Friday, February 20, 2015

Escape from Certain Death

The news was alarming. B*ko H*ram terrorists would soon arrive in G*lak, a northern Nigeria city where Adam* ministered. A graduate of the ER School of Evangelism in Jos, Adamu felt called by God to live and work in the war-torn region in spite of the dangers.

In haste, Adam* and Cecilia gathered their five children together and charged their eldest son with helping them flee to safety. Though their hearts were torn, they felt they could not abandon their spiritual children who would need help if persecution came.
All too quickly, they heard men shouting, and it was apparent that they were searching for Adam* by name. They surrounded Cecilia and demanded to know his whereabouts, but he had already escaped, running through a corn field. Frustrated and angry, the terrorists left the home and continued their rampage.

For three long days the couple could not find each other. Finally, by the grace of God they reconnected and began a trek on foot for nine days. They traversed hills, valleys, and forests on a path to neighboring Cameroon. They ate grass, raw corn and peanuts. Their beds were piles of leaves under the stars. Along the way they fended off wild animals and were constantly on the lookout for violent gangs who patrolled roads and occupied cities.

Adam* and Cecilia constantly wondered about the safety and whereabouts of their children. It is not uncommon in Nigeria these days for children to be permanently separated from their parents. Hundreds of orphaned or separated children have been taken in and cared for by Christians, creating a crisis within a crisis. They gathered their courage and re-entered Nigeria to search for them.

The couple crossed the border, weaving their way around terrorist camps, and began to search near the city of Yola, where the family had last lived before moving to Gu*ak. Huge crowds of refugees flooded the city, and Adam* and Cecilia prayed fervently as they searched face by face, hoping to see the children. Miraculously, and beyond any reasonable hope, they eventually did find all five children and had a tearful reunion. Together again, the family continued on to Bwari, a town about 40 miles outside of Abuja.

Adam* and Cecilia are not wallowing in despair, although they lost everything but the clothing they wore when they escaped. They are thankful to God for reuniting the family and helping them to escape death. God is providing for their needs through the generosity of His people.

What are they doing? Adam* is actively involved in a newly planted church. He is fulfilling God’s call on his life in spite of all the upheaval! The couple believe that they have been spared from certain death so that they can continue working in God’s harvest fields, bringing souls to Christ and discipling them in their faith.

Government forces have re-taken G*lak from the control of B*ko H*ram, and are urging the couple to return following national elections which will take place in the next few weeks. It is likely that elections, no matter the results, will stir up even more violence.

Please join Evangelism Resources in praying for this precious family, and for the many other graduates of the Jos SOE who face similar dangers. Pray for the thousands of other refugees (most of whom are Christians), and for the Christians who remain in the north of Nigeria who yet suffer tremendous persecution.

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