The Nigerian church leader was secretly housing new followers of Jesus, former Muslims. When the time came for his second child to be born, he left his house to carry his wife to a clinic.
“While he was away with her, his home was attacked and the group scattered throughout the area,” said Aaron Bryson,* an International Mission Board worker in Nigeria, recalling the situation in 2010.
One man was killed at the scene and the group leader’s son, who was about 7, had his leg broken during the fight. The child was left lying unattended in the home while the attackers waited to ambush the father once he to returned.
“We were able to get a friendly Muslim to go to the home and carry the boy to a clinic for treatment,” Bryson said.
Pain, suffering and loss have left scars on the church in Nigeria, yet hope sustains them. Many appear to be standing strong.
“Parts of Nigeria are in crisis due to the violence of Boko Haram and their attacks on churches and schools. They also kill other Muslims who do not agree with them. However, the work of the Gospel goes on and goes forward,” Bryson said.
Boko Haram, a radical Islamist group, is responsible for the most recent abduction of more than 200 girls, aged 16–18, from a Nigerian school.
The girls were a matter of prayer during the recent 100th anniversary of Baptist Convention Meetings in Nigeria. Charlotte Cearley, IMB prayer strategist for sub-Saharan Africa, along with more than 10,000 participants, gathered together to worship and pray for Nigeria.
“The persecution of believers and the abduction of the school girls from the north highlighted several times in prayer reminded participants of places in Nigeria where celebration of belief in Christ is not celebrated, but cursed,” Cearley said.
Though persecution remains, God is using it to bring Nigerians to Himself, Bryson said.
“[Persecution] is making the church stronger,” he said. “We are hearing reports of large numbers of Muslims coming to Christ in spite of these persecutions.”
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SOURCE: Baptist Press