By Roxane Hill
As the crowd cheered Jesus on Palm Sunday, the Pharisees told him to quiet the crowd. Jesus responded, “If they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.” Later Jesus wept over the city of Jerusalem and its future destruction, saying, “They will not leave one stone on another.” These are two opposing references to stones in Luke 19; one of celebration and acknowledgement of Christ, the second of destruction for those who did not recognize him.
What does this have to do with displaced people in Nigeria? The stones in the above picture, titled “Refugees,” cried out to me. They spoke of fleeing, of children being swept along, and of how few of one’s possessions can be carried on foot. This depiction of flight is only the beginning of the story. Where will they live? What will they eat? Will their children be able to go to school?
Jesus used stones to illustrate both celebration and destruction. The Nigerians do the same. They grieve over the destruction of lives and property, yet they continue to lift their voices in praise and acknowledgement of Jesus Christ.
Boko Haram attacks continue
Rev. Yuguda, manager of the Disaster Team of Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria), sent the following information about recent attacks by the Islamist extremists in northeast Nigeria. Here is a report of what has happened in the last several days as a result of Boko Haram attacks:
In Bakin Dutse, a village located between Madagali and Gulak, Boko Haram members burnt 19 houses to ashes, and people fled to Yola and Mubi.
In Sabongari Hyembula, a village close to Madagali, one life was lost and three houses were burned down.
In Kafin Hausa, also a village close to Madagali, 19 houses were burned down.
All of these above mentioned communities are along the main road to Madagali and Gwoza, which had previously been the headquarters of the Boko Haram. The attacks took place on Friday to Saturday morning, Sept. 25-26.
Pumbum, a village close to Lassa, was attacked on Monday, Sept. 28. Fifteen people were killed and many houses were burned down.
In addition, on Thursday at least 14 people were killed and more than 30 injured in suicide bombings in Maiduguri, and on Friday night two bomb blasts in outlying areas of the capital city Abuja caused at least 15 deaths among many other people who were injured.
“May God continue to help us,” said Rev. Yuguda in his report.
— Roxane and Carl Hill serve as co-directors of Nigeria Crisis Response, a cooperative effort of the Church of the Brethren and Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria).