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News / Thoughts

Support for Chibok families

September 1, 2014

It’s five months now since the Chibok girls were abducted by Boko Haram. While their plight initially gained a lot of news coverage, the media has moved on to other stories, and there is no news of the girls to cheer their parents.

Over this time, we’ve been asking you to write a message of support to the families of the missing girls. With much prayer and a fair bit of danger, an Opend Doors field team made the risky journey to Chibok where they met with 140 parents and presented them with thousands of messages from around the world. There were many tears and cries as they met together, but there was encouragement, too.

Hauwa, one of the mothers, said, “All this while I have been thinking about my life and asking God about my situation. I thought I was alone in this battle. I thought everyone hated me. I concluded that my life has come to an end, because there is no one who cares for me and my situation. However, now I know that people around the world are praying for me and my situation. I am at peace now. I imagine the love of Christ flowing through my veins, giving me hope in my hopelessness. All these prayers sent to me from these wonderful people are changing my life. Jesus, I give you the praise.”

Life in Chibok

Life is hard for the parents of the abducted girls. Many of them head to their farms each day, intending to work, only to find that they are too overcome with grief and turmoil to make much progress. As a result, many face hunger and stress related illnesses. Open Doors has been able to provide them with some financial assistance towards food and medicine.

The continued insecurity has left Chibok all but destroyed and almost deserted. Many people have left, and there is no functioning school or hospital. Many churches have been burned. Food is scarce. A few soldiers have been deployed to protect what is left, but the people of Chibok place little trust in them.

Just 40km away from Chibok, the town of Gwoza has been captured by Boko Haram and declared as the capital of their ‘caliphate’. “Only God can come to our aid in this situation,” one church leader told us. “We are in a very difficult situation.”

Receiving a visit from Open Doors staff at a time when few are venturing into the area, along with your messages, offered a glimmer of hope to the families in Chibok. “I am happy to know that people around the globe are praying for me, I am strengthened,” said Wachai. Another parent, Naomi, shared: “No greater love is there that at this time of our grief someone came all the way and risked their lives for our sakes…We feel loved and supported by this act of love. We are so grateful. The Lord bless you abundantly!”

Where is Chibok?

Stand with the Chibok families

Nigerian bishops have called on Christians at home and around the world to pray for the church in Nigeria. Between now and December, in Maiduguri – the home of Boko Haram – churches are meeting every month to pray, pleading with God to intervene. Please pray with them too using the points below.

On 11 September it will be 150 days since the Chibok girls were abducted. Sign up to our thunderclap and remind the world that these girls are still missing. Thunderclap is a website that allows people to pledge a social media post. All pledged posts will go out at the same time, on the same day, saying the same thing – in order to achieve the maximum impact.

When you click the link and choose ‘Support with Facebook’, ‘Support with Twitter’ or ‘Support with Tumblr’, we’ll send just one message through your account, at 11am on 11 September. The message will include a link to the Open Doors website, and it will say: ‘150 days ago, Boko Haram abducted 200 girls. Those girls are still missing. 150 days is too long. #BringBackOurGirls’

Please pray…

  • for the swift and safe return of the Chibok girls
  • for God’s comfort and provision for their families
  • for wisdom for those who are attempting to negotiate the release of the abducted girls
  • for peace in Nigeria and an end to Boko Haram’s reign of terror

We support people who are beaten, tortured,
imprisoned, falsely accused, and hated simply for following Jesus.