Nigeria (MNN) – Tragedies, crises, heartbreaks—these are the moments in life where we must answer this one question: Where is our hope?
When all else is stripped away, we know that the conditions and promises of this world cannot sustain us or heal us. This is the reality for many Nigerians—both Christian and Muslim—living in refugee and IDP camps.
Carl Moeller of Biblica reminds us that despite the uncertainty these people face, there’s something we can do to give them hope.
Moeller says, “As many people will no doubt be aware, […] radical Islam is moving dramatically from northern Africa into southern parts of Africa. And Nigeria is really a fault line, a dividing line between radical Islam and the Christian-majority southern part of Nigeria where Evangelical and Pentecostal Christianity is really very vibrant.”
Terror: a daily reality in Nigeria
Christians in the north have faced constant persecution from radical Muslims, mostly belonging to Boko Haram.
They’ve been forced to leave their villages. Their churches have been burned and their homes and possessions taken from them.
One story most people remember from two years ago is about the kidnapping of nearly 300 girls from a Christian school in Chibok. Moeller says most have not been heard from again, and they’ve likely been enslaved.
This was not an isolated incident of violence, and while the general population has forgotten the plight of Nigerians, they continue to suffer.
“Many of them live in refugee camps. In fact, over 700,000 people by internal estimates in Nigeria are displaced and well over 20 churches that we know of were burned to the ground during that time,” Moeller says.
Christians are one targeted group. When they are on the run, their Bibles are left behind with the rest of their possessions.
One question that arises in light of this is why the daily reality of terror attacks in Africa garners little attention?
While Moeller has his suspicions, he says, “Our purpose is not to necessarily wonder why the world doesn’t care. We need to start creating opportunities for the world to do something and to raise the awareness of the situation here by helping organizations, churches, and other NGOs provide the resources that those people need.”
While they are working with churches to provide for the physical needs, Biblica’s focus is to provide the spiritual help these people need.
An answer to the greatest need
“The situation in these camps is frighteningly desperate. And among the other needs besides the physical needs of food, clothing, and shelter and even psychological counseling, the thing most desperately needed in a camp like that is hope.”
Biblica needs a total of 12,000 Bibles to distribute in the camps.
“We know that each Bible distributed will impact many, many dozens of people. Our current project– We need 12,000 people to provide a Bible for some of these refugees who have been displaced. It’s a tragic situation, but again they can’t live one minute without the hope found in God’s word, and they must be given the opportunity to find Jesus there.”
Because of a generous donor, each Bible you buy will be matched. This promotion is especially for those who have never given through Biblica before.
“We really do need thousands of people to respond to the call for Bibles,” Moeller says.
One thing Moeller says is often overlooked is that it’s not just Christians who are targets of Islamic extremism, but moderate Muslims as well. “This is a problem across Africa and across the Middle East and now it’s coming into Europe.”
While this is a tragic reality, it’s important to realize it’s also an opportunity to share the Truth with people.
“During these times of great crisis, people look for hope. They look for something that will bring some ray of good news into their lives. And when we are there to provide for them a Bible in their mother tongue–in this case Hausa and also English–the hope that is transmitted through that act, people are desperate and they find Jesus Christ as the anchor for their souls.”
Praying for Hope
Please pray for the men and women in these camps to find true, unfailing hope so their lives can be changed.
Pray for more people to join the initiative in funding Bible distribution.
Pray for the Church in Nigeria, that they would stand and serve these refugees and other victims of hardship.
Pray for Biblica to continue to work effectively in these places with their partners. Ask God to protect their frontline workers who are working in the camps and are at risk every moment.
If you would like to fund the donation of a Bible, click here!