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On 13 October, a British optician who had been kidnapped was killed shortly after singing the hymn, Amazing Grace, to lift the spirits of his fellow hostages.

Ian Squire, 57, was killed instantly by shots fired by one of the four gang members who abducted him and three other Christian aid workers from their clinic in the country’s lawless Delta state. The gunmen refused to give any information as to why the shots were fired.

According to the surviving Christian aid workers, Ian was killed during their first morning of captivity, while being held by abductors in a bamboo hut located in a remote swamp. Three weeks after Ian’s death, Dr David Donovan and his wife Shirley ─ along with a fourth hostage, Alanna Carson ─ were released following the payment of a ransom, believed to have come from the Nigerian government.

According to Dr Donovan, Ian had trained local staff to make prescription glasses using a custom-made lens-cutting machine that he had specifically designed for use in remote areas. Dr Donovan paid tribute to Ian’s professional achievements which were described as being “outstanding” and “revolutionary.” “Ian was a man of faith,” his colleague explained. “…a man who was really hungry to know more of God, and lived his life with that main purpose at the forefront.”

Earlier in November, the locals held a demonstration against the militant group responsible for the crimes, amid fears that the kidnappings and Ian’s death would lead to the clinic’s closure. However, thanks to the effective training provided by the missionaries, the local staff are well-equipped to run the clinic with minimal supervision.

Sources: World Watch Monitor, The Telegraph

  • May God help the surviving missionaries overcome their trauma and allow them to continue to demonstrate His love to the people of Nigeria.
  • Ask God to comfort, heal and sustain Ian’s family and friends, as well the locals who appreciated his dedicated life of service.
  • Pray for the kidnappers. May they be enlightened by the Holy Spirit so they will see Jesus and be receptive to His transformative love.