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11/14/2018 Niger (International Christian Concern) – Two years ago Jeff Woodke, an American Christian aid worker, disappeared from his home in Abalak, Niger. The 57-year-old worked for Jeunesse en Mission Entraide et Development (JEMED). He worked on multiple development projects for the nomadic people living in Niger, focusing on education, healthcare, and income generating activities.

It is believed that the kidnappers were from an extremist Islamic group known as Mujao. Since his abduction, there has been little revealed about Jeff other than the fact that his captors were tracked into a nearby Mali community by authorities. His whereabouts and condition remain unknown.

While little is known, the Niger president made a statement about Jeff and another aid worker in June 2018 claiming that the two men were indeed alive and that they were seeking to make arrangements for Jeff’s release.

On the second anniversary of his disappearance, community leaders have called on Niger’s president to secure his release. Local officials, representatives of the Niger army, and fellow aid workers have all gathered to remember him and pay tribute to the work he was doing prior to his abduction.

Jeff’s wife made a video where she spoke directly to her husband saying: “I want you to know that I’m doing everything I can to get you home,” she said in French. “It’s been two long years. You have not been abandoned. Not by God and not by those who help me … Do not lose hope.”

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