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NIGERIA: “Please Wish Her Happy Birthday” – Missing Chibok  Girl’s Mother

NIGERIA: “Please Wish Her Happy Birthday” – Missing Chibok Girl’s Mother

For the 20th birthday of one of the missing Chibok girls, her mother has sent a plea: “Please wish her a happy birthday and remember her in your prayers,” CNN reports.

The mother of Dorcas Yakubu – kidnapped by Boko Haram from a boarding school in Nigeria’s north-western town of Chibok four years ago – said she did not want her daughter to be forgotten.

Dorcas is among over 100 young women still being held captive by the Islamist group. Her parents, Esther Yakubu and Yakubu Kabu, still hope their daughter will return home safely.

“She’s a special child. My first daughter. She’s my adviser. She makes me happy all the time and comforts me when I’m down. She’s my everything,” Esther said of her daughter.

She also said that her struggle to stay hopeful was sustained by her faith in God. Esther last learnt about her daughter two years ago through a Boko Haram propaganda video in which Dorcas appeared among other captives.

The girl’s family marked her 20th birthday, on 8 June, by holding an afternoon of prayer.

Some 57 of the 276 Chibok girls managed to flee in the first few weeks after their abduction. More than 100 have been either found or freed so far, including a group of 82 girls released in May 2017 in exchange for an undisclosed number of Boko Haram commanders, while 21 others were released in October 2016. In January 2018, the Nigerian Army announced it had rescued another of the schoolgirls.

Sources: CNN, World Watch Monitor

  • Commit to the Lord Dorcas Yakubu, her mother and all the other Boko Haram captives and their families; may they be reunited.
  • Pray Dorcas and her fellow captives will be strengthened by the Lord; may He somehow bring about good for them from so much suffering (Genesis 50:20).
  • Pray for the members of Boko Haram, may they have an opportunity to hear the Gospel and have their lives transformed to become servants of the one true God.
NIGERIA: Freed Chibok Girls Held

NIGERIA: Freed Chibok Girls Held

Elizabeth waited three years for Boko Haram to release her youngest daughter, 20-year-old Mariam. Today, months after Mariam gained her freedom, Elizabeth is still waiting to bring her daughter home.

Government officials are holding Mariam and the other 81 girls released with her in Nigeria’s capital, Abuja. Elizabeth said she and other families aren’t being told why they can’t have their girls back. Since Mariam’s release in May, Elizabeth has only seen her daughter for about 24 hours.

“We are not angry because there is nothing we can do,” Elizabeth told a VOM worker. “But we would love to have her at home. There is nothing we can do and nobody is communicating with us. We don’t know anything that is happening, but we know that they are safe now.”

Boko Haram abducted Mariam and 218 other girls around midnight on April 14, 2014, as they slept at their boarding school. The Islamist group then traveled with the girls for about four days to its headquarters in the Sambisa forest. During her recent time with her daughter, Elizabeth learned the girls didn’t eat during the journey. More than once, they slept among snakes.

“The only thing that saved them was God,” said Elizabeth, who has three other children. “They shouldn’t be alive. Mariam was telling me, ‘Mom it is only God that rescued me. Only God.’”

Elizabeth hasn’t heard the details about Mariam’s life under Boko Haram’s control. She does know, however, that her daughter’s faith is still intact. The night of the abduction, Mariam managed to grab her Bible and a hymnal. During her time in captivity, she hid the books from her captors, reading them as often as possible. The day of her release, Mariam held the books in her hands. “Mom, I depend on God and nothing else,” she told her mother during their brief reunion.

Prior to the 82 girls being released, other “Chibok girls” had been released following negotiations with the Nigerian government. Others were able to flee on their own. Today, 113 girls remain in custody.

“Our cry is still for those remaining to be rescued,” Elizabeth said. “Our prayer is that God would rescue them.”

NIGERIA: Claims some Schoolgirls chose not to be Rescued

NIGERIA: Claims some Schoolgirls chose not to be Rescued

Boko Haram released a video on 12 May claiming to show Chibok schoolgirls who refused to be rescued as part of last week’s swap deal that saw 82 girls freed by the Nigerian government.

