“I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was ill and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.”
In partnership with the local church, Open Doors has been strengthening persecuted Christians in northern Nigeria since 1997. Here are four ways your support is making a real difference:
In Gulak, just 14 Christian families were supporting over 300 children, orphaned or separated from their parents by Boko Haram attacks. This exhausted their already meagre resources. Thanks to your support, we were able to provide rice, corn, and beans through local partners. “This food will go a long way in feeding these children. May the Lord replenish the hearts of those who showered love on us,” said Sunday, one of the hosts.
Many families have fled their homes in the wake of Boko Haram attacks, but finding another place to go can be difficult. Open Doors was able to partner with the local community in the village of Umaisha to provide houses for 15 families fleeing the violence in Yobe state. Most of them have found work farming, their children go to school and their teenagers are active in the local church. “These families have proven to be a real blessing for the locals,” an Open Doors field worker said. “The life of fear and uncertainty is gone. The joy is indescribable.”
When bomb blasts hit Jos in May, dozens of people were instantly killed, and 77 people, mostly Christians, were wounded and taken to hospital. In Nigeria, when someone is in hospital their family would usually provide food and pay their medical bills. When Open Doors partners visited the bomb blast victims, some had not been able to contact family members and were relying on hospital staff to donate money and food for them. Your support enabled us to contribute towards their medical bills, as well as providing food. Victor Gyang, whose chest was injured by the bomb blast, said: “I am so grateful. May God bless you and answer your prayers.”
Nigerian pastors may not be in a physical prison, but in Yobe state the instability and constant threat of attack can leave them feeling isolated and forgotten. Earlier this year, Open Doors workers were able to meet with pastors there. The majority of believers have chosen to leave this part of Nigeria due to the high levels of violence, and the pastors had to meet with us in a secluded area due to the insecurity of the region. One pastor said, “We trust God and believe that the prayers of the saints around the world will keep us. We trust the Lord for protection… We continue to pray for you as you are praying for us.”
These are just a few examples of the way your support is enabling Open Doors to support Christians in northern Nigeria. Please continue to stand with the church there.
We support people who are beaten, tortured,
imprisoned, falsely accused, and hated simply for following Jesus.