Giving hope to persecuted Christians since 1995
Select Page

08/03/2023 Washington D.C. (International Christian Concern) – Perhaps it’s her captivating eyes – or the puffy cheeks and impish smile. Brimming with cuteness, Baby Ruth tugged at our hearts and souls amid an unspeakable tragedy when we met her two years ago.

She was perfect and beautiful in a tangle of violence in north-central Nigeria – a glimmer of goodness and redemption surrounded by unbearable suffering and tragedy fueled by none other than Hades.

Ruth’s mother, Hannatu, and other villagers fled from gun-wielding Fulani militants hunting them in the darkness just before dawn. Her escape route cut off by unseasonably high rains, Hannatu faced her attackers at a muddy riverbank, desperately clutching two-month-old Ruth.

Witnesses said the militants demanded to know the whereabouts of village men. The mother refused to reveal anything and pleaded with the attackers to spare her child. They yanked Ruth from her arms, shot Hannatu dead, and left the infant in the mud to die an agonizing death in the cold. The Fulani extremists continued their pursuit, finding and killing Hannatu’s husband, three other family members, and other villagers – a flood of blood and tears in a drowned landscape.

It is hard for us in the West to comprehend the horrors that take place regularly for Christians in Nigeria. The headlines scream by us with the number of Christians slaughtered in the latest attack. It can be easy to feel detached because this hardscrabble place is thousands of miles away. Killings are so frequent that we can become desensitized. After the initial attacks, survivors are left shell-shocked, their homes burned to ashes, and the clothes they wear their only possessions.

The decades-old violence affects survivors’ families for generations and leaves behind a torrent of hurt, anger, and hopelessness. Desperate, Christians do the only thing they can: call out to the Lord for His presence and strength with cries of pain to a loving, heavenly Father. And He answers and strengthens them, walking by their side.

Thankfully, Ruth was plucked from the ground by survivors that night – a pearl found at the water’s edge. God bless them.

Thanks to our supporters, when we heard about Ruth in 2021, we gave emergency aid to her caretakers – food, clothing, and medicine. If we could, we would tap the storehouses of heaven for this beautiful soul. ICC staffers checked in on Ruth over the months. The visits filled their hearts and cemented their resolve to serve persecuted Christians in the Middle Belt region.

Ruth, now 2, gets excellent care from Hannatu’s surviving younger sister. An ICC staffer recently visited the aunt and child in bustling Jos.

“Baby Ruth is doing fine and is healthy,” said the aunt, playing with the girl. “I’m taking her to school this September and to [doctors] because her leg is bent due to a lack of calcium.”

Ruth was treated at a local government-funded hospital until it closed due to a worker strike. ICC will help the aunt find better, private medical care for Ruth and provide her with food, clothes, and emergency funds.

Unlike the adults in the village, Baby Ruth has no recollection of the savagery that robbed her of her parents and altered her childhood. She is a joyful, happy-go-lucky toddler who loves to be held. The aunt and others in the village are beyond grateful for the support.

Thank you for sending your love and prayers to a tiny girl you’ve never met who lives an ocean and more away.

To read more stories like this, sign up for ICC’s free monthly magazine.