I first heard of Richard Wurmbrand‘s book, Tortured for Christ years ago at a retreat at Cal Poly Pomona. The gritty true story of uncompromising faith impacted me profoundly and when I get lazy and complacent in my faith, it’s a good book to read again. Wurmbrand went on to found the ministry called Voice of the Martyrs to let the church know about those believers suffering in silence around the world. Lately, the plight of 300 girls in Nigeria and the actions of Boko Haram have been in the news. Here is an update I received this morning from VOM about two of these 300 girls and their harrowing experience.
Nigeria: Kidnapped Girls Escape
VOM is providing assistance to two sisters who recently escaped captivity from Boko Haram.
Two sisters, Kamka, 19, and Naya, 16, were sleeping when radical Muslims invaded their home. The armed terrorists entered their brother’s room and shot him in the hand before demanding to know where the girls’ father was. When they realized the two sisters were not married and their father was not home, they took the girls by force.
The Boko Haram terrorist group has declared war on Christians in Nigeria, frequently attacking Christian villages, burning Christians’ houses and murdering indiscriminately. They also kidnap teenage girls and force them to convert and marry Boko Haram members.
After forcing Kamka and Naya to walk through the woods at gunpoint, the terrorists immediately put them to work fetching water and cooking. A few days later, the girls were told that both of them were to be married. “We’re too young,” Naya protested. But the leader then showed them his daughter, a girl of 7 or 8, who was already married.
“If we refused to cooperate, we would be killed,” Naya told a VOM worker. “The man whom I was forced to marry took me. He picked up his gun and a knife and threatened to murder me if I continued to resist.”
The sisters cried and prayed together, unsure of what would become of them. But after two weeks, a Muslim woman took pity on them. While fetching water with the girls, she showed them an escape route and told them to run away.
The girls escaped under cover of darkness. They knocked on the door of the first house they came to, praying the owner would be friendly. Although he was Muslim, the man took pity on the girls. He allowed them to bathe and eat, and then had his sister take them to a nearby Christian village.
The girls were traumatized by their experience but are now doing reasonably well. Since it is unsafe for them to return to their home, VOM is providing care for them at a safe house through one of our project partners.
“I thank God that He has saved us from the hands of these bad people,” Naya said. “Everything is now behind me and I’m not afraid anymore. I only want to look forward now.”
And Kamka is also thankful for God’s protection. “I am very grateful that many Christians pray for me,” she said. “Despite what I’ve been through, I still have faith in God.”
I am personally grateful for VOM’s work around the world. I encourage you to invest your prayer and if God leads, your finances towards this great work.