(Image courtesy of Christian Aid Mission)
Nigeria (MNN/CAM) ― While past and present Nigerian presidents war over words, Christian Aid Mission reports a stark reality.
According to Human Rights Watch, the Boko Haram has taken over 2,800 lives, with 2012 slated as their bloodiest year. In the past, the militant Islamist group with ties to al-Qaeda targeted other Muslims they felt were on an immoral path, but increasingly they have targeted Christ-followers.
Earlier this week in an interview with CNN, former Nigerian president Olusegun Obasanjo criticized the current government's handling of Boko Haram's terrorist activities. President Goodluck Jonathan, a believer who took office in 2011, responded through his spokesman on Twitter.
"In Jan. 2013, OBJ (Obasanjo) tells CNN Govt should adopt a carrot and stick approach to Boko Haram," the spokesman tweeted. "Genocide & dialogue? Where exactly does he stand?"
A ministry helped by Christian Aid says Boko Haram attacks are occurring almost daily in their location.
Christian Aid has helped an indigenous ministry in Yola, Nigeria, since 1986. Last year, multiple Boko Haram attacks killed over 20 people in Yola. A recent attack claimed the lives of four, including a grandmother and grandchild burned to death in their home.
"In an official letter to the Police Commissioner, terrorist spokesmen threatened to make Yola another center and target of their operations," a native missionary ministry leader told Christian Aid Africa Director, Rae Burnett, in an e-mail. "This week they used mortar weapons and heavy machinery to attack the police station.
"We are all shaking."
This ministry has 183 workers planting churches and discipling converts among unreached Muslim and animist tribes throughout Nigeria. They're trying to move their headquarters to a safer location, but they need your help to get there.
There are several additional things needed that would enable the ministry to move forward in reaching those who have never heard the Gospel:
- • Building and furnishing the office, including relocation and cost of movement, staff accommodations, and other fees.
- • A one-year course in the School of Missions for 16 English-speaking and 21 Hausa-speaking Nigerian trainees.
- • Posting and settling 38 new missionaries. This will include transportation, new stations, building or renting simple homes, motor bikes, and other necessities for families.
- • Completing and providing materials for the Muslim Convert Care Center, which needs four sewing machines, one grinding machine, mosquito nets, food, an additional building, and two motorcycles. This is where Muslim converts are protected while being discipled.
- • Monthly support for missionaries and school fees for their children. None of the missionaries are on salary; they live by faith.
- • At least 16 motorcycles are urgently needed for fields in the far north with 87-99% Muslims.
Ask God to protect and encourage believers ministering in this dangerous region. Pray that all needed funding would come in.