Please Pray for the Cotrells: Loving Those Around Us

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: a time to be born and a time to die… a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance.
(Ecclesiastes 3: 2,4, NIV) Continue reading

Pray this Memorial Day

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Some people remember and celebrate their lost loved ones on Memorial Day; others honor those who have been lost in wartime.

Whichever camp you fall into (or perhaps both), please focus your prayers on grieving loved ones and on the US military.

Thank you, and have an amazing Memorial Day weekend!

Christ’s Love through the Pain

“Your unfailing love, O Lord, is as vast as the heavens;
    your faithfulness reaches beyond the clouds.
Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains,
    your justice like the ocean depths.
You care for people and animals alike, O Lord.”
(Psalm 36:5-6, NLT)

It is unavoidable to talk about. This past weekend in Northern Nigeria has been filled with terror, and grief, and injustice.

On Sunday, two little girls– around 7 years old— were strapped to explosives, and walked into a busy market in the state of Borno, Nigeria (source). Detonating their explosives, they killed one other person, and injured 18 people.

“They got out of a rickshaw and walked right in front of me without showing the slightest sign of emotion,” one soldier told the Daily Mail (source). Not responding to anything he said, the girls walked into the crowd, straight-faced, before blowing up the explosives put upon their young frames.

These little girls were not the only bombers. On Friday, December 9th, two women walked into a market in the city of Madagali, Nigeria. Walking to the opposite sides of the crowded market, they also killed themselves– blowing themselves up while killing 45 people, and injuring 33 (source).

There is no way to ignore it; the terror, the grief, and the injustice is real to all those who have been affected by such bombings. It is real to everyone who ever witnessed the outrageous lack of reaction from the Nigerian government to such violence (which has only changed within the past year). While it is true that the Nigerian military has undergone noticeable change, and Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari is claiming that they are working “at slamming the final nail in the coffin of Boko Haram,” nothing changes the heartbreaking reality, that many families are still slamming nails into the coffins of their loved ones, 7 years into the insurgency. Continue reading

The Baga Massacre: A Voice for the Voiceless

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.

Continue reading

The Peshawar School Massacre: Mourning with Those who Mourn

Though this event did not occur in Nigeria, Christ led me to write about it. The story needs to be told; these words need to be heard.

On December 16th, 2014, seven men from the Taliban attacked a military-run school in Peshawar, Pakistan, killing 141 people– 132 of them children and adolescents.

Bullets were sprayed indiscriminately, covering the classrooms where children had come to simply learn.
How can one even begin to describe the shock,  the outrage, the horror of it all?
Today, as the Pakistani government tries to pick up the pieces of this heartbreaking tragedy, hundreds of parents are putting their young loved ones in caskets, experiencing pain they never thought they’d have to experience: the pain of outliving their own children.
What can one do in the face of such a horrible event? Continue reading