Violence and Instability Take Their Toll on Nigerian Children
In Nigeria children face persecution based on their parents’ decision to accept Christ, the children’s decision to hold on to Jesus even when their parents backslide, or as victims of violence against the church in northern Nigeria.
Japheth lost his parents and siblings when he was only seven months old, during an attack in his village. Cuddled by his mother, he was stabbed on the head and the buttocks by a Muslim extremist. Thinking that was dead Japheth was left in his dying mothers arms; but to the glory of God, he survived. Japheth is now 18 months old and in good health. Pray that Japheth will continue growing in the reverence and love of God to fulfill the special purpose of his survival.
Carol, Jacob, Jinkai, Reuben, and Malita lost their father in April 2011 during the post-election violence. Sadly they watched their father die in his hospital bed. Pray that they will receive grace to forgive the killers of their father and for God’s provision for the family.
Sisters Chimankpa, Patience and Faith, along with their brothers Emmanuel and Paul, are finding it difficult to bear the loss of their father and forgive his killers. Their minds now cling to the vision of that horror filled day when Muslim youths trapped the family in their home and attacked their father. During the attack their father shouted to his children to hold on to the Lord in every circumstance.
Pray for three children from North West Nigeria. Their father denied Christ and abandoned them with their sick mother. The church is currently assisting the family but has very few resources to continue supporting them. Pray that believers in the region will see the need to reach out and support these children, for God’s provision for that, and for these wounded survivors to experience the life giving love of their Father in Heaven.
The children of Benjamin, a police officer who lost his life in the 2008 violence in Jos plateau state, have come under constant pressure from their relatives to come live with them. Traditionally, children are expected to live with their father’s family, but their mother has refused. They have tried several times to forcefully take the children but their mother is resisting them, saying she would not release her children to a life of uncertainty. Pray that this family will be able to stay together and for the Lord to provide for all of their needs, both physically and spiritually.
Several girls, Shamdetu, Esther, Safiratu and Mary, along with their male classmates, Yahaya, Matthew, Ezekiel and Nuhu, have recently received a children’s Bible from Open Doors. But these children have become bitter over the treatment they receive at school from their Muslim teachers. At school the teachers force them to recite the Quran, and in some cases, force them to pray the Islamic way. They are also unhappy with the treatment their communities receive from the state and local government authorities. Pray that the love of Christ will abound in the heart of these children. Pray for understanding as they study their new Bibles. Pray that they will give their best in school and in their studies.
Father, our hearts grieve over the violence and bloodshed in Nigeria, and for the many children who have been left orphaned and traumatized. We humbly ask that You comfort them in their grief and shelter them in Your arms from any further harm. Father, may they learn to forgive those who hurt them, just as we have been forgiven. Father provide opportunities for them to learn more about You so they can bravely stand as a witness to Your love, hope and peace. Amen