Donate | VOM Resources

Unexpected Visitor

Nigeria

Sixteen-year-old Lailah S. wrote a story about an unexpected event that happened during her homeschool social studies lesson.

Read her story below.

Christian: The Man from Nigeria
By Lailah S.

In a kitchen in north central Georgia, three homeschooling women used Kids of Courage [materials] as their social studies curriculum for their seven children. That particular day while they were studying Nigeria, a man showed up to repair the refrigerator.

The women and their children were preparing to make the West African dish “chin chin.” As the women discussed the dish, the repairman overheard and, with an astonished and disbelieving air, asked them how they knew about chin chin. The women responded that [this was part of] their social studies lesson.

Every second more surprised, the man said his name was Christian, and that he had come to America as a child, and had grown up eating that dish. Christian asked how the women had found it. The women explained to him what Kids of Courage was. Christian was open to questions, and answered many as to the weather, the language, the food, the religion, and the culture in Nigeria. He also taught the children a few words in his native tongue. He commended the women for learning about Christians in other cultures.

As he left, he implored the woman who owned the house to request him as a repairman if her refrigerator ever needed maintenance again, emphasizing to her that he would love to come back.

Read the next post to find the chin chin recipe the families used.
Click here to read more about Christians in Nigeria.


Jumma

Jumma, a girl in Nigeria, told the following story to a VOM worker.

I am an orphan. I dropped out of school because of the attack by members of Boko Haram. [Boko Haram is a group of violent, radical Muslims in Nigeria.] They attacked our school, and some of our students were taken captive. So the government closed all the public secondary schools in my state. My parents could not send me to school again.

[One day], more than 1,000 members of Boko Haram came with various kinds of weapons. Some were on motorcycles, some on foot, and some in various kinds of vehicles. They attacked Christians, police stations, government buildings, and Christian schools. My mother was shot, and my father died of high blood pressure as a result of my mother’s death.

My parents died, leaving me with my younger ones (two boys and three girls) as the first daughter of the family. I am but a very small girl with the responsibilities of caring for my younger ones. I cannot care for them alone.

(The account has been edited and paraphrased for clarity and age-appropriateness.)

Note: The Voice of the Martyrs helps Christian survivors of Boko Haram attacks in Nigeria.
Photo above: Jumma was hospitalized after she fainted while telling the story of what happened to her parents.


Wise as Serpents

The September 2016 issue of The Voice of the Martyrs newsletter features stories about bold Christians in Nigeria. Please preview the stories before sharing them with your children or class. Or, share stories from this site with your children, then pray together for the people in the stories. Note: To subscribe to the free monthly The Voice of the Martyrs newsletter, visit the subscription signup page.

Nigeria
Lion in Nigeria

A pastor from Nigeria recently visited The Voice of the Martyrs to talk about persecution in his country.

“Northeastern Nigeria is not a safe place for Christians,” he said. It is like living in the midst of lions. Yes, the best way to explain the situation is like that of a goat living in the midst of lions. Every Christian in the northeast fits into this description. It’s only the grace of God that is sustaining me and other Christians there.”

The pastor has been the target of persecutors. His house was burned down, and some of his teeth were broken in an attack by radical Muslims.

The pastor knows he could be attacked again at any time. He follows Jesus’ instructions to “be wise as serpents and harmless as doves” (Matthew 10:16). When he suspects that enemies are searching for him, he parks his car near his house as if he were at home. Then he quietly and secretly slips away from his house on foot. Christians in other locations let him stay at their home for a while.

Pray for the pastor’s protection.


Christmas Care in Nigeria

Girl

Children around the world receive Bibles and gifts through The Voice of the Martyrs’ Christmas Care project. Nigeria was one of the countries where VOM distributed gifts to children in areas where Christians have been persecuted.

In many places in Nigeria, it is not always safe to be a Christian. A radical Muslim group, Boko Haram, attacks Christians and others they don’t agree with. Many children have lost parents in the attacks.

When 2,000 Nigerian Christian children gathered to get their Christmas Care gifts, some were afraid. A Christian adult said, “The recent activities of the Boko Haram created fear in the hearts of many who were in attendance.”

But God protected the children. Each of them received a children’s Bible, noodles, a notebook, pencils, a “football” (soccer ball), a pen, bottled milk, cabin biscuits (crackers), a bag of rice, and other items. The children were grateful for the gifts.

Read below one of them said.

“My name is Johnson. I live in an orphanage. I lost my mother, and I don’t know anything about my father. I was living with my grandmother before she took me to the orphanage due to her inability to take care of me.

“I will pray for [VOM] so that God will continue to grant them the heart and strength to do what they are doing. I am very happy seeing you among us. Your gifts tell us that we are not alone. To other children who have lost their parents, I want to tell them that they should not lose courage because we have a great Parent who can do more than what our earthly parents can do for us.”

For information about this year’s Christmas Care project to help children in countries where VOM works around the world, see the November 2015 The Voice of the Martyrs newsletter or visit VOMBooks.com.

(Source: VOM-Nigeria. Edited and paraphrased for clarity and length.)


Nasara

Nasara
Nasara

The Stephen Center in Nigeria is a home and school for children whose families have suffered because of attacks by radical Muslims. Watch clips of some of the children singing praises to God here and here.

Read a story below about Nasara, one of the first children to receive help from the center.

Nasara was sad. She cried throughout the 10-hour ride from the Stephen Center to her home in Nigeria. She had received the worst grade in the class on her final exams! The students who came in first, second, and third received prizes. But Nasara got nothing.

Something even sadder had happened when Nasara lived with her parents, brother, and three sisters. Radical Muslims attacked Christians in her hometown, and her father died in the attack. “My father was a farmer,” said Nasara. “He was known as an active Christian in the community. He was killed by rioters when he was coming home from the farm.”

In the Bible, King David said, “I would have lost heart, unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living” (Psalm 27:13). No one would have blamed Nasara if she had lost heart after experiencing sadness and failure. But God helped Nasara to trust Him. And He provided for her family after her father died. The Christians at the Stephen Center took her in, gave her an education, and helped her learn more about growing as a Christian.

Things were different when she returned to school the next term. “There was a miraculous change in her life,” said her teacher. At the end of the next school term, Nasara came in first on her exams. “I changed to do better by listening to my teacher,” she said.

Nasara didn’t forget about the prize for students who came in first. She was delighted to receive a prize package of pencils, a pen, a ruler, and books. After that, Nasara regularly came in first in her classes. She looked up to Job in the Bible as an example. Job trusted God, even when sad things happened to him. “He feared God and stayed away from evil,” said Nasara.