Second Day’s Prayer

Lord I pray for the Nigerian people.

Lord I pray for the consequences of living with endemic insecurity, when military checkpoint snarl traffic around hotel entrances for literally hours at a time. When churches must have guards every time their doors are open, oh God protect Your people!

Lord how to motivate a system that only seems interested in quelling the violence after bodies are lying on the ground, and does not move to prevent before or prosecute afterward.

Lord I pray that You would raise up in Nigeria men like Job, who delivered the poor and the fatherless, who broke the fangs of the wicked and plucked the victims from their teeth. Lord I pray that you would encourage those men who have that caliber of soul but are disheartened and sabotaged by the system.

Lord I pray for strength for those men who have every human reason to give themselves over to hate, who have lost homes and land, friends and family. I thank you that if there are any cowards in Nigeria, that you have not sent them my way. But Lord for men who are not cowards to endure such things! Lord I do not have the strength or the wisdom for such a thing, but I believe that you do and I am amazed at the way that your Spirit shows itself, more and more true in the lives of these men.

I thank You for the Nigerian pastors that You have guided me to. I thank You for the unity of the Spirit that is possible between Christians across nations and cultures. It is marvelous beyond words to travel half-way around the world, and feel the same presence of God in people and be able to find unity with them instantly.

I thank you for the reminder that even under all the violence the work of the Gospel goes on, and You are bringing many to Your Name. Lord I praise You for the courage of those who see the light of Christ and return to preach to their families, even when those families come against them with hatred.

Lord lest I forget, I pray for Muslims who have been killed by Boko Haram, I pray that you will open their eyes to see that no one is safe when people use their faith as an excuse to indulge their bloodlust.

Lord I pray that Nigerians will remember the duty that they have to one another as part of the same community, the same nation, the same world. For you created us all equal and certain things are owed to one another simply because we were all made by God, and He demands that we respect what He has made.

Lord I pray for my work here. I thank you for all the little ways that You show me that You have laid the groundwork, in preparation for divine appointments which work out to Your design. I pray that this trip would be another step in a mighty work that would see peace come to Nigeria.

Lord keep me safe as I travel, give me rest when I sleep.

Amen

Prayers for Nigeria Day 1

Due to the fluid nature of the situation here in Nigeria, it would be inadvisable to post details of our trip day by day. So I have decided to post a prayer every night. This prayer will be informed by what I have learned over the course of the day but will contain no specifics. I encourage you to pray along with me and hope you enjoy this means of participation.

The First Day’s Prayer

Lord I thank you for travel mercies, and a long long day now done.

I thank you for this marvelous opportunity and pray that you would direct us to see just what you want us to see.

Lord I praise you for the mighty hearts of the Nigerian Christians. They have endured so much for so long.

Oh God, I pray that your grace would be on them to sustain them, for when 3 weeks without a murderous explosion is considered relatively peaceful, Lord the trials are heavy indeed.

Lord we pray that you would raise up a just government in Nigeria, one which would fulfill your mandate to keep order in society.

I pray your blessing and protection on our trip

In Jesus Name

Amen

 

Response To The Escape Of Christmas Day Bomber

The recent escape under suspicious circumstances of Kabiru Sokoto has exacerbated the tension between Muslims and Christians in Nigeria. Sokoto was accused of planning the bombing of St. Theresa Catholic Church in Madalla, which claimed 38 lives. The unclear nature of the escape has prompted claims of complicity from both Muslim leadership and the police from certain quarters. While resisting the urge to lay allegations for which they do not possess evidence, our friends at the Christian Lawyers Association of Nigeria are calling for a decisive and transparent response to this utter failure by the Government of Nigeria.

