Day Four: Praying for the crisis in Nigeria

In 2004, 276 girls were abducted from their school in Chibok, a town in northeastern Nigeria, spawning the viral hashtag #BringBackOurGirls and bringing the extremist group, Boko Haram into the global spotlight.

Unfortunately, the larger conflict and humanitarian crisis in this region of West Africa doesn’t get nearly as much attention. In western Africa, violence among insurgents and extremists has displaced three million people – including 1.4 million children. Children like Baraka.

Psalm 140:1-2 Rescue me, Lord, from evildoers; protect me from the violent, who devise evil plans in their hearts and stir up war every day.

Baraka was 11 when her Nigerian village was attacked and her community held captive by a militant group. After a day in captivity, she, her sisters and her mother were able to escape. But they didn’t feel safe anywhere nearby.  They paid a truck driver to take them to a refugee camp in neighboring Niger, where things were more stable. It wasn’t until months later that her father and brothers escaped and her family was reunited.  They’ve lived in a refugee camp for two years.

Many people, like Baraka, have fled from Nigeria into the brutally dry and harsh region around Lake Chad where the borders of Chad, Niger, Cameroon and Nigeria all meet.

This massive, almost invisible, conflict has left more than 9 million people in need of urgent assistance and has forced the already poor citizens of Chad, Niger and Cameroon to host and care for the many tens of thousands of strangers arriving in their communities.

Today, pray that:

  • innocent civilians are protected from the violence in their region
  • those who are fleeing will find refuge in places where they can access food, water, shelter and opportunity for themselves and their children.
  • the violence ends so that people can return to their homes and live in peace

Dear Father –

We don’t always see it when people suffer around the world.  But you do. Even the crises that are hidden and forgotten to us are on your mind. Lord, please protect families and communities in Nigeria from conflict and violence. As they flee, guide them to safe places and provide for their needs.  Most importantly, bring peace to their country. End the violence and allow them to rebuild their lives and care for their families and communities.

In the name of Christ,

Amen

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