29th October: A day to remember

By Sara Zakariya Musa of Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria)

9 years ago we were all scattered
I, my family, my friends, my loved ones
when I say we I mean everyone except those men who made themselves our enemy
we ran not knowing where we were nor where to go
we ran helplessly not minding the ocean of sweat on our body
Nor the pull of innocent blood all over the place
we ran till we lost our strength but, we had to continue else they will kill us
I have watched them kill my loved ones
Shooting even the people I ran with to death
I saw my loved ones die helplessly but couldn’t render any help
I had no chance to mourn my loved ones
I still hear the voice of that loving mother saying “Ku gudu ku barni,” run my children my strength is gone
Bomb blasts became more like a music to our ears
the sounds of bullets gave us the rhythm we ran with
we fled like the Bible said flee
leaving our parents, parents leaving their children, husbands leaving their wives and wives their husbands
making many children orphans
many wives widows
many husbands widowers
leaving us in bitterness

but what amazes me in all this is God’s faithfulness
we slept in bushes but were not harmed
we ran miles–that’s ordinarily impossible
we crossed paths that are humanly impossible
we drank water that should have led us to sick bay but today we are healthy
we thought that pain is everlasting but this God restored us
his grace kept us, his mercies delivered us
Behold, what the enemy meant for evil God has turned it around
I’m not here with the best of words neither am I here with purest of memory
but, to give glory to the only faithful God
The God who was, who is, and is to come, shalom

— This poetic reflection on the experience of members of Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria) when under attack by Boko Haram was written by Sara Zakariya Musa and contributed to Newsline by Zakariya Musa who serves as head of EYN Media.

In a separate email, Zakariya Musa reported briefly on the latest violence suffered by EYN members and churches: “In the middle of economic hardships imposed on Nigerian citizens as a result of subsidy removal by the Federal Government, seven houses including properties and a worship center were burned in a recent Boko Haram attack at Jibhuhwi village. Church officials reported that the place was attacked severally and [they] are crying for assistance as they return home. The burned church was temporarily reconstructed [after a previous attack] by the congregation, under the Kwajaffa church district in Hawul area of Borno State. This has occurred during a harvest time when over 100 rice, maize, and groundnut farms [of local farmers] were [taken over and] harvested by Boko Haram.” He concluded by asking for continued prayer for the Nigerian church.


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