Outraged

The email’s subject line said, “YOU SHOULD BE OUTRAGED.”
1200 Christians have been killed in Nigeria.
But to be honest, I wasn’t outraged.
Anger did not fill me. Tears did not start streaming down my face.
Even writing a post about it seemed more laborious than anything.

This is my fault, though. Jesus doesn’t kill our joy with religious tasks.
He doesn’t demand works—“or else.”
It’s me. Being legalistic. Again.

So now, I write to you:
Please pray for those this blog is about and dedicated for.
The families of the 1200 innocent Christians in Nigeria who were slaughtered,
and the countless more that are in terrorist captivity.

And please pray for me, too,
that I would be filled anew and afresh with love and passion
for these people.
That it wouldn’t be a chore, but an honor;
A crime that makes me outraged.

© 2020, Annalee Hoover

Do you know Jesus?

Jesus came to earth to do what no one else could: save humanity from hell. Learn more about Jesus and what He has done for humanity, here.

Please pray for…

  • Nigeria and its surrounding nations, that they would turn to Jesus during this time.
  • For those in captivity, that they would be freed soon.
  • That those experiencing captivity would come to know Jesus, even in their pain.

Thank you all for reading and praying! It makes such a huge difference. Have a blessed day!

Harem: The Women in Captivity

Hi guys. Yesterday, I watched a documentary called “Harem,” a documentary about how women in the Harem of the Sultan in Istanbul rose up into power and prestige. (You can watch the documentary here). These women did this through sex and having the Sultans fall in love with them. It was an interesting documentary, but many things caught my ear: Muslims during this time could only use Christian women as concubines (not free Muslim women), and there were many other policies used to oppress women of the Christian faith.

While some of these women were lucky and lived a live of luxury because of seducing the sultans, many of these concubines were locked in the Harem area: torn away from their families and made prisoners of war, used purely for sex by the sultan.

It sounded all too relevant, as the Chibok girls and SO many others have been ripped from their loved ones and made into slaves (hopefully not for sex). These women are chosen and given value based purely upon their looks and their creed… which breaks my heart, because these are real people.

589347 (1)

Women with names, pasts, homes, loved ones.
Women forced to do many things purely out of being in bondage.

Unfortunately, this kind of subjugation and persecution is nothing new, as shown in the documentary. But there is hope for today. As long as the names of these precious, kidnapped young men and women are remembered, their value, humanity, and story will never be forgotten. This is incredibly important.

YELLOW.jpg

Please pray with me over those currently in the same predicament as those concubines were, so long ago. May they know their value by looking to the true King, King Jesus. May they never give up hope for freedom, and may they be freed soon, so that the healing can begin.

“Dear Lord Jesus,
You see each and every girl locked away all over the world. We pray specifically over those women held captive by Muslim terrorists like Boko Haram. Lord Jesus, may Your Daughters in captivity learn and know their value in You, and that they are not valued only for their bodies. Please bring down Boko Haram, bring those men to know You, and show them how to respect women. Please free these girls soon, and help them all to heal.
It is in Your Name we pray,
Amen.”


Do you know Jesus?

As said before, Jesus cares for each and every woman: locked away, and free but locked away due to sin. He thinks they are—that all people are—worth dying for. Learn more about how Jesus died for you and me, here.

The Fight Against Evil

This last week, Al-Shabab, a muslim terrorist organization, blew up cars outside of a Nairobi hotel called the Dusit hotel complex and then proceeded to set off bombs within the hotel. The death toll is confusing; it is either 14 or 47 innocent people1 who were killed in the terrorist attack.

Again, evil seems to reign.

001157df-800.jpgPictures taken at the scene are full of people crying, shocked and saddened by the carnage in front of them. But one does not need to experience a terrorist attack to know what evil is. Like an insidious cancer, evil in this world has been in action since Adam and Eve took a bite of that forbidden fruit. We, humanity, brought evil into this world; and with evil, comes death.

How does one look at such evil in the face, and live? How can one not be swallowed up by evil, becoming more like it every time their hearts become more and more calloused to the world around? Such pain, anger, and darkness that is void of hope is bound to darken a person’s outlook on life.

But I want to hug these people affected by terrorism. I want to cry with them, knowing that no amount of kind words can heal the lacerations all over their hearts.

But most of all, as I look into the eyes of the people in these pictures, I want to lovingly point them to the only Hope we have: Jesus.

hope

I want to tell them that He is the God of All Comfort. That He did not cause this evil, but rather allowed it, and is yearning to comfort those who are so affected by it.

I won’t pretend that these words don’t hold questions. I do not claim to completely understand evil or why it happens.

All I know is that there is One who has ultimately defeated it, forever. And that, as I look at these tragic photos, gives me Hope.

He is making everything new. Come back, Lord Jesus! Let it be so.

alan-labisch-119968-unsplash (3).jpg

PHOTO CREDIT: ALAN LABISCH

1 https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/01/explosions-gunfire-heard-kenyan-capital-nairobi-190115130845511.html; https://www.rte.ie/news/world/2019/0115/1023365-nairobi-attack/


Do you know Jesus?

Jesus came humbly into a world full of messiness, illness, and darkness. Learn about what He did—and how it changes everything—here.


Please pray for (Get the prayer sheet here)…

  • Those affected in this attack in Nairobi.
  • The worldwide Church, especially in Nairobi. May the Church come to comfort, love and support those hurt in this event.
  • The Chibok girls, as well as Leah Sharibu.
  • The fight against Boko Haram and Al-Shabab; much more, the fight against evil.

