It is heartbreaking to think of the suffering these native Nigerian missionaries are enduring so that those who are in darkness will hear the gospel of the salvation provided by our Lord Jesus Christ.
Following is the latest report I received from a ministry leader who has also become my very good friend. This is a ministry that I know very well, but I am not identifying for their security.
My Dear Sister and Friend Rae,
"That I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in His sufferings, becoming like Him in His death". Philippians 3:10
This verse is the constant cry of our missionaries. So far 2012 has been very turbulent in our mission fields in the Muslim north of Nigeria because of the militant terrorists that have dominated the area for months. We thank you for your prayers and financial help for the work and for those who have been victimized by these brutal attacks.
We are determined to make sure the Lord's work goes on in the midst of opposition.
Field Work And Crises: The fields in Kaduna and Kebbi were affected during the latest crises that saw more than 400 people dead. We had to evacuate our staff in these areas with intense difficulties because of the Islamists who were invading the areas. Relocation would have been much more difficult if Christian Aid had not provided a car for the zonal director for the northern states. We are so grateful.
It was just two months ago we were finally able to get him a sound car to help in these emergencies in the north. if not because he quickly drove to the fields in Kebbi state (about 6 hours drive), the story of rescuing our children and others before the crises consumed them would have been different. Thank you so much.
In Kebbi, many of the indigenes we came to work among were killed. In order to save those who were yet to face the wrath of Boko Haram, we evacuated them to safer grounds. We are now paying rent for five missionaries in Kebbi State and will be ready to take them back to fields when the situation improves.
Many of the locals fled to safer ground, and most are still displaced in neighboring villages. We have been feeding both our converts in some of these areas and as many others as we can.
This is very difficult for us as we have received little extra funding, and our needs are so great. But it is opening many to the love of Christ as we have protected them from death and are now sharing our own meager food supplies with them. We need much more resources financially to be able to handle these issues.
In Kaduna, the bombings brought reprisal from non-Muslims. This led to hundreds of deaths which in turn resulted in our fields being attacked by Muslims in the night. The attackers were targeting the villages, not our work. But still, our missionaries had to be evacuated. Just yesterday, they went back. The area is calmed now as the government has relaxed the curfew from 24 hours to 16 hours a day.
Mubi town in Adamawa State burnt down by Islamic terrorists Boko Haram who began the attack by opening fire on a church.
Our headquarters, office and staff housing: We are feeling a huge responsibility to minister Life and Truth as the crisis of Boko Haram terrorism continues to grow and intensify.
As you know, our headquarters has been in Adamawa State for more than 25 years. Even though it is predominately Islamic, we had no problem other than our Muslim landlord wanting us to move out.
As you know, our work has now expanded geographically to cover most of the Islamic north of Nigeria. Because of the intense danger as well as Adamawa's location in the extreme east of the country, we know that it is time to move our national base to a safer, more centralized location. The problem is the expense.
It has really disturbed us that many of our resources are now expended on security and other issues such as getting staff prepared for any eventuality. There are many days that we cannot even go to the office because of terrorist activity nearby. We need to have a head office where crises are minimal so that we help others in time of need.
We are so grateful to Christian Aid for enabling us to buy the parcel of land near Abuja. But so far, we have been unable to raise the $35,000 needed for our headquarters. We could start with $21,000, but we must have at least that if we are to begin.
The situation is so urgent as we have all been traumatized for the fact that these terrorists are targeting church and missions leaders in the North east. More than 50 pastors and missionary leaders have so far died of this persecution which the federal and State governments seem helpless.
Urgent need: Another urgent need now are motor bikes for eight missionaries serving predominantly among Muslims. This has become a matter of urgency so that missionaries could drive off to safer areas when they are attacked. A good bike costs $1000.
We need to save the lives of rescuers to rescue the perishing. We ask that your help again in this regard. We have seen people escape to nearest police or safer zones for temporal shelter when this crisis arises. Your support of these bikes will help us boldly continue our work among Muslims in other States despite the killings.
Discipleship and protection for persecuted converts: It is essential that new believers in radical Islamic environments be relocated for a time for both their protection and their growth in the Lord. The center is located in a safe area with no Muslim sympathizers.
Some of these converts lost their families for becoming believers. Some are couples who both embraced the truth and were ostracized. We need to send their children to school and help their parents to be self-supporting when they leave. They have left everything they had lived for and have to start life afresh. Some decide to be missionaries back to their own people and will attend the Hausa School of Missions Christian Aid recently helped us to start.
Again, we thank Christian Aid for the funds to build the center, little knowing the tremendous need it would serve. So many Muslims are coming to the Lord that we desperately need to increase and improve the facility. We still need urgent things to help these converts:
- Generator ($700)
- Treated mosquito nets-50 pieces- ($100-$200 each)
- Completing unfinished accommodation ($1000)-ceilings, some few windows and other fittings we have been unable to complete
- Training materials ($500-for school at the center
- Support and feeding ($4000) of more than 13 households, 7 of whom have children. This will provide for a few months.
- Vocational training-materials and equipment ($2000)
- Motor cycle for the director of the center ($1000)
- Hausa bibles ($200-$11 each)
Prayers and support: Both Fulani and Hausas are making great moves to come to the Lord. We need to resettle them and even send their children to school. We need to move fast for the ones who have not yet come in as they can be in great danger. A few of them have been declared missing. We are hoping they are in hiding and will contact us asap.
Church planting and soul winning: This is our only goal: reaching people with Christ as the answer to their lives. We are making great impact in many areas even while the Islamists have affected our work particularly the North east and Kaduna area.
School of Missions: The schools of missions continue to grow. We have more than 46 students at both the Hausa and the English schools. As you know, they are very expensive to run even though we grow some of our own food. Pray that the Lord help us to graduate these ones for missions within the next few months. Pray for their school fees and feeding which is very expensive for us.Then they will need support on the field.
Prayer points: Please
- pray for funds for our office immediately as the situation has so deteriorated in recent times.
- pray for calm in Nigeria and restoration of peace from Boko Haram. There is so much violence that we do not know which news to report or not to report. Each time, they happen in succession.
- pray for the discipleship and protection of the Muslims and Fulani believers.
- pray for new converts for strong faith. Some are so highly traumatized that if nothing much is done for them, they may think of going back. It will be disastrous for converted Muslims already kept in camp to go back as they may reveal information to others. We are highly serious with their discipleship.
- We desperately need motor cycles for northern missionaries as it is essential for them in time of emergencies.
- Drugs and medical facilities for our center
Thank you so much for sharing in His work among the nations.
Love In Christ, a Nigerian missionary ministry leader