‘I was at home with my family in the evening when we were attacked,’ says Martha. ‘There was sporadic gunfire, and then they broke into our house.’ Martha hid in the goatshed with her three-month-old son, and they survived the attack. Tragically, her husband and two other children were killed.
All in one night last year, 14 rural communities including Martha’s were attacked, one of many outbreaks of violence across Nigeria in 2018. About 300 people were killed that night, 24 churches and countless homes were burnt down, and more than 10,000 people were displaced.
Everything was destroyed – Martha and her son were left with nothing. Along with 6,000 others, they ended up at a makeshift camp in Jos. ‘When I first arrived at the gates of the camp, I was scared and I started to cry,’ says Martha.
In the camp, people were eating just once or twice a day, and sleeping alongside one another in cramped conditions. With no clean water or sanitation, cholera soon broke out.
A light in the darkness
With the help of our partner organisation, RURCON, Martha and Benjamin have remained safe and healthy at the camp. They were given emergency supplies including soap, and a mattress so they didn’t have to sleep on the cold floor. Martha also benefited from life-saving health and sanitation advice, and is now more able to look after herself and her son.
‘I have learnt so many things, and am confident that now I and my son are safe,’ says Martha. ‘I am so happy and so grateful.’
Inspired by Jesus and supported by people like you, the approach of our partners is to help the whole person. ‘We are addressing the physical, but we are also addressing the spiritual,’ says Kenneth from RURCON. ‘We encourage them with the scripture. Worshipping and praying alongside these traumatised people is one of the key ways to bring healing.’
Thanks to the funds raised by people like you at the Big Quiz Night, the RURCON team will be there to do all they can to support Martha and others in the camp. They will ensure people like Martha are empowered to move on when it’s safe, and have access to the trauma healing they need to forgive and build a positive future.
In spite of her experiences, Martha has started to smile again. She worships regularly, and is active with the youth programme and women’s fellowship. She says, ‘I feel so happy, I feel so peaceful. It has not been easy, but I know God will help.’
By taking part in the Big Quiz Night, you are reaching out to help people like Martha. Thank you.