Because of terror groups like Boko Haram and the Fulani herdsmen, Global Recordings Network (Gospel Recordings) staff literally risk their lives to share the Good News in Northern Nigeria
By Dan Wooding, who was born in Nigeria
Founder of ASSIST Ministries
NORTHERN NIGERIA (ANS) -- Courageous field workers with Global Recordings Network (Gospel Recordings) are literally risking their lives for the sake of the Gospel in Northern Nigeria, where more than 245 people have been killed this year alone by the Boko Haram terrorist group.
Boko Haram gunmen
On Saturday, 106 people were killed in an attack on the village of Izghe, by this violent organization that seeks to establish a "pure" Islamic state ruled by sharia law, by putting a stop to what it deems "Westernization".
Boko Haram has killed thousands, including many Muslims and Christians, since it began its uprising in 2009, and yet the fearless workers from the group, also known as GRN (www.globalrecordings.net ), which since it was founded in 1939 by American missionary, Joy Ridderhof, has produced Gospel recordings in 6,208 languages and are available without cost, continue with their vital ministry.
As if that wasn't enough, another group, the Fulani herdsmen, are also conducting a terror campaign against Christians in the North of Nigeria, where, incidentally, I was born of British missionary parents. Recently in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa to Plateau, Nasarawa, Benue and Kaduna states, there are gory tales of killings through shooting, burning of Christians' homes and their churches. The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) said that within a month, spanning January 6 to February 6, 2014, in Plateau State alone, it recorded the deaths of over 100 Christians.
Sharing the Good News
Yet despite the dangers, the local office for GRN works with the churches to go out to villages where there are no Christians. In the day they go to the homes and give out Gospel recordings in their local language, then at night, they show a movie such as the JESUS Film in the local trade language, which they may not understand well, but the recording the workers bring in their own language, makes the movie make sense.
At recent report by a staff worker has described the dangerous of one such outreach, in which he said, "The situation in northern Nigeria calls for signing your death warrant before launching out for a field work be it spiritual or secular because anything can happen while in the field especially the sudden attack by the Boko Haram insurgent. On our way for distribution, we were trapped by crisis between farmers and Fulanis in Gwantu, Sanga LGA of Kaduna State.
"A Fulani allowed his cattle to eat some crops of a farmer in his presence. The farmer reacted; the Fulani gunned him down and cut him into pieces with a knife. The whole community became upset and some Fulanis were attacked; hence, the Fulanis were running away with their families and cattle. Some of them were killed by some soldiers and police. We were confused. However, God brought the situation under control and we were able to proceed.
These are the Karfa women carrying their goods to Agamati market and were attacked by the armed bandits
"In another location where the community, Kulere in Wamba LGA of Nasarawa State, were surrounded by mountains are usually attacked by armed bandits especially on market days; and that day happened to be a market day. The Karfa people in Bokkos LGA of Plateau State normally attend the nearest market to them at Agamati in Wamba LGA of Nasarawa State. Because of the distance and terrain of the area, they usually leave for the market at 4:00am trekking along the road that not motor can travel along.
"The Kulere live at the bottom of the mountain called Massange where it was our third location. The next day being Agamati's market, the Karfa women left at 4:00am. On reaching the mountain, unknowingly to them they were attacked by some armed bandits with knives and machetes, but they did not harm them. They only tore their goods with the knives and machetes. Below are the victims of the bandits on their way to the market at Agamati."
One of the challenges of the terrain
The staff member went on to say, "One of the challenges we face is the terrain of roads. On the road to Yashi Madaki in Sanga LGA of Kaduna State, we were ascending with the bus from the left, and the bus from the right was descending. The both drivers never saw each until at this point and the road was to narrow and there were high walls in between. It took about 30 minutes to pull the right bus aside to give room for us to pass.
"Sometimes equipment fails while people are captured by an interested movie. When that happens, it throws you into confusion. On this trip, after a successful film show in one of the locations, the external power of the laptop burnt. The technician dictated the fault and we called another staff member to bring a replacement the next day. That took care of the situation."
The staff member then looked ahead by saying, "We are going for a follow up in March to meet with the new converts and see how the materials are used and to cover some locations we could not reach. We intend to discuss with the communities the possibilities of recording more materials."
He then gave three praise comments:
1. For protecting our lives from the hands of the enemy.
2. For the souls who came to the Lord.
3. For the provision of funds.
1. For the provision of funds towards the follow up
2. For the spiritual growth of the new converts.
About Joy Ridderhof
Joy Fanny Ridderhof, born March 30, 1903 in Minnesota and passed away on December 19, 1984 in Stanton, California) was the youngest child of Dutch and Swedish immigrants, Ridderhof was one of the first graduates of Columbia International University in 1923. In 1930, she traveled to Honduras, establishing her ministry in Marcala and neighboring villages. Forced to return to the United States to recover from malaria, she began make Spanish evangelizing recordings that she distributed to places in Latin America, including Marcala. She was then contacted and asked to produce some Navajo recordings, Navajo speakers would they provide. She accepted, and then she got more jobs. This led her to form Gospel Recordings (now Global Recordings Network) in 1939.
About Global Recordings Network
Global Recordings Network (www.globalrecordings.net) is a global alliance of approximately 50 operations (Centers and Bases) around the world, connected by a common commitment and agreement to the GRN Constitution. Centers may or may not be financially independent but are self-governing under their own local Board and are staffed by mainly local personnel. Bases are administratively under which ever Center brought them into being.