Group of Chibok schoolgirls are released from captivity




Students at Mount Vernon Nazarene University are just one of the groups around the world who have been praying for the release of the schoolgirls abducted from Chibok. These students formed a prayer circle, Nigerian style, after hearing a presentation by Carl and Roxane Hill about the Chibok girls and the Nigeria Crisis Response.
Photo courtesy of Roxane and Carl Hill

Students at Mount Vernon Nazarene University are just one of the groups around the world who have been praying for the release of the schoolgirls abducted from Chibok. These students formed a prayer circle, Nigerian style, after hearing a presentation by Carl and Roxane Hill about the Chibok girls and the Nigeria Crisis Response.

The Nigerian government says 21 of the Chibok schoolgirls abducted by Boko Haram in April 2014 have been freed in negotiations with the insurgents, according to reports from media outlets today including the Associated Press and ABC News. The negotiations were carried out with help from the International Committee of the Red Cross and the Swiss government.

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Church of the Brethren staff have received confirmation of this news from Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria). EYN president Joel S. Billi sent confirmation after he talked with Chibok parents and the Bring Back Our Girls organization in Nigeria. The majority of the girls abducted from the school in Chibok are from Nigerian Brethren families.

“We receive this news with great joy,” said Jay Wittmeyer, executive director of Global Mission and Service. “As a church we have been in active prayer for these individuals since their abduction. Congregations continue to pray specifically for each girl. Jesus said that we should pray always and not lose heart and we have steadfastly been doing so and we will continue to do so.

“We also express gratitude to all parties involved in this negotiated release. We know that both the IRC and the Swiss government have been actively involved in working toward peace and relief in Nigeria in many ways, and we are not surprised that they have been involved in this settlement.

“We do continue to call for the release of all individuals held against their will,” Wittmeyer said, “not just those from Chibok.”

Some 197 of the Chibok students remain in Boko Haram hands, and “it is not known how many of them may have died,” said the AP report, as published on AllAfrica.com. According to AP, the freed girls are in the custody of Nigeria’s Department of State Services, which is the country’s intelligence agency. Presidential spokesman Garba Shehu told the AP that talks will continue for the release of the rest of the Chibok girls.

Find the AP and ABC News report at http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/nigeria-21-abducted-chibok-schoolgirls-freed-42771802 . Find information on the Nigeria Crisis Response of the Church of the Brethren and EYN at www.brethren.org/nigeriacrisis .

Breaking:

The "Premium Times" of Nigeria has reported the 21 names given by the Nigerian government:

1. Mary Usman Bulama
2. Jummai John
3. Blessing Abana
4. Lugwa Sanda
5. Comfort Habila
6. Maryam Basheer
7. Comfort Amos
8. Glory Mainta
9. Saratu Emannuel
10. Deborah Ja’afaru
11. Rahab Ibrahim
12. Helen Musa
13. Maryamu Lawan
14. Rebecca Ibrahim
15. Asabe Goni
16. Deborah Andrawus
17. Agnes Gapani
18. Saratu Markus
19. Glory Dama
20. Pindah Nuhu
21. Rebecca Mallam

Find the newspaper report at www.premiumtimesng.com/news/headlines/212705-breaking-nigeria-releases-names-freed-chibok-girls-full-list.html

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