05 27 Newsflashes from the Persecuted Church
Nigeria: Open Doors Delivers Prayer Messages to Parents of Missing Girls
An Open Doors worker recently visited parents of over 200 Chibok girls who remain missing six weeks after their abduction by the terrorist group Boko Haram. The purpose of the visit was to encourage the parents and to deliver close to half of the nearly 2,000 prayer messages Open Doors has received for them from Christians around the world so far.
An Open Doors worker says: “The atmosphere remains tense in Chibok and surrounding areas. In one of the villages the local chief, upon seeing us, went into his house and came out with a gun. He wanted to shoot us. He thought we were members of Boko Haram because we came by car.”
After the Open Doors team had convinced him that they were Christians coming to encourage and pray for the parents, he put away his gun and joined them in going around nearby villages.
The worker adds: “We tried to visit as many of the parents as we could. However, some of the women have gone to Abuja and others have gone to their farms away from town. Rain has also made some of the roads impassable and prevented us from getting to some of the more remote villages.
“Our colleague was deeply touched to see the effects of the pain on the parents. What they are going through is unimaginable. Many we met were simply too broken to say much at all. They just cried. Clearly the pressure is taking its toll.”
Local media reported on May 22 that one father of eight children whose two daughters were abducted died of a heart attack recently. It is not clear if Mutai Hona was a Christian. He is the second Chibok parent to have died under the pressure of the situation. Mary Lalai died of a heart attack shortly after hearing that her daughter was among those abducted.
One heart-broken father, Ishaya, told Open Doors that the shock of his daughter’s abduction was so great that it has left him paralyzed. “I feel so bad…I cannot even get out of bed. I leave everything to God.”
The Christians of Chibok are not highly-educated people and are not rich economically. They live simple lives in sincere dependence on God for things most of us around the world take for granted. Yet, in the midst of the crisis, many of the families responded with the optimistic and bold faith Open Doors workers have come to know and love about the northern Nigerian Christians. They expressed a firm hope that they will yet see their daughters unharmed. Where there is life, there is hope.
Ayuba and his wife, Rifkatu, said, “We are worried and sad, but we hope in God.”
Another parent, Tabitha, expressed confidence in her daughter’s resilience. “For as long as she lives, she will look for ways to get back home. By the grace of God, she will return to me,” she said.
Open Doors USA is continuing its prayer and writing campaign to the families of the abducted Nigerian girls. To encourage the families with your notes, go to http://blog.opendoorsusa.org/send-prayers-encouragement-families-300-girls-kidnapped-nigeria/ for blogs and http://lp.opendoorsusa.org/emails/may-14-news/ for prayers.
Egypt: Egyptian Christian Optimistic about His Voting Experience
“I just came back to my office after I voted in the presidential elections on Monday. The atmosphere was festive with very long queues of men and women lining up to vote. It’s so different than last year presidential elections that brought former Muslin Brotherhood president Mohammad Morsi to office.
“The average feeling in line was there is much more hope in the future than last year. Egyptians long to celebrate and are desperate for hope. Please pray that they find the ultimate hope in the Lord.
“While in line, I heard two Muslim men behind me chatting while waiting for their turn to vote. During the conversation, they referred to a Christian friend of theirs. They went on praising this Christian friend for his genuine love for Egypt, compassion for his Muslim friend and unique hope.
“Our message is heard and millions of Muslims are still waiting to be introduced to the hope of glory in Jesus Christ. Please continue to pray with us for Egypt.”
The voting in Egypt concludes today.