CLASFON’S RESPONSE TO THE PURPORTED ESCAPE OF THE CHRISTMAS DAY BOMBING SUSPECT.
The Christian Lawyers Fellowship of Nigeria (CLASFON) hereby condemns in strongest terms the Nigerian Police Force for negligence and deliberately allowing the suspect in the person of one Kabir Sokoto arrested in connection with the Christmas day (25th December 2011) bombing of St.Theresa’s Catholic Church Madalla, Niger State, that led to the gruesome termination of 45 lives of innocent Nigerians and about 60 persons still recuperating in various hospitals both within and outside Nigeria.
CLASFON hereby unconditionally demand the following:-

1. That the Federal Government of Nigeria should with immediate effect suspend the Commissioner of Police concerned in the person of Mr. Zakari Biu and the Inspector General of Police, Mr. Hafiz Ringim for toying with the sensibilities of Nigerians and treating with impunity the time bomb that the Nation is sitting on which is systematically exploding as a consequence of the unseriousness to date in the handling of the Boko Haram menace.

2. Commencement of the criminal prosecution of Mr. Zakari Biu and everyone in the investigating team for criminal negligence of duty in allowing, aiding and abetting the escape of the suspect (Kabiru Sokoto) from lawful custody under S.128 of the Penal Code Law.

3. The Federal Government should within 7 days from the date of this publication deploy every resource at its disposal to re -arrest and arraign the suspect immediately and if the suspect is found to be outside the shores of Nigeria, engage the Interpol to apprehend and arraign him before the International Criminal Court.

4. CLASFON further reiterates the demand of other Nigerians that it is high time that a comprehensive overhauling/restructuring of the entire security apparatus of Nigeria be carried out without further delay, THIS HOUSE MUST NOT FALL IN OUR GENERATION!

5. Finally, that should the above demands not be met, CLASFON as one of the major stake holders and pain bearers of the consistent, intentional and deliberate attacks on the body of Christ in Nigeria would be forced to seek redress/compliance of the said demands in the appropriate forum, both within and outside the Country.
SIGNED

S.A AKANNI ESQ. A.M OKWORI ESQ
NATIONAL PRESIDENT NATIONAL SECRETARY

Faith like a Child

The Testimony of Christian Children in the Midst of Violence

Caring for vulnerable children is one of Jubilee Campaign’s most closely held values and over the years God has given us many opportunities to exemplify His character by caring for the fatherless. One of the most enduring and rewarding opportunities is our work supporting the Maluku Orphans in Indonesia.

Until the end of the 20th Century, the Maluku Islands were an example of peaceful diversity, with Christians and Muslims intertwined in rich communities with traditions going back hundreds of years. Unfortunately, the global surge in Muslim extremism which would eventually hit the US on 9/11 reached Maluku near the end of the 1990s.

Funds and weapons flowed into Maluku from more extremist nations, along with several hundred extremists from outside Indonesia. An incident between a Christian bus driver and a Muslim student provided the spark necessary to set the region ablaze. Eventually the local Muslim and Christian communities united against the foreigners, but thousands died in the struggle.

In traditional communities such as those in Maluku, orphans are cared for by relatives or friends, back by the community as a whole. However, these traditional mechanisms were overwhelmed by the sheer number of orphans and some children simply had no one left to care for them.

Jubilee Campaign found donors to sponsor individual children, giving them food, clothing, and education. Most of the children in our Maluku Orphan program were cared for in the traditional way, and the assistance ensured that their caregivers were not overwhelmed as well as ensured that the orphaned children received an education which is not free in Indonesia.  Generous donors gave for the construction of the Caleb House, named after a boy named Caleb Chandler who tragically passed away in Fairfax, Virginia.  The Caleb House program was designed to provide counseling and special care to the most traumatized of the orphaned children in a safe, loving environment based on the Gospel.

Over the past decade we have been able to participate in the lives of hundreds of orphans. It has been a deeply rewarding experience to see the work of God in these young souls as they respond to His love.

Unfortunately, over the past months, we have seen an upsurge in violence both in Maluku and throughout the nation of Indonesia. Yet we are deeply encouraged by the response of the children at Caleb House and wanted to share the testimony of these children’s response to rising violence in the wake of this year’s 9/11. Please Enjoy.

