Date: July 8, 2015
Nigeria (MNN) — Hundreds of people across five states have died in suspected Boko Haram attacks over the past seven days.
Suicide bombings and civilian shootings, suspected to be connected to Boko Haram are an almost-daily occurrence.
However, there has been a noted rise since ISIS issued a worldwide call for more violence last week.
Boko Haram certainly has been busy lately, but so has the Lord.
“There are members of Boko Haram who have heard the Gospel through these very brave ministry workers, and they’ve seen their need to repent and put their faith in Christ,” shares Amie Cotton of Christian Aid Mission.
God at work
Christ-followers have been a favorite target for Boko Haram attacks since the very beginning. That fact isn’t stopping indigenous missionaries from sharing Christ with their persecutors, though.
“If the church is in hiding, who will know the church? There must be missionaries who are so desperate for soul-winning that they’re ready to die,” Christian Aid Mission’s Africa director said in a recent report.
Former terrorists who came to Christ after hearing the Gospel from these missionaries have been re-located to a safe house. As they learn the Bible and become spiritually-grounded, the sins of their past are not easily forgotten.
“So many of them are just struggling with forgiveness for the things that they’ve done, wanting to ask God to forgive them for the mass killings that they’ve been a part of,” Cotton says.
But, it’s their bloody past that will help Boko Haram converts speak to other Muslims about the Gospel.
Cotton explains, “It’s an incredible opportunity when one of them becomes a believer, for area Muslims–whether they’re radical or moderate–to wonder, ‘Well, why did they do that?'; you know, ‘what made them change?’.”
Pray for Boko Haram converts as they grow in their knowledge of Christ. Ask the Lord to protect them and use them to accomplish His purposes.
“Prayer is so powerful, and I think sometimes we don’t give it its due,” notes Cotton.
Devastation and need continue
While Boko Haram attacks have killed more than 13,000 people in the past six years, the tragedy doesn’t stop there.
“Right now, there are more than 70,000 people that are displaced,” says Cotton, referring to the IDP camps in Adamawa state where indigenous missionaries are focusing their efforts.
Nationwide, the insurgency has driven approximately 1.5 million Nigerians from their homes.
Cotton shares three things you can do to help them:
“So many times we’re so busy; it’s hard to take the time to think outside of our circles, and know what’s going on on the other side of the world,” she admits.
“[Yet] we CAN make a difference.”