People Set Free!!!

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens…
(Ecclesiastes 3:1, NIV)

I am happy to report that on February 10th, 2017, two professors and one person who was a driver for the University of Maiduguri were released from Boko Haram captivity, as well as ten women who were taken captive by Boko Haram in July of 2017!!!

I can only imagine it… the taste of freedom, breathing the air with free lungs– looking up at the sun and moon and knowing that you– at least, not physically– are no longer in a place of darkness and fear.

It is always beautiful, good news to hear that someone has been set free. It is a sigh of relief, a smile on the face; sweet tears streaming down the cheeks, and a heart bursting with Joy.

Friends, on the eve of Valentine’s Day 2018, this is what happened to me. Weighed down with a seemingly unexplained heaviness, full of anger and a pride that said “I deserve God’s Love and Acceptance because I’m doing x, y, and z,” I went to a Bible study from Lysa TerKeurst about how Jesus is the Water of Life. About how He decided to go into “enemy terrority”– as God, becoming human flesh, and then as a Jew, heading into Samaria (the land of the Jew’s enemies, the Samaritans), just so that He could tell one woman that He was the One her heart had been waiting for (John 4). How did I come out of this Bible study? Filled with the sense that Jesus, just as He spoke to this unloved woman, wanted to speak to me.

I realized things about myself that were hidden deep— things I had not thought about or let myself feel for years. Through tears, cries, and a profound leading of the Holy Spirit, the lies that had caused my heart to grow cold with fear and legalism were replaced with Truth: that I am not under Jesus’ wrath. That the deep pain my own sin caused years ago was nailed to the cross at Calvary. That I am free.

And so I write this today, looking at the physical freedom these people have– and am truly blessed to know that our God delights in setting people free. 

As the wonderful Lysa Terkeurst has said, “[Jesus] is a God who knows women, and who knows trauma.” And as I look at this blog, I see this as a Truth that has been proven time and time again! He is our Rescuer, a God of Order, compassionately passionate about each and every person who has ever lived. And He reaches out to each and every one of us.

As we celebrate the fact that 13 people were set free from the violent, bounding, fearful captivity of Boko Haram– and the dead religious system it belongs to, let us not also forget those who still need to become free: the remaining 112 young women, held captive for simply going to school. 

It has been reported that these Chibok girls are being negotiated for, and this shred of seemingly solid, trusty news fills my heart with a ray of Hope– a ray of Hope that not all is lost, that maybe not everything (like the video from Boko Haram) is what it seems, and most of all, that Jesus– this God who sets people free– is above it all. I have no idea of what He’s doing, or how He’s doing it. All I know is that HE IS. 

And no matter what happens– through the Joy, or through the pain– I know who He is, and I trust Him; and that is all I need to know.

I leave you with this question: Where are you in your relationship with Jesus? Where have you kept the Lord out of, for way too long? He will shed His Light upon it. But it is not to shame you; it is to free you. Invite Him in, today; rest in the Truth that you are set free.

set free.jpg

This blog post is dedicated to the 17 people senselessly killed by a mass school shooter in the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting, in Parkland, Florida on February 14th, 2018. May Jesus be with these people and guide the country forward.



Do you know Jesus?

Around 2,000 years ago, Jesus stepped down from a perfect, painless existence in heaven, enjoying unhindered fellowship with God the Father and the Holy Spirit, to live in a sin-filled, wicked world, and to die in the most excruciating way possible. The crazy part of all of this? Jesus, God in human flesh, did it FREELY– He had all of the freedom in the world, and yet He CHOSE to die, under the wrath and punishment of God, and bearing every mistake and sin we have ever made (1 Peter 2:24; Isaiah 53:6; Hebrews 10:8-9).

For you. For me. Personally.

So that we would never have to.

Because He Loves you

Learn more about this wonderful God, His Love for you, and what it all means, here.


Prayer Requests (print out a “Prayer Points” sheet here):

  • Praise Jesus for the AMAZING work He is doing– the work that we can see, and the work that we can’t see!
  • Please pray for all of the Chibok girls; that Jesus would help those who are still reeling from being taken out of captivity, and for those who are still in captivity.
  • That Jesus would FREE those who are stuck in darkness– that all those in Northeast Nigeria, including even Boko Haram, would come to know Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.
  • That those affected by the evil mass shooting that occurred on February 14th, 2018 would come to know Jesus Christ through it– and that Jesus would lead our leaders to make wise decisions to protect people from a tragedy like this.

“For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.”
(Colossians 1:13-14, NLT)

Thank you for your prayers!!!

Victory!

There is a darkness all around us. Whether one senses it or not, a spirit of sorrow– of fear, of loneliness, of hopelessness– reigns in the hearts and minds of countless people all over the globe. Daily, we read articles of heartwrenching violence abroad, while locally, the day’s headlines include senseless tragedies, marring the day with disheartening, sober pensiveness.

In nations like Nigeria, Iraq, and inumerable european countries all across the East, this darkness is both strikingly felt and incomprehensibly heavy. With events such as a child suicide bombing committed by a girl as young as seven years old in Nigeria, to the kidnapping of close to 90 christian Assyrians in Syria, the incessant persecution and violence found in these nations are a cause for deep terror in the hearts and minds of people caught in the crossfire. And while the Boko Haram insurgency found in Nigeria and its surrounding nations is being fought back against by a heavy-handed AU Army, the warfare found in Nigeria– as well as across the middle east– is only a symptom, a physical manifestation, of the spiritual warfare occuring all over the planet, every moment of our lives. Continue reading