Overwhelmed with joy and gratitude, all a 6-year-old Nigerian girl could do after entering a room filled with Christmas Care packs was to pray.
Even before she received her own gift pack, the girl, nearly in tears, couldn’t help but pray in her Hausa language. She whispered, “May God reward you with all goodness abundantly.”
The girl was one of more than 3,000 children from throughout northern Nigeria who celebrated Christmas early with a special distribution of Christmas Care packs in Gombe and Adamawa states. Each of the children had experienced their own combination of destruction and loss from Boko Haram attacks. Many had one or both parents killed and saw their home or church burned down.
The packs included notebooks, t-shirts, soap, pencils, tooth brushes, flavoured milk, noodles, pens, a soccer ball, rice and an illustrated storybook on the life of Jesus. The revealing of each item included in the packs was greeted with loud cheers from the excited children.
Christmas Care packs are assembled with donations from VOM supporters, using items purchased in the region they’re distributed. Children who received the packs said they’re grateful for the gifts and love from VOM supporters.
“I am very delighted for the gift Voice of Martyrs has brought to us,” said Ussa James, who lost friends and family members from an extremist attack and also had to drop out of school. “I am very grateful for their love and kind support and I pray that God will continue to keep them and provide for them.”
Anointing Bitrus, a pastor in the region, said “On behalf of the displaced kids and orphans, I want to say a very big thank you,” he said. “We never thought there are people out there who so loved us even during our troubled times. We pray that God will continually see them through and bless the good works of their hands.”
Parents also expressed thanks, seeing how the Christmas Care packs put smiles on their children’s faces.
“To be sincere, there is nothing we can say to quantify how grateful we are,” said Rhoda Andiriya, a mother from Gombe. “The children, as we can see, are very happy and this will go a very long way in giving them confidence in their faith.”
“It makes us realise that the love of Christ is with us at every time,” said another mother.
More Christmas Care packs will soon be distributed to Nigerian children. Please partner with us as we bring joy to these children of the persecuted church.
Click here to learn more about Christmas Care or to donate.