In the three-minute video, a girl dressed in a veil and holding a gun says she is Maida Yakubu, one of 276 schoolgirls kidnapped by Boko Haram in April 2014, reports Al Jazeera. Three other girls in veils sit behind her. When asked by a man in the background why she doesn’t want to go back home to her parents, she replies: “The reason is that they live in the town of unbelief. We want them to accept Islam”.

Presidential spokesman Garba Shehu disclosed after the 82 were released that one girl had refused to leave. She declined to be part of the release deal because she had married a Boko Haram fighter, Shehu said.

Boko Haram released a second video on the same day claiming to show five commanders that the Nigerian government freed in exchange for the 82.

The released girls have still not been reunited with their families but are receiving medical care. A government official has said the girls were being kept away from their families and friends for security reasons.

An estimated 113 Chibok schoolgirls are unaccounted for.

Source: World Watch Monitor

  • Commit to the Lord these girls and pray for them as they recover from their traumatic ordeal, pray it will not be too long before they see their families.
  • Pray for the Chibok girls still missing and the thousands more people who have suffered violent attacks and abductions at the hands of Boko Haram.
  • Pray for those in authority in Nigeria, ask the Lord to grant them wisdom and strength; may He use them for His good purposes to bless the people of Nigeria.
NIGERIA: Boko Haram Releases Video of Chibok Girls

NIGERIA: Boko Haram Releases Video of Chibok Girls

The Bring Back Our Girls movement is back in the spotlight after a group claiming to be Boko Haram released a new video saying some of the abducted girls were killed in Nigerian airstrikes.

In the disturbing video, the group says it is still holding around 50 of the 276 Chibok girls abducted over two years ago and is willing to exchange them for imprisoned Boko Haram terrorists.

The video also shows one of the kidnapped Chibok girls describing the hardships the remaining girls held deep in the Sambisia Forest face daily at the hands of the terrorists.

She pleads with parents from the community to pressure the Nigerian government to release the jailed militants in exchange for the girls’ release.

Source: Christian Broadcasting Network

 Prayer Points

  • Pray that each kidnapped girl will know that not even Boko Haram can separate them from God’s unfailing love, despite the horrors they endure daily (Romans 8:35-39).
  • Ask God to provide a way for each of the Chibok girls and others who have been abducted to be returned home soon.
  • Pray that those who have escaped or been rescued will not be stigmatised for their association with Boko Haram but will be loved and cared for as they return to their families.

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NIGERIA: Boko Haram Focuses on Christians

NIGERIA: Boko Haram Focuses on Christians

Boko Haram has gained new leadership in Abu Musab al-Barnawi as its new ‘governor’ for West Africa. This information was published in the Islamic State’s Al-Naba magazine, published on 2 August. Additionally, in the published article, Abu Musab al-Barnawi spoke of “booby-trapping and blowing up every church that we are able to reach, and killing all of those who we find from the citizens of the Cross.”

It has been over two years since Boko Haram entered the main stage of terror in Nigeria. In April 2014, the militant group kidnapped 276, mostly Christian, teenage girls from a boarding school in Chibok; 219 of these girls are still missing.

Boko Haram has continued to wage a war of terror against the people of Nigeria, specifically in the north-eastern region. The group has killed thousands of people, deployed children as suicide bombers, and destroyed the future for countless young women and girls. Last year, the militant group pledged its allegiance to the Islamic State, around the same time that the Nigerian military began its offensive against the group.

Now, they have threatened to specifically target Christians and churches in the African nation after feeling threatened by the “Christianising” of Nigerian society.

Source: International Christian Concern 

Prayer Points

  • Pray the Lord’s protection will be showered on His children in Nigeria who have already suffered so much at the hands of Boko Haram.
  • Pray the Lord will frustrate the evil intentions of Boko Haram and bring their plans to nothing. May He instead bring many to repentance.
  • Thank the Lord for His faithful church in Nigeria; may He continue to add to their number and grow in them a strong desire to follow Him, even during this time of great unrest.

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