Thursday, April 17, 2014

NIGERIA: ONGOING CONCERNS FOR MISSING SCHOOL GIRLS

a Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) press release

There are ongoing concerns for the safety of 129 female students kidnapped from their school in Chibok in Borno State on 14 April by members of the Islamist terrorist group Boko Haram, amid disputes over a statement issued by the Nigerian military on 16 April claiming to have freed most of them.

On the evening of 14 April, Boko Haram gunmen invaded the predominantly Christian town of Chibok in the Gwoza Local Government Area (LGA), setting fire to homes and public buildings and looting food items, before kidnapping 129 students from Government Girls Secondary School (GGSS), who were taking the West African Examination Council (WAEC) examination.

In a statement issued on 16 April, the Nigerian Defence Headquarters had stated that most of the victims had been freed 'in the ongoing Search & Rescue operations;' that 'the Principal of the school confirmed that only eight of the students are still missing', and that one Boko Haram member involved in the abductions had been captured. Earlier, 14 of the girls had managed to escape their captors when the vehicle transporting them ran into difficulties.

However, the principal of GGSS Chibok, Asabe Kwambura, has informed local media that the school was 'still waiting and praying for the safe return of the students. All I know is that we have only fourteen of them, and the security people, especially the vigilante and the well meaning volunteers of Gwoza, are still out searching for them.'

Borno state governor Kashim Shettima has offered a reward of around £180,000 for information leading to the girls' release.

Meanwhile, attacks in the area have continued. On 16 April, Boko Haram gunmen ambushed two buses carrying traders near Wala Village in Gwoza LGA, killing 18 of them, reportedly after identifying them as Gwoza residents, and injuring several others. On the same day, other Boko Haram gunmen had attacked Sabon Kasuwa Village in Hawul LGA, where they murdered the District Head in his bedroom before killing his guard and fleeing the scene

Last week Idrissa Timta, the Emir of Gwoza, appealed for effective protection, informing local media that Gwoza residents are being forced to flee and trade in food and goods is being disrupted: 'We want action from government so that lives can be saved; if nothing is done, we have no other option than to desert our homelands and flee into the neighbouring Cameroon towns where we may perhaps get protection.'

Mervyn Thomas, Chief Executive of Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW), said, 'We join with all people of goodwill throughout Nigeria in praying for the well-being and safe return of the abducted girls. We also condemn the continuing targeting of Gwoza residents and echo the calls of the Emir for effective action to increase security in Gwoza LGA so that normal life can resume and people are not forced to abandon their homes and livelihoods.'

For further information or to arrange interviews please contact Kiri Kankhwende, Press Officer at Christian Solidarity Worldwide on +44 (0)20 8329 0045 / +44 (0) 78 2332 9663, email kiri@csw.org.uk or visit www.csw.org.uk.

Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) is a Christian organisation working for religious freedom through advocacy and human rights, in the pursuit of justice.


prayer diary Maundy Thursday 17 April 2014 ( Day of Discipline and Self-denial)

Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel that was tied around him. 
John 13.5

Reflection
Christ, God and man, was not above the humble service of others. What are the ways in which you are too proud to serve, thinking such actions beneath you?

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

prayer diary Spy Wednesday 16 April 2014 ( Day of Discipline and Self-denial)

Jesus was troubled in spirit, and declared, ‘Very truly, I tell you, one of you will betray me.’ 
John 13.22

Reflection
Do not in your pride despise Judas. Rather, consider the ways you daily, even hourly, betray your Lord.

prayer diary Tuesday 15 April 2014 ( Day of Discipline and Self-denial)

'unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains just a single grain; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. 
John 11.24

Reflection
Deny yourself that you may die to self and thus bear much fruit for Christ.

Monday, April 14, 2014

prayer diary Monday 14 April 2014 ( Day of Discipline and Self-denial)

'You always have the poor with you, but you do not always have me.’ 
John 11.8

Reflection
There are some who think themselves too busy with the practical work of the Gospel to spend time in worship. Christ demands both of those who follow him.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Examin Sunday 13 April 2014

During this week we think more than ever on the Cross Christ bore for us. But where is the cross in your life? Christ told his disciples that they must deny themselves, take up their cross, and follow him. Consider your life – in what way do you deny yourself the pleasures and temptations of this world so that you may conform yourself to the will of Christ? What suffering is there in your life for the sake of the Gospel? Where is your cross? And if there is no cross in your life, in what way are you a follower of Christ?

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Examin Saturday 12 April 2014

To carry our cross in this life is not easy. For most it means denying ourselves all that the world, the flesh, and the devil would tempt us with. Yet when all these seeming pleasures are seen in the light of his Resurrection, they mean little. Repent now of where you have fallen short and take up your cross anew and carry it joyfully to the eternal life that awaits.