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Parents weeping after the kidnapping in 2014 - Photo: Voice of America
Parents at the time of the kidnapping in 2014.
Photo: Voice of America

Ruth Pagu was one of over 200 girls abducted during the 2014 raid on a secondary school in Chibok, Nigeria. Although some of the students have managed to escape captivity over the past seven years, more than 100 of them remain missing to date. Therefore, it is with great joy we report that another girl has been safely reunited with her family as of August 7th.

According to a statement by the government, the man whom Ruth was forced to marry while in captivity surrendered himself to the military on July 28th. Accompanying him was Ruth and their two children whom she bore while held captive in a terrorists' camp. Over a period of ten days, government agencies have worked to ascertain this young woman's identity and contact her parents. Ruth will be receiving psychological counselling and medical care which are being provided by the state to help her reintegrate into society.

The governor of Borno State, Babgana Zulum, announced that Ruth's reunion with her parents has greatly boosted the hopes of the many other suffering families longing to be reunited with their missing loved ones. The girls were kidnapped by members of the jihadist group, Boko Haram, who vehemently oppose Western education.

Schools continue to be targeted by various militant groups in northern Nigeria. Memories of the Chibok kidnapping come to mind with the recently reported news of a school that was raided by armed bandits on July 5th, 2021, this time involving the abduction of more than 100 students (read more).

In the midst of Nigeria's troubling abductions, we praise God for the deliverance of Ruth and her children, and also for the wonderful heart change evidenced by her husband's surrender to local authorities. Pray for each family member's physical, mental and spiritual health as they integrate into society and connect with estranged loved ones. May God surround them with a loving community that will provide needed support through this period of transition. Please remain mindful to pray for the many students still waiting to be released from captivity. May their families experience the joy of being miraculously reunited as well.

Current Ministry Projects

VOMC works with in-country partners to encourage and strengthen persecuted Christians through a variety of methods. Christian widows receive skills training and trauma counselling as a way to provide an income for their families and heal from the trauma they’ve faced in losing their husbands. Children who have lost parents and relatives due to attacks are provided with a safe place to grow and be nurtured. Medical fees are paid for Christians who have suffered injuries due to attacks by Boko Haram and Fulani. Discipleship and vocational training are given to Muslim Background Believers to help them start their new lives spiritually and practically. The Glenn Penner Scholarship Award is used to help equip persecuted Christians completing their master's degrees and have a heart to share the Gospel with the lost in their community. Food aid is also provided to persecuted Christians living in IDP camps throughout Nigeria as an opportunity to encourage them and help them rebuild their lives.

Project Funds: Women’s Ministry, Bibles, VOM Medical, Families of Martyrs, Equipping the Saints, Relief and Development

Country Information

Population
203,452,505 (July 2018 est.)

Ethnicity (%)
Hausa (27.4), Igbo (14.1), Yoruba (13.9), Fulani (6.3), Tiv (2.2), Ibibio (2.2), Izaw/Izon (2), Kanuri/Beriberi (1.7), Igala (1), Other (28.9)

Religion (%)
Islam (51.8), Christianity (46.9), Traditionalist (0.9), Unspecified (0.5)

Leader
President Muhammadu Buhari

Government type
Federal presidential republic

Legal system
Mixed legal system of English common law, Islamic law (in 12 northern states), and traditional law

Source: CIA World Factbook

Pray for Nigeria

May God minister great comfort and healing to all who have been injured or bereaved as a result of the militants' brutal attacks. In addition, pray for the remaining abducted Chibok schoolgirls, that they will be assured of the Lord's abiding presence as they await release from captivity. Continue to uphold President Buhari and other members of the Nigerian government as they make further attempts to rescue the remaining girls and provide protection for vulnerable citizens. As they persevere in their endeavours to overcome terrorism, may they be granted wisdom, courage, strength and help from on high.

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