Harvesting Hope in Nigeria
By Nathan Johnson
06/17/2021 Washington D.C. (International Christian Concern) – In the wake of tens of thousands of murdered, millions displaced, and many others suffering from food, shelter, and medical insecurity, it’s hard for vulnerable Nigerian Christians to find hope. Multiple violent terrorist groups target Christians and attack them where they are weakest: by destroying their source of nutrition. With no help from the government, rural farming communities are left to their own devices to survive.
Throughout the vast Middle Belt of the nation, millions of farmers have been displaced from their ancestral homelands, forced to flee the violence led by Fulani militant groups. With little to survive, farmers move into a family member or friend’s home, and find small, odd jobs to keep them barely afloat. Without access to farmable land, they have no way to provide for their families. Churches are destroyed and Christians are forced to flee. They can no longer aid the needs of their families, and spreads to hurt the communities already strained by poor economies.
ICC workers serve them and rebuild their lives by building communal farms so the victims can get back to their lives and support themselves.
Each farm our staff builds out will serve 75 families who have suffered deaths, injuries, and displacement. It is a huge effort to start a farm of this size, but once families are equipped, they can provide for themselves, regaining their lost dignity and hope.
Marice will never forget the terror of the day she nearly lost everything.
“On December 4, 2017, around 6 a.m., while we were in the house, we suddenly heard someone shouting. It was a sudden attack on Lawaru that day so the villagers fled whichever direction they could get to for safety. I had run and passed Dong village, together with my son who was 25 years, [named] Confidence. I was in front and telling him to run faster. Just then I heard him shouting “Jesus! Jesus! Jesus!”
Confidence, her son, was very ill and could not run quickly. The attackers caught him, throwing him to the ground. “[When I heard him yell], I turned to look and saw that he was surrounded by the Fulani and they were hacking him with their machetes. On seeing that, I stopped running but continued praying.”
The terror of watching her son butchered stopped her in her flight. The Fulani caught up to her and and slashed several times before the attackers robbed her and continued their rampage. Marice was found hours later. She had nearly bled to death.
Her husband, Giduel, carried her to the nearest village and hospital. She was treated and was able to survive this ordeal. Her family has since taken part in one of our farms, restoring a once decimated dream to feed her family and send her children to school.
Thousands of families share the story of Marice and Confidence throughout the Middle Belt. Those whose incomes and livelihoods have been stripped away are in dire need of help and restoration. These farms bring people like Marice and her family hope for a brighter future. Farming gives them dignity to provide for themselves and to help others in need.
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