Boko Haram forces ministry to relocate

Nigerian ministry was forced to relocate. (Photo courtesy of Christian Aid)

Nigerian ministry was forced to relocate.
(Photo courtesy of Christian Aid)

Nigeria (MNN) — Boko Haram’s violent presence in Nigeria continues to grow.

Christian Aid Mission, your link to indigenous missions, feels the ripple effects of their activity. With the recent attack on Mubi, their ministry partners on the ground were forced to relocate.

Amie Cotton of Christian Aid describes the same scene that has taken place over and over again in Nigeria: “It literally has been people grabbing their things and going, and so there’s been a lot of commotion and looking for people and what not…. Two children from one of their ministry participants were actually taken by Boko Haram.”

Thankfully, these children were recovered three days later, to the relief of their parents and the ministries involved.

Boko Haram currently controls more than two dozen cities and towns in northeast Nigeria where Mubi is located. Some sources believe their next target is Yola, where many families have been fleeing to. (Read more about that here).

According to Christian Aid and the National Emergency Management Agency, more than 17,000 Internally Displaced People–including 6,000 children–are registered in Yola refugee camps.

As the chaos and fear continues in Northern Nigeria, Cotton says, “We have been getting continuous communications asking for prayer and asking just for wisdom and discernment and protection from the Lord for this ministry as they relocate.”

Not thinking of themselves

Cotton says many of their ministry partners are continuing to minister to the people around them even as they flee to a new location. They want to help suffering people, no matter who they are, because Christ would do the same thing.

Meanwhile, these ministry partners are looking for a safe place to stay a while so they can continue to administer aid.

What does it mean for the rest of the world?

For many of us, life is not drenched in fear on a regular basis. When life is chaotic, it’s because of a busy work schedule, children’s sporting events, etc.

This doesn’t mean people who are more fortunate should feel guilty that they have a safe place to lie down and sleep at night and that they know all the members of their family are safe.

But it also doesn’t mean they can ignore what is happening in Northern Nigeria. The first step to making a difference is to pray.

Cotton shares a variety of things to pray for regarding this situation: “Pray for the security; pray for the protection that God would just put a hedge of protection over His people and over unbelievers.”

This is the place to start. And when God ministers to you through these prayers, perhaps you can pray in a way that’s a lot more challenging. That is, pray for the Boko Haram themselves.

Cotton explains, “If you’re not in the right faction of their Islamic beliefs, it’s nothing for them to just kill people. So, I pray that God would open the hearts and eyes of these Boko Haram militants and cause them to see what they are truly doing and just break their hearts and cause them to see their need for Christ. That’s what’s going to change things.”

If God has blessed you with the call and desire to partner with ministries financially, you can partner with Christian Aid by clicking here.

Do not be discouraged

Even in the darkest places at the darkest times, there is always reason to praise God. Cotton says that while we pray for God’s healing light to shine through and minister to the IDPs, it’s actually happening.

She says, “Our area director was mentioning that in the midst of this turmoil, the Church is growing. It’s ugly and hard, but God is using it to turn the hopeless to their Savior. And He’s also using it to bring some of His children home to Himself.”