Bandaging and building the persecuted Church since 1995

An Infant of Hope

By Kate Piselli and ICC's Field Staff

01/20/2022 Washington D.C. (International Christian Concern) – The rain was relentless. For over 24 hours, the sky opened up and the riverbanks filled to the brim. Maiyanga village, a small community located in central Nigeria, was trapped.

“Anyone who attempted to cross [the river] would [be] taken away,” a source, preferring anonymity, told ICC.

Around 2:00 a.m., the village felt relief— but only temporarily. Miles beyond the borders of the village, a group of Fulani militants had their gaze set upon the isolated community.

When the Fulani attacked at 4:00 a.m., there was no way out.

Run for Cover

“We ran and hid ourselves by the riverside,” the source continued. “But the ground was wet enough to leave our footprints behind, and we could be easily tracked.”

One set of muddy footprints led the gunmen to Hannatu Yakaby, who was hiding by the river, holding her three-month-old daughter, Ruth.

When the militants found her, Hannatu began negotiating with them.

“Because she could not reveal the whereabouts of men as they demanded, they decided to kill her. But she pleaded with them to spare her daughter, Ruth.”

The men agreed to let Ruth live in that moment, but they assured Hannatu that Ruth would eventually die of hunger.

“They reached out and picked up Ruth from her mother, and threw her away to the side. After that, they shot her mother without delay, leaving Ruth at the mercy of God in the cold weather.”

Just as Moses was abandoned as a baby, God had a plan in store for Ruth.

Unexpected Blessings

Five of Ruth’s family members were killed that day, along with 65 others in a series of brutal Fulani militia attacks that destroyed nine villages in the area.

In late 2021, ICC presented a gift to Ruth, which included essential supplies so her caretakers could sustain her. The gifting meeting was filled with prayer and appreciation to God, as her caretakers led over 100 displaced persons in a prayer for baby Ruth.

“We will not forget this kind of love, from another country, to baby Ruth,” said her caretakers.

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