Humanitarian Relief Continues in Nigeria in Spite of Safety Concerns
The non-Christian insurgents/extremists that have been in the news media for some time have been campaigning violence in the northeastern part of Nigeria since early this year. Suicide bombers on July 3 killed a large number of citizens living in the Zabarmari village. Female suicide bombers the day before attacked a village of Borno State. On July 1, 50 armed men killed 97 people in Kukawa village, near Lake Chad. On June 30, 48 men were shot to death in the villages near the town of Monguno. Another suicide bombing happened in the Redeemed Christian Church that same week.
As of this writing, October 26, 2015, these insurgents/extremists remain a huge threat, especially since they are still holding captive many children, women, and 219 Chibok School girls they kidnapped in April 2014.
This volatile, unpredictable group has claimed responsibility for scores of attacks in various parts of Nigeria, especially the northeast and recently to the neighboring countries of Cameroon, Chad, and Niger. Violence blamed on this sect has steadily worsened in recent months, with bomb blasts becoming more frequent and increasingly sophisticated as death tolls keep climbing.The attacks have continued despite well publicized raids on so-called bomb factories and arrests of a number of alleged sect members by authorities. There has been intense speculation over this particular group to also form a league with several other terrorist/extremist groups outside of their sect.
On October 16, 2015, the Defense Headquarters reported that this sect has changed its tactics in response to more direct military action against the group. The Nigeria Military has successfully taken over the territories that were once held by these insurgents, including the notorious Sambisa forest. Now they are scattered all over the nation. Prior to the military surge. this sect was reportedly using advanced weapons systems to conquer and control large territories. However, since March, these insurgent fighters have shifted to a more asymmetric strategy, including the prevalent use of suicide bombers targeting soft spots and crowd prone areas such as churches, bus stations, mosque, schools, etc.
ALERT OF POSSIBLE ATTACKS IN LAGOS
The Department of State Security Services (DSS) has issued an alert to all residents in Lagos of possible attacks from this group in Lagos. The National Security Adviser also issued a security alert on the likelihood of them attacking Lagos. This development has brought about an increase in the level of security checks. Recently, the DSS disclosed that it had arrested some suspected terrorists in various places in and around Lagos. Earlier in the year, two suspected members of this sect were also arrested in the metropolis. As of October 24, 2015, the DSS has arrested 45 suspect members in connection with the foiled attacks on Dolphin Estate in Lagos this past September. The DSS said the suspects were arrested following an intelligence report on their alleged plan to attack the estate, which is in a high brow area in the state. Various arms and ammunitions were recovered from them at that time.
Following these security alerts, there is no doubting the facts that these terrorists are already in Lagos and have infiltrated the society. Therefore as a matter of urgency, our churches in Lagos especially the Headquarters Church—Freedom Gate—has to be protected.
We have envisaged this and have done some work towards this, including fixing the windows. But there is still so much work to be done to secure the place from being penetrated, such as providing the remaining six iron doors, and also burglary iron bars to the building. Therefore, we are using this medium to appeal for your support in prayers and financial supports of $5,000 (five thousand dollars) as a matter of urgency. Please help us to be safe and to protect our building. We have been building this edifice to the glory of God, little by little, for this past 9 years, since 2006. Please lift us in prayers and help us with this dire need!
OUR RESPONSES FOR THE VICTIMS SO FAR
Our ongoing support towards assisting the terrorized victims has remained consistent and massive. The Humanitarian Relief Support Program of the Church of God of Prophecy in Nigeria has remained in the forefront of mobilizing and giving out reliefs to these victims. We have visited so many Internally Displaces Persons (IDP) camps, communities, and have offered meals. Besides food, we have bought and provided clothes, visited the hospitals, and have provided many in the hospitals with sanitary supplies. We have bought bags of rice for affected widows in a community. The needs are becoming enormous and more challenging daily. Lack of funds has been our major challenge, but we are committed and consistent. We hope to do more as funds are available, and sincerely thank you in advance for your support.
In furtherance of our avowed commitments to the relief efforts, we are still appealing to local churches, religious groups, individuals, NGOs, COGOP families and lovers of peace and goodwill to remember the plights of those Nigerian Christians whose lives have been devastated because of the terrorist activities in Nigeria.
There are hundreds of widows left without a source of livelihood; there are thousands of children rendered fatherless, and many more family victims. Let’s encourage, support, and lift up family members and relatives of those killed, those who have suffered injury, or been traumatized. Millions have been displaced. Please help support our efforts.
Meanwhile, we want to use this opportunity to thank our donors for all your previous support. All that we accomplished thus far is due to our Partners, your contributions and prayerful support. We hope you will continue to show your kindness as we endeavor to minister to those who have been affected and are hurting from this crisis.
Worthiness of noting is also the cooperation of our leaders from the International offices. We are thankful to our General Overseer, Bishop Sam Clements; our Africa General Presbyter, Bishop Stephen Masilela; our Global Missions Coordinator, Sister Cathy Payne; our Harvest Partners Liaison, Sister Annette Taylor; and, all the Global Missions Team. We are grateful for their solidarity. It is our pleasure to serve the church alongside this great team. Thank you and God bless.
Your monthly Mission Giving literally provides for the bread and water support to keep the Church of God of Prophecy functioning in Nigeria. Thank You!
Your special offerings through Project Giving—Harvest Partners [HPL2] or Helping Hand [HH]—are also greatly appreciated and will help us fund special projects as mentioned in this newsletter, Nigeria—Crisis Support
Note that all gifts are tax deductible and 100% of your gift is applied to the need you specify.
Harvest Partners Ministry
Church of God of Prophecy International Offices
PO Box 2910
Cleveland TN 37320-2910
To download the printable Harvest Partners Newsletter of this story, click here.
September 14, 2017
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