Boko Haram Violence, Wiping Out Entire Communities in Northern Nigeria
Boko Haram violence is wiping out entire communities in northern Nigeria. The government’s National Emergency Management Agency (MENA) estimates that fighting has displaced 1.5 million people within the country.
The effect of the violence on children is particularly heartbreaking. One such group of children are those we met during a previous visit to a refugee camp in Yola. Local church leaders told us they estimated that around one thousand children had been separated from their parents when Boko Haram attacked last year. We met sixteen who had lost both parents.
When he met them, Open Doors researcher, Isaac, could hardly hold back his tears. It was not easy to see them in those circumstances. Recently, he returned to the refugee camp to see how they are doing.
“The challenges facing these children are numerous. They do not know what to do or how long their stay in the camp will continue or what will become of them once they leave the camp. Beyond the immediate and long-term concerns over food and shelter, these children also still have a long emotional journal ahead of them as they come to terms with their loss.”
Isaac reports that there are daily fellowships in the camps and different speakers visit the camp every Sunday to bring the Word of God to them. “It seems to me that the children are growing spiritually in the midst of these challenges,” he reports.
Recently, Isaac delivered one hundred Children’s Bibles to children in the camp. He handed out each of these Bibles personally and prayed for each recipient. It was very humbling to see the children respond with such joy and gratitude to our gifts.
It was astonishing to hear the responses of children receiving the Bibles:
“This is a day of joy. This Bible will be my everything. I remember one day, my father told me that the Bible has answer to all our needs – physical and spiritual. This gift is so precious to me. In a time like this, the Bible is the best companion. I will sleep with it and walk with it until I fully experience God in my life.”
“I hope this Bible will help me to forgive the killers of my parents. I found it very difficult to get it out of my mind, but I know that there is an answer in this book.”
“I want to be like David, to be very strong, to work for God anywhere I find myself.”
*Representative names and photo to protect persecuted Christians