A Nigerian Christmas Story


“Lilly” escaped from Boko Haram.

The Nigerian jihadists massacred her brothers, abducted “Lilly” and held her captive in their forest headquarters. They planned to force her – a Christian wife and mother – to marry an Islamist fighter.

By the time she escaped nearly a year later, her village – those who survived Boko Haram’s attack – had fled to a safer part of Nigeria.

The displaced villagers found temporary shelter and are rebuilding their lives.

Lilly [not her real name] called her husband. She found her way to the camp of displaced villagers.

But before she arrived and reunited with her family, the village chief met with her husband.

The chief knew something. He needed to help this husband accept his wife – and the new baby she was carrying.

They remembered that Joseph welcomed pregnant Mary and raised her son Jesus. And because of Jesus, God adopts us into His family.

The chief’s wise counsel led to the village embracing Lilly’s child with love, not hate.

They took the Christmas story to heart.

They took their faith seriously – that “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” John 1:5. They would let God’s love conquer Boko Haram’s attempt to destroy them.

We read the news of Boko Haram’s and ISIS attacks on Christians. But what happens after the attacks? How do persecuted Christians pick up their lives, mend their scars, deal with the aftermath, and hope for the future?

When I met Lilly and the chief, the village was starting a new chapter. They bought a tract of land and will build a new village. A fresh start together. But there is much work to be done.

Their first step follows Proverbs 24:27: “Prepare your work outside; get everything ready for yourself in the field, and after that build your house.”

The villagers cleared the land. Soon they will be ready to plant crops.

Would you like to be a part of their story? And of other persecuted Christians?

You can help buy seeds and equipment for this Christian village – and help other persecuted Christians – through Christian Freedom International. The world will see that Christians are one family in Christ.

This Christmas, may the light of Jesus – and His love – shine in the dark places of this world.

Merry Christmas!

Wendy Wright