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How hope is being kept alive amid brutal violence in Nigeria

Joseph Aloo, who leads Tearfund’s work in Nigeria, shares how we can join in their prayers for peace in the country.

Written by Joseph Aloo | 06 May 2022

People dancing and smiling

In a camp for people who have fled violence in Nigeria, people gather together at the end of the day to dance | Image credit: Tom Price/Tearfund

We believe that God is sovereign over everything that is happening in Nigeria. Although the violence that has plagued our people for years can be overwhelming, God is in control and our team is partnering with God to bring transformation. Lives are being changed. I want to encourage you with stories of hope and invite you to be praying with us for peace in Nigeria.

In Miango, central Nigeria, violence escalated last summer, forcing thousands of people from their homes. Since then, attacks and kidnappings by armed groups targeting communities have sadly continued.

Tina is a widow with five children. She also looks after her elderly mother. Tina’s farm was her one source of income to provide for her family.

But the farm, along with the house, was burnt and destroyed. Tina and her family only narrowly escaped. They are now sheltering in a nearby community.

‘They took away everything I have laboured for over the years; my house, my farm and hope in just a twinkle of an eye,’ shares Tina. ‘I am reduced to nothing.’

‘God never forgets his people’

Tearfund’s local partner, Scripture Union West Africa, has been supporting people like Tina with cash grants, so they can buy the essentials they need to survive. They have also been distributing blankets, mats and other items.

‘God never forgets his people. He sees from afar and knows how to help,’ Tina tells us. ‘We started sleeping on the floor on cold rainy nights, but blankets and mats were given to us. We can now be warm and free from the cold.’

With some of the money Tina received, she invested in a grinding mill. This enables her to provide an income for her family in the community where they are temporarily living and while they cannot return to their farm.

‘My life has been turned around.’ Tina continues. ‘I am full of joy despite all that has happened. I can raise money from my grinding mill and also give a little support to those around me that do not have [anything].

‘My children will be taken care of and can continue their school when everything returns to normal.’

Answers to prayer

When our local partners met Tina, she told them she didn’t believe any help would reach her and her family. She was surprised that people who she had never heard of could come to her aid.

But this is what we are called to do as followers of Jesus Christ – to help our neighbours in need wherever they are and assist however we can. It is not only our duty, but our privilege to be the hands and feet of God.

It is why we are working with church leaders in Nigeria to help them to disciple their congregations in how they can help to end poverty. We have been able to train 9,338 church leaders here, who have been empowered to teach a holistic vision of the gospel – one which seeks to transform every area of people's lives.

I am convinced that as the church shares this good news and equips people with how they can lift themselves – and others – out of poverty, we will continue to see lives transformed across Nigeria. We will see more examples of people, like Tina, being reached with support and having their faith in God renewed and deepened as a result.

Hope is alive in Nigeria. Yes, the violence is at times overwhelming, but God is in control. We would love for you to join with us as we continue to pray for peace in Nigeria and give thanks for all the ways God is moving in this country. Let us pray.

Pray with us

Sovereign God,

Thank you that you hold Nigeria and its people in the palms of your hands. Thank you that you are not far from us and that you hear our prayers.

Hear our pleas for peace in Nigeria, we pray. We ask for violence to cease; we pray for hearts to be renewed in those carrying out the attacks and kidnappings.

Hear our pleas for peace in Nigeria, we pray. We ask that you will heal deep divisions in society; we pray for a restoration of relationships between all people in Nigeria. Help people to seek common ground; help people to forgive and love one another.

Hear our pleas for peace in Nigeria, we pray. We ask for your hand to be over local churches and followers of Jesus. Show them how they can partner with you to help their neighbours in need. Give them powerful visions of how they can use their resources to make a difference.

Thank you that you hold Nigeria and its people in the palms of your hands. Thank you that you are not far from us and that you hear our prayers.

In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.

Written by

Written by  Joseph Aloo

Joseph Aloo leads Tearfund's work in Nigeria

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