.

Thank you for your prayers. ❤

Urgent Prayer Request: Please pray for Leah Sharibu.

As the only girl who was not released out of 110 young “Dapchi girls,” Leah Sharibu is still in Boko Haram captivity as of today, March 27th (source).

Her father, Sharibu Nathan, got the news that she was to be released on Saturday, but has since been waiting for her freedom (source). Both the media and the Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, wrongly informed the public of Leah Sharibu’s freedom, and later Idris defended his statement, explaining that the media misquoted him about the “Dapchi girls” (source).

At age 15, Leah is being held simply because she refused to renounce her faith in Jesus. Boko Haram members ordered her to recite the Islamic profession of faith, but she told them she didn’t know how to recite it, and that she was not brought up Muslim. Boko Haram said they would free her when she learned, and recited, the profession of faith (source).

USA Today reported that her father said this about her persecution: “My daughter is alive, but they wouldn’t release her because she is a Christian.” Alapade Agoro, chairman of a party in opposition to President Buhari’s political party, boldly insinuated that the

BRINGBACKLEAH

A picture of Rebecca Sharibu, Leah’s mother (on the left) and Leah. Photo credits: Kemi Filani blog

current Nigerian government and President had a bias toward helping Muslim girls (but had no real, true evidence to back up his claim). “It is obvious that the federal government negotiated to get the other (Muslim) Dapchi students released,” He said. “It has now become a crime to be a Christian in Nigeria,” USA Today reported (source).

 

Some may ask, “Why in the world would this young woman not just renounce her religion if it meant sparing her from pain and great potential harm?” This is a valid question. Most people would (and actually do) try to avoid suffering at any cost.

 

Could God have willed Leah to go through this extra time of pain? Is it God’s Will that Leah would suffer and be without her family & loved ones, in order to stay true to Him?

Many proponents and teachers of the Prosperity Gospel would say no. But the Bible says differently.

When trying to figure out the will of God in our lives, Christ brings guidance through the inspired words of the Apostle Paul, in Romans 12:2.

“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”
(New International Version)

The pattern of this world says to that you’ve got to climb your way to the top. It tells you to be a good person, but to ultimately bite back in this Dog-eat-dog world.
It tells you to run away from all types of suffering and inconvenience, no matter what that means for anyone else. “Don’t feel like it? Don’t worry– what really matters is honoring yourself first.” It tells us to pursue passion, even at the expense of honor, as Elizabeth Elliot writes. It tells us to inflate our egos with knowledge, to wield power only full of human force, and to build our kingdoms made of sand as high as possible before the waves of death wash it all away.

This world tells us to follow our hearts. But again, the Bible says differently. “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?” (Jeremiah 17:9, NIV).

Society tells us that if the majority of people agree to it and/or is doing it, that must mean it’s okay/true/acceptable.
But Jesus, in His great Love for us, says, “No, my child. Listen to and follow me.” Even when it means you are following Him, seemingly alone.

Leah, in the face of being completely alone, has not conformed to the pattern of this world. She has not held to the belief that lying to get out of suffering was the way to go. She, as a Believer, did not back down from her simple belief in Jesus as her Lord and Savior. And she found out His Will: “through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God,” and “Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, while evil people and impostors will go on from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived” (Acts 14:22; 2 Timothy 3:12-13, ESV). Acts 14:22 does not say that going through trials is the way we are saved, but simply that trials are bound to happen in our walks with Christ. As much as it hurts– and pains our Heavenly Father– trials and persecution are valuable, and are apart of our lives as Believers in a fallen world.

Nathan Sharibu also told reporters, “…They told her they would release her if she converted, but she said she will never become a muslim. I am very sad, but I am also overjoyed because my daughter did not renounce Christ” (source).

Please, let’s pray, pray, pray for this beautiful daughter, sister, friend, and most importantly, Daughter of the King, as she experiences this horror. May Jesus show Himself faithful on her behalf!

This post is dedicated to all those who are currently suffering persecution of any kind. May Jesus strengthen you, encourage you, and faithfully lead and guide you down paths for His namesake. ❤


Do you know Jesus?

In our deepest, darkest suffering, the testimony of still holding on to Christ and proclaiming that He is good, even in our pain, can be nothing short of shocking to the world.

Perhaps you have somehow found yourself on this page, reading this blog post, and wondering, “Why would a 15 year old girl choose to remain so faithful to Jesus?”

Friend, let me tell you the truth, today: It is because Jesus is God, He is Risen and reigning, and is lovingly interested in and involved in every detail of our lives. To learn more about this living, intimate God, here.


Please pray (find the prayer sheet, here)…

  • for Leah. Please pray that she is protected by Jesus and His angels, and would continue to put her faith, trust, and hope in Christ as she experiences whatever she is experiencing.
  • That others would come to know of this, and would know more of what is happening in Northern Nigeria.
  • That the remaining Chibok girls would be released, in Jesus’ timing.

Thank you for your prayers!!! May Leah be taken care of!