The afternoon of February 22, two suspected an extremist group that is located primarily in Northern Nigeria gunmen opened fire on Christians gathered at a family home in the Gombe State village of Urshalima, killing six men and injuring eight others. Francis Maina shared with Open Doors (OD) from his hospital bed, saying “They want to deter us from our faith in Christ! They cannot succeed. This incident draws us closer to Christ.” The following Monday, family members buried the deceased, known simply as Adamu, Hamma, Yohanna B, and Amana. Adamu Umaru was buried the following Thursday.
Open Doors visited the eight injured in the Federal Medical Center within days of the incident to pray, bring comfort and assess needs. Financial assistance was provided to the affected families.
Boko Haram’s reign of terror seems designed to ultimately remove Christianity from northern Nigeria in order to establish Sharia law. Although the church deeply grieves the countless lives lost since the onslaught on northern Christians started in November 2011, it remains full of hope.
God is graciously enabling Christians to reflect and regroup, strengthening both their faith and their testimony. Christian leaders also remain thankful for the sincere concern and support given to them by worldwide Christians through OD.
“OD has been our closest partner in Gombe. Your ministry has in a great measure strengthened the body of Christ, and we feel loved. You share our pain as if it is your own. Every time we found ourselves in this tragic situation, you have been the first to demonstrate the love of God. We are so grateful. The Lord who sees in secret and in the open will bless you abundantly in Jesus name,” said Evangelist Musa.
OD representatives returned home encouraged and hopeful remembering Francis’ testimony. “I know that Jesus will raise me from this hospital bed. I am confident that because the larger body of Christ is aware of our situation and is praying for us, Christ’s power will unite his people from every color, nationality and denomination. May the blessings of the Lord envelope your ministry,”
Father, once again our hearts pray with yearning for peace to return to northern Nigeria. We grieve the loss of those who were killed in the attack, comforting ourselves in the knowledge that Your presence is with the families who mourn. May they know the overwhelming comfort and peace only You can bestow. We pray that church leaders in Gombe State will seek and receive Your wisdom in vast measure as they lead Your church in the midst of relentless attacks. Grant the church faithful courage and strength in the midst of dark and uncertain times. Protect Open Doors teams as they travel in this unstable region to encourage and assist the Christians. In this battle being waged in the heavens, we take courage in the sure hope that Christ has already won the victory and we pray for the day when Christ returns and all wars cease. In the name of Jesus, our Victor, Amen.