By Roxane and Carl Hill
“Great is the Lord and most worthy of praise.... The Lord is good to all; he has compassion on all he has made” (Psalm 145:3a, 9).
Praise God for what he has been doing through all of you. Your response to the Nigeria Crisis Fund has been phenomenal! In December alone we received donations of $369,000 from 365 churches and individuals. Eleven churches gave over $5,000 each. In January, two churches donated $50,000 and $157,000 respectively.
Personal notes from churches and donors:
“My parents were missionaries there from mid 1930s to 1950. I feel heartbroken about the terrible tragedies taking place there, and my prayers go out to God on behalf of the people there.”
“I was at Garkida and Lassa as the only doctor in a 100-mile radius. I was also elected as the elder for the two small churches for the Chibok tribe. Pray for my people.”
“This effort has inspired and united our congregation in unimagined ways. We are grateful for your leadership in support of our sisters and brothers across the globe who are suffering at the hands of Boko Haram.”
The situation in Nigeria remains desperate. Additional funds are still needed. President Samuel Dali of Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria) has expressed his appreciation for our fundraising efforts saying they couldn’t do it without us. Markus Gamache, EYN staff liaison, shares his anguish about, “hearing the cry of people with no wisdom to offer in solving their problems.”
Brethren Disaster Ministries volunteer Cliff Kindy provided a report by telephone today, Feb. 3. Here are some highlights:
-- Helping organize Peace and Democracy Conference in Yola: promoting civic responsibility as the national elections draw near (scheduled for Feb. 14).
-- He will accompany delegates from the Swiss Embassy as they visit IDP (internally displaced person) camps in Yola and survey the conditions in Mubi.
-- Boko Haram insurgents continue their campaign of fear with bomb blasts in Gombe where President Goodluck Jonathan was campaigning earlier this week
-- He has been instrumental in encouraging and participating in various Trauma Healing workshops. Mennonite Central Committee is sponsoring one for EYN leadership this week, helping these leaders to lead despite the trauma they may be experiencing.
-- He received reports that the Nigerian military attacked Boko Haram headquarters in the Sambisi Forest. With the successful defense of the city of Maiduguri, it appears that Boko Haram is being limited to hit-and-run tactics.
-- With his encouragement, EYN’s director of education has established a teacher-training program and set up locations to begin teaching at the five IDP camps in Jos.
-- As most of us are digging out of the recent snow storm, he is enduring 100-degree heat with failing electricity, and fighting mosquitoes in humid east Nigeria.
-- He is asking for prayers for his mother who was recently hospitalized; also, continued prayer for his safety and health as he continues his important work in Nigeria.
For more about the crisis response going on in Nigeria as a cooperative effort of Brethren Disaster Ministries and the Church of the Brethren working with Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria) go to www.brethren.org/nigeriacrisis .
-- Roxane and Carl Hill are co-directors of the Nigeria Crisis Response of the Church of the Brethren.