This page is adapted from a facebook post I wrote a while back, explaining my heart for the women and girls of Chibok, the church of Chibok, and Nigeria as a whole. It is written here (with a few edits) to help you understand more clearly how all of this beautiful thing came about.
I only pray these words would be Christs, not mine:
Hey guys, it’s AnnaLee here. There’s been a lot put on my heart, and it’s time I stop letting my own life’s convenience get in the way of reality, justice, compassion, and SALVATION for people all around the world, especially in Nigeria.
What have you heard on the news about Nigeria so far? It seems that, in a nation and generation where horrible news goes in one ear and out the other, it can be hard to hold onto, process, and take to heart the reality of these situations (at least, I know it’s hard for me). Back in April, when the 267 Chibok school girls were abducted from their school by the Boko Haram, this news also slipped right through my consciousness. But about 2 weeks later, on the first day of our Nehemiah study titled “Biblical Compassion” on a devotional website called She Reads Truth, a woman commented on the post, asking for prayers and support for the community of Chibok and for the rescue of these school girls. What ensued was a flood of women coming together in prayer, pledges of fasting things for these girls as they sought the Lord Jesus, and words of encouragement for all people involved. I immediately felt led to learn more about what was happening, and as I read articles and watched the video the Boko Haram released, I was deeply and profoundly grieved for the entire state of Nigeria, especially that of the 267 abducted girls.
I became frustrated and complacent, until Christ confronted me with this: “Why did you stop caring? I never stopped caring. I am near to them. These hands bled for THEM too.” It hit me with the most honest, concrete grief I’ve felt in a while.
Here are the words He’s spoken to me about these girls, found in Isaiah 49 and 62, as I sought His Word one morning praying about these girls:
“Because I love Zion, because my heart yearns for Jerusalem, I will not cease to pray for her or to cry out to God on her behalf until she shines forth in his righteousness and is glorious in his salvation. The nations shall see your righteousness. Kings shall be blinded by your glory; and God will confer on you a new name… Never again shall you be called “The God-forsaken Land” or the “Land That God Forgot.” Your new name will be “The Land of God’s Delight” and “The Bride,” for the Lord delights in you and will claim you as his own. Your children will care for you, O Jerusalem, with joy like that of a young man who marries a virgin; and God will rejoice over you as a bridegroom with his bride.” (Isaiah 62:1-5)
What He showed me next is what changed my heart towards all of this:
“O Jerusalem, I have set intercessors on your walls who shall cry to God all day and all night for the fulfillment of his promises. Take no rest, all you who pray, and give God no rest until he establishes Jerusalem and makes her respected and admired throughout the earth.” (Isaiah 62:6-7)
It was: “AnnaLee, don’t stop praying. I hear you. And don’t let others forget. Don’t be silent. Bring them to cry out to me, too.”
I prayed for God’s will on how He wanted all of this to go about, and when my dad told me about POW/MIA bracelets for soldiers when I asked his advice, my soul leaped with joy and yearning delight. Tears came to my eyes. That’s exactly what He’s called me to do. Humble, yes; simple, sure. Small, cute, unassuming? In the world’s eyes. But he’s called me spread the word, keep their memories alive, and inspire much prayer for justice and salvation– not just in this situation, and not just in Nigeria, but in this entire world as a whole.
Because “these” people are not just “those people in 3rd world countries.” They are not just “‘those’ people with sad eyes, distended stomachs, and bare, dusty feet.”
“These girls” are not just “ours.” They are HIS, and He has NOT EVER forgotten them. And we can no longer be silent. Because His arm is not too short to save– and when He promises something, HE MEANS IT.
Please let me know if ANY of you would want one of these bracelets. I’m not looking for donations or money. I will send/bring them to you free of charge, with the prayer that:
1) They’d inspire deeper, more intimate, more honest seeking of a relationship with The God who LOVES YOU, no matter WHO you are who you THINK you are. Who is ABOVE every philosophical, political, racial, cultural, and religious divide seeking to muck up His face and His mighty purpose for this entire Earth, all of Mankind: to KNOW Him through the death and resurrection of His son, Christ Jesus, being SET FREE from the sin of old life by His blood alone (Eph 2:8, Heb 10:14) .
2) After this, that in this adventurous, passionate, scandalous relationship full of Grace with the God who has saved you, He’d use these bracelets to stir up the hearts of His people for those who are still gagged, bound, beaten and bruised by the sin of the this world– both physically and spiritually. That these would remind and inspire their wearers (and the people who see them) to be peaceMAKERS, not just peacekeepers; to be people who Pray earnestly for the abducted school girls of Chibok, the community they inhabit, their oppressors (who are oppressed themselves), and all kinds of injustice everywhere.
May we not be silent. With all we have, may we cry out.
Everybody, be blessed.
Hephzibah Bracelets, because of some unforeseen life events, are no longer being made. Over time, they became an idol, and creating them perfectly became such a goal that my spiritual and mental health were hindered because of it. However, the blog and prayer updates will continue, as events develop. Thank you for reading. Be blessed.