Working Towards Peace and Plenty in Nigeria
With decreasing levels of food and increasing conflict, nearly 50 per cent of Nigeria’s estimated 180 million population is living in extreme poverty. As we read let us pray for people in need, but also praise God for the signs of hope that can be seen through the work of his church.
Ruth has known great despair in her life. One of her children died collecting water from a dirty pond, their only water source. But Ruth has started to believe that the future can be better thanks to the work of Tearfund’s partner Church of Christ in Nigeria’s Community Development Program (CCDP).
Pray that the seeds of hope newly planted in Ruth’s life will continue to grow, and that she will experience healing and transformation.
CCDP is running Bible Studies and training to help open the eyes of people like Ruth to new possibilities, and their own God-given potential. Self-help groups are enabling people to save money and share resources. Ruth has taken a loan to grow different kinds of crops.
Praise God for these signs of change, and for CCDP’s commitment to helping those in most need.
Martha fled her rural village when her husband and two older children were killed in a dispute over land. She escaped by hiding in a grain store with her three-month-old son and is now living in a makeshift camp in the town of Jos. She is one of tens of thousands affected by conflict in Nigeria – pray for her and others whose lives have been turned upside down, and for a breakthrough of God’s peace.
With no sanitation at the camp to which Martha fled, there was a cholera outbreak soon after she arrived. But thanks to simple water and sanitation workshops run by Tearfund Partner Rural Development Counsellors for Christian Churches in Africa (Rurcon), the outbreak was halted, and people like Martha learnt to stay safe and healthy.
Praise God for this, and pray for his protection over people displaced by conflict.
‘I need someone to help me, counsel me and support me to overcome these challenges,’ says Martha. ‘I know God will raise help.’ Along with hundreds of others in the camp Martha is traumatised and needs counselling to help her come to terms with her huge losses.
Pray that Rurcon and others will have the resources to offer this counselling and that Martha’s needs will be met.
Conflict is affecting Nigeria’s urban communities as well as rural villages like Martha’s. Christopher grew up in Jos, in a community where Christians and Muslims lived as neighbours. All this changed when Christopher was a teenager, and conflict took over. Nigeria is in need of the deep healing and reconciliation that only God can bring, please pray for this.
Christopher was embroiled in violent gang warfare for years, until Tearfund partner Scripture Union West Africa (SUWA) invited him to be part of new peacebuilding workshops uniting Christians and Muslims. Christopher didn’t think such a simple approach would work, but soon his whole outlook altered. ‘I changed my heart,’ says Christopher. Today he is an influential peace ambassador.
Praise God for his turnaround.
www.tearfund.org gives more information on the simple but effective work that is being done by Tearfund partners through the ‘Less is more’ programme. You can read more about Ruth, Christopher and others whose lives are being transformed through the work of Tearfund’s Partners.