An update from VOM partners in Nigeria
Today, with a group of students in a Bible school class in a conflict zone – a frequent target for terrorists – we were caught up in beautiful hope. These students are from Nigeria’s north, a region overwhelmed with terrorism, banditry, kidnapping, religious persecution, and abject poverty. Our lesson was in the Hausa language, the trade language of our region. Along with millions of others, these ones have never had the privilege of secondary education, or they would speak English, Nigeria’s official language and the language of secondary school. As various students stood to read the Scriptures in Hausa, they stumbled and gently corrected each other, absorbed in what they understood.
Most came to Christ from Islam as teenagers or young adults. They have endured beatings, imprisonment, deprivation of food, death threats, forced marriage, rape, rejection and destitution because of the faith they found in Jesus. As we learned today of God’s kingdom, of His will being done here, among us as it is in Heaven, of how Isaiah writes of this beautiful kingdom, of resurrection, of the groaning creation restored, of the infant playing by the cobra without harm, of swords remade into ploughs – long sighs emerged. A student sitting in front of me – raped and now with her baby born and being raised with the support of our mission – sighed in response to Isaiah’s beautiful words. These prophecies of Isaiah mean so much to such people. Their hearts yearn as they listen. This inheritance is kept securely for us. Whatever we endure now, we are part of this future, and will see that day dawn.
At this time, when our nations are almost overwhelmed by fear of death, we can sigh like our Hausa brothers and sisters, and rest in hope. Our hope is far beyond threat. We have a sure hope of resurrection, restoration, and renewal.
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