The Testimony

On Sunday Sept 11th 2011 around 12pm, after the burial of a motor-cycle-taxi driver who was killed recently due to an accident in the Nona Mountain area in Ambon, stone throwing incidents happened between Muslim and Christian groups. The incidents happened in the Pule Tree Bridge area and in front of The Silo Church. These incidents continued escalating to the point that they attacked one another with stones, bombs, and firearms which caused house burning in the areas of Waringin and Talake. Some people were injured and some killed and plenty of roads were blocked.

As a result of the conflict, the children at Caleb House could not attend the Sunday service at GBI ROCK because in order to reach the church, they had to pass the conflict area. This time’s conflict has caused several Caleb House children to experience fear and sorrow again, since they heard the sounds of gun shots and bombs again. However, at that time, all the children gathered and prayed as they do it routinely. They believe that God would protect and save them.

The night after the house burning incident in Waringin area, people who lived in a nearby village called Ahuru evacuated for their safety to an area close to Caleb House, but because there were no place to stay, they could only sit down at a small church/religious hall next to Caleb House. That night, Caleb House children immediately prepared room in Caleb House and they spontaneously went to pick up the Ahuru people to stay at Caleb House for a few days, until the situation was stabilized. And by the time they were about to move back home to Ahuru village, the children escorted them back.

During the time of conflict, schools and offices were closed so the children studied at Caleb House, but they got scared because in the surrounding areas as people frequently tested out their homemade bombs so there were loud explosions. The power also went out many times. These made them more scared of the situation but they pray persistently for the town’s safety.

Even up to this moment, we and the children still continue on praying since we heard that the conflict might occur again. The children are very sure that the Lord Jesus will help and keep them safe.

Trend of Christmas Attacks on Jos Churches Continues

For the second year in a row, Muslim extremists in Nigeria attacked Christians in Jos on Christmas, killing the police officer assigned to guard the church. One of the church members is the cousin of our primary contact on Nigerian human rights issues. There were no fatalities among the congregation but the police officer assigned to guard the church was shot and killed by the terrorists.

According to eye-witness accounts, the co-ordinated attackers had two teams. The first waded a gully at the rear of the church to plant the bombs, while the second team waited in front of the church with guns. Recent bombings in Jos used bombs of such low quality that they caused very few deaths. In fact in one recent instance the bomb failed to go off at all. The attackers apparently planned to increase their body count by using the explosion to flush the congregation out where the second team would be waiting for them.

Our sources indicate that the plan went awry when the police officer noticed the second team too soon. Our contact’s cousin “Gale” (Alias used for safety) dropped to floor as the gun fire began. While the police officer was gunned down, officers stationed at a security checkpoint near the church heard the shots and rushed to the scene. Gale and the rest of the congregation hid in the church vestry while the cops and the ambushers exchanged fire. Although the first bomb went off before the security personnel forced the attackers to flee, four of the attackers were captured and the other bombs were disarmed.

Eventually the guns went silent and Gale picked herself up and dusted off the shrapnel to find that every member of of the congregation had survived. The quick and decisive response of the security forces as well as the bravery of the police officer saved those who came to celebrate the Lord’s birth.

Gale’s cousin in the US who has worked closely with Jubilee says, “with every passing day, this horror has gotten closer and closer to home. I am glad I have been committed to this before it directly affected my family. For every Christian, our motto should be “there but for the mercy of God, go I.” I am so grateful to Jubilee campaign for their support for freedom, justice and safety for Christians in Nigeria and around the world.”

Jubilee hails the effective response of the police force to this attack. While we grieve for the loss of the police officer, this incident proves that an effective response by security forces can minimize the damage of terrorist attacks. Jubilee will closely monitor this situation to ensure that effective prosecutions necessary to finally stamp out these terrorists actually take place. The people of Nigeria need justice and those behind what the White House has called “senseless attacks” must be unveiled. We will keep you updated as we follow up on this incident.