Armed Robbers Hold Nigerian Missionaries At Gunpoint, Steal Evangelistic Tools and Equipment

August 18, 2011

Gabriel Barau and his missionary team were returning from one of the regular stops of the "School on Wheels" which was provided through Christian Aid Mission in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Missionaries sharing the gospel with Fulani men. School on Wheels in background.

Suddenly, they were stopped and surrounded by armed robbers.

Gabriel writes, "So terrible and traumatizing. I bore it a little more easily because you remember that I had this experience before...but not as horrible as this-in the dead of night with dangerous men pointing guns at me, demanding that I give them everything I have or they shoot us all.

"We think the robbers are likely Fulanis who wanted money to buy more cows. They asked why I had a big vehicle but no money. They took all we had. If they knew how to drive, they would have driven away in my vehicle. They said next time they will kill me.

The greatest numbers of Fulani are found in Nigeria where at least 17 million live. They form a large part of the strongly Muslim ruling class in the nation. One Christian Aid-supported indigenous missionary ministry has made tremendous inroads with the Fulani since they began working among them in 2002. Several native missionaries have joined the nomadic life of this targeted group, and others place themselves in strategic stopping places where Fulani wanderers trade and pick up needed supplies, taking every opportunity to present Christ.

Fulani, who are 80 percent nomadic, typically do not stay in one place for longer than three months because of their livestock. The School on Wheels, a van equipped with educational materials, Fulani Bibles, first aid materials, veterinarian medical supplies, cots, a generator, and a video projector for Christian films, has produced much fruit. Missionaries are praying for more vehicles to increase the scope and effectiveness of this project.