Nigeria (MNN) — The Nigerian government says the U.N. is making a mountain out of a molehill when they describe the severity of the hunger crisis in northeast Nigeria. Last Friday, the U.N. launched a $1 billion funding appeal for the food shortage in three Nigerian states. Just over five million Nigerians face food insecurity and 400,000 children are at risk of starvation.
Greg Kelley with World Mission was just at an Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camp in Adamawa State in northern Nigeria. There, he witnessed the need firsthand.
“There are 1,600 people [in the camp], half of them children who have lost everything. Many of the children are orphaned. [There are] very few men. We’re being told that Boko Haram has killed most of the men represented in this camp, so just the basic necessities of survival are needed — food, clothing, detergent.”
Kelley shares how World Mission is stepping up as agents of Christ’s love. “We have met so many people who have lost everything, orphans, widows, it’s just unimaginable what these people have been through. But we brought the Word of God, we brought supplies, we brought rice, and we brought other basic necessities of survival and they have been so appreciative.”
World Mission’s audio Bibles, called Treasures, started encouraging believers in the camp immediately.
“We just met an amazing brother who is from the military who is actually teaching at this camp. He’s a follower of Jesus and we gave him a Treasure and he was so thankful. He is organizing listening groups right now in this IDP camp.”
Somewhere between one and five percent of the people in the camp are Christian, the rest are Muslim. Kelley spoke with the Christian military man in the IDP camp, and asked if he thinks the stiuation with Boko Haram has strengthened Christians’ Gospel witness. The believer responded without missing a beat, “Yes, yes, I believe these incidents have brought Christians very close to God. Many times… it is when we are difficult situations, you see us running back to God.”
The Treasures have been great conversation-starters for Nigerian believers to share Jesus Christ with their Muslim friends and neighbors.
“What we’re being told is that the Treasures that are being used are going to be a great impact, and that the Muslims will gladly receive the Word of God because they recognize it came from hands that genuinely care for them and love them.”
Your prayers are desperately needed — both for those in hostile regions in northern Nigeria, and those in the IDP camps.
“The place we visited today, we were told that less than a year ago, a suicide bomber had come in. It’s almost impossible to have enough security to prevent this kind of thing. But they just came right into the refugee camp and blew themselves up and also took a few other people with them. So it’s just a reminder that, although this is an area that is fairly secure now compared to other areas of northern Nigeria, there is still so much anxiety with people looking over their shoulder.”
Kelley asks, “Continue to pray for northern Nigeria and the effect that Boko Haram is having, and the lasting effect, the memories that these beautiful, precious people, have endured.”
And, if you’d like to help support this outreach, you can go to World Mission’s website here! Your gift really does matter for this Gospel and humanitarian ministry in Nigeria during the food crisis.