Nigeria (MNN) – There are over two million refugees scattered across Northern Nigeria and the surrounding countries. Over half of them are children. Many have lost their homes, and resources in the refugee camps are scarce.The situation may seem hopeless, but the good news is these people haven’t been abandoned.
“We have these two million people that are actually majority Muslim, but they’re consolidated into dozens of refugee camps all across that northern part of the country, and they’ve really become accessible for not only relief activity, but the body of Christ to come in there and impact them and just show them the love of Jesus in a very tangible way,” Greg Kelley, CEO of World Mission, says.
Kelley says despite the horrors of terrorism and the suffering it causes, a couple of positives have come from it. First, it has consolidated people and made them easier to reach with humanitarian aid. Second, it has opened people’s hearts to the Gospel.
“Those people who have identified with Islam, the majority of them want no part in the hostilities and the radical perspective that these people have,” Kelley says. “It’s really opened their heart up to saying ‘Hey, this can’t be what my life is all about, blowing people up and just having no tolerance for any other perspective.’
“Christians are stepping into that void and they’re not trying to debate them or win some philosophical argument. They’re simply being the body of Jesus and showing love and compassion, and the Holy Spirit is doing the work. So really, we are seeing people come to Christ.”
World Mission is showing this love in a number of ways. Through its national partner in Nigeria, World Mission is providing food, clothing and shelter, as well as distributing its solar-powered audio Bible, the Treasure.
“In conjunction with our humanitarian efforts, we always do Treasure distributions in their language, so people understand the motivation behind us giving them a cup of cold water or a meal,” Kelley says. “We want them to know it’s the love of Jesus that is exclusively motivating us and it’s that relationship we have with Him that we desire them to have.”
Coming to Christ in a Muslim-majority country dominated by terrorists, however, has its dangers. Kelly says he personally has friends who have been killed for their faith. Still, he says, it’s vital that Christians fearlessly strive to advance the cause of Christ.
“I believe this is a one of the great opportunities that we face in 2016 to plant the flag of Christianity right in the midst of Boko Haram, because greater is He who is in us than he who is in the world.”
Kelley says this is an important opportunity for the body of Christ to get involved, as the government won’t support the cause of Christ. Kelley asks that you pray that bold Christians would continue to rise up in Nigeria and spread the Gospel.
Click here to learn more about World Mission’s work and how you can support it financially.