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Nigeria: Abel

Abel with an audio Bible

Abel, a young man in Nigeria, got a phone call one day from a former classmate. The old friend invited Abel to lunch. He said he wanted to find out how Abel was doing.

But the phone call was a set-up. While they were talking at a café, a van drove up. Abel’s brother and two other men jumped out and forced Abel into the van.

The men were angry because Abel had decided to leave Islam and follow Jesus. (Islam is the religion of Muslims.) They locked him in a room for two weeks with very little food, then ordered him to return to Islam.

But Abel had seen Jesus in a dream, then studied the Bible and learned about Christianity from a pastor. He had given his life to Christ and trusted Him as his Savior. “I am not going back to Islam, because what I have seen is the truth, and I have made up my mind to stand on that truth,” Abel told his captors. Then the persecutors left him alone in the room.

Abel’s mother heard about his situation and sent her daughter to unlock the door where Abel was held. He was free!

Now Abel distributes audio Bibles and helps other new Christians stand firm in their faith. The new Christians trust him because he has overcome many of the same obstacles they have faced.

(Source: The September 2018 The Voice of the Martyrs newsletter)

To Think About
What obstacles have you or our family faced in your lives? Is there someone else facing the same obstacle that you could help in their difficult time?

Nigeria: Terrorists Seek Forgiveness

Boko Haram fighters

Boko Haram is a group of violent Muslim fighters who attack Christians, churches, villages, and houses. They have kidnapped children and driven families from their homes.

But a surprising event happened in May. Seventeen Boko Haram fighters said they realized that Boko Haram is “serving the course of the devil.” They turned themselves in to the Nigerian military and asked for forgiveness for the pain they had caused others.

The fighters said they had been forced to join Boko Haram after their town was raided four years ago. Now they want out.

The former fighters are not yet Christians. Pray they will also surrender to Jesus and follow Him. Pray that more fighters will give up their violent ways. Pray for true peace for Nigerians.


To Talk About
*If you were a Nigerian Christian, would you want to forgive the fighters who left their violent lifestyles?
*Is there anyone that you think does not deserve forgiveness?
*Do you know any Bible verses about forgiveness?

Nigeria: Christian Girl Still Captive

Leah (Source: World Watch Monitor)

Leah Sharibu is still in captivity almost four months after Boko Haram kidnapped her and 109 other school girls from their school in Nigeria. (Boko Haram is a Muslim terrorist group.) Most of the girls were allowed to go home after about four weeks. But five had died, and Leah is still being held.

She is believed to be the only Christian among those who were kidnapped. One of the girls who was released said that Leah has not been freed because she refuses to deny Jesus.

Pray that Leah will remain strong in her faith and will stay close to Jesus during her captivity. Also pray that she will be released soon, and that God will strengthen her family members who are waiting for her to come home. Pray that the kidnappers will be inspired by Leah’s faith and will seek to know the God she serves.


Nigeria: Kidnapped

Parent and Teachers
The June 2018 issue of The Voice of the Martyrs newsletter includes stories about bold believers in Nigeria who trust God even in times of sorrow. You can share the adapted stories from this site about the featured Christians 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.

Palmata and Kumai
One day, 9-year-old Palmata and 7-year-old Kumai were sitting outside the front door of their house in Nigeria eating an after-school snack. Their Aunt Deborah, who had adopted them, talked with a neighbor nearby. Inside the house, their father was preparing for a Bible study.

The family’s peaceful afternoon was disrupted when five men with machine guns drove a truck toward their house. The men were part of Boko Haram, a radical Muslim group that attacks Christian villages. They walked into the house and started shooting their guns, then they grabbed Palmata and Kumai and dragged them to the truck.

Deborah ran after the truck as fast as she could, but she fell and fainted. When she woke up in the hospital, she learned that her husband had died in the attack, and her girls had been kidnapped.

Deborah and other Christians moved to a camp for displaced people where they could be safer. For a long time, Deborah felt hopeless. But she has begun to trust that God has a plan for her.

Deborah said, “I feel…if it is [God’s] will for me not to get the girls back, then lead them to heaven. But if it is His will to let us come together again, let the men release the girls. That is my prayer. I know that no matter what we will still meet at God’s feet.”

Deborah with a photo of her girls

Deborah has forgiven the men who attacked her family, and she prays that they will repent. Can you join her in her prayers for Palmata and Kumai, and for the attackers?

(Source: The June 2018 The Voice of the Martyrs newsletter)

Nigeria: Two Powerful Gifts

Nigerian Muslim girl selling food

“Why don’t you give the Christians guns?” asked a fifth grader who was visiting The Voice of the Martyrs headquarters. The student had just learned about Christians who are persecuted for their faith in other countries. He was looking for a solution to the Christians’ problems.

Even adults struggle with how to react to the persecution of our Christian brothers and sisters around the world. VOM’s president, Cole Richards, is a former U.S. military officer. After he visited Christians whose families had been persecuted in Nigeria, Cole said, “I tried to imagine a military strategy that would capture…every violent extremist.”

But he knew that such a strategy would not defeat evil. “I need to pray,” he said. “I can’t carry this burden. Heavenly Father,…do not let me give in to frustration, anger, or hatred.

“In working with our persecuted Nigerian brothers and sisters,” Mr. Richards continued, “we have received two powerful gifts….The first gift is an understanding that God’s joy…is stronger than their sorrow. The second gift is the knowledge that the gospel is powerful enough to transform even the most sinful among us.

“As our bold and faithful Nigerian family members reach out in love to their enemies, the gospel triumphs over the lies and darkness of radical Islam. The power of Islamic extremism to inflict suffering in this world is nothing compared with the gospel’s power to transform people for eternity.”

(Source: The Voice of the Martyrs June 2018 newsletter)

To Talk About
What are the two powerful gifts we can receive from learning about Nigerian Christians?