Recent Attacks in Nigeria – Close to Home

The second week of April some of our aged-out orphans were to be transported from the orphanage in Jos to a new group home in Makurdi. By the intervention of the Lord the plans were changed to a week later because of a logistical problem. The change was a blessing because of attacks in Benue State.

Two attacks occurred in Benue State north of Makurdi. At least 74 Christians were killed. There were 28 bodies recovered at a camp for internally displaced people in Mgban local government just north of Makurdi. Benue is the new battleground for the Fulani as they claim all of Nigeria on their march to the south. Looking closely at a map of Nigeria, Christians are now the majority in only one-third of the nation.

Our orphanage is in Plateau State: Because of attacks by Sunni Muslim Fulani Herdsmen in the third and fourth week of April in Plateau State, there are now many new orphans. Dozens of Christian farmers were killed to stop them from planting their small farms.

The Fulani herdsmen want the Christian land for their cattle. Theologically the Fulani Tribe believes all of Nigeria should be Islamic and controlled by the Fulani. The current president of Nigeria is Fulani. The election just held was rigged to allow its party to stay in control. President Joe Biden congratulated him on the way he “handled” the election.

Just about the time of the attacks in April, the first seven aged-out orphans from our orphanage were transported to a new group home supplied by a partner ministry in Nigeria. Using this facility gives our ministry time to open a new facility for future aged out orphans in Jos. There is no pressure for us to rush the building out of the new home.

In addition to the seven aged-out orphans being moved to Makurdi, we are transferring a total of 15 younger orphans to an orphanage operated by another ministry near Abuja. With the seven gone to Makurdi and some of the younger transferred, we will have space for new arrivals.

Moving the more settled orphans will give us some openings for new arrivals from areas recently under attack, where children have lost their parents to the on-going Jihad. The care givers at the orphanage are better trained in dealing with children suffering from trauma. All have undergone specialized training.

Our original farm in Miango was very successful and yielded enough produce for both the children to keep and also to share with local orphanages. Pictured is the 2019 corn harvest.

Advances at the orphanage: Your prayers are needed for the farm. We rented land for the new farm in a rural area. We have a small bus for the older children to go to the farm in shifts and take care of crops. The Irish potatoes will be the first crop planted. We have also had great success with maize (corn).

I am asking your prayers for the farm because it is in a more rural area. It is susceptible to attack and there is some risk. The risk is not to the children, but to the crop itself if it is overrun by the Fulani’s cattle. Is the risk worth it? I believe so.

The children love the farm. First and foremost, it allows the older children to provide for themselves, and provide food for the younger ones as well. Rather than just being recipients of aid, they are providing their own support.

Our last farm was destroyed in 2021. Not a single crop was saved, but previous years were so productive that a tithe of the crops was given to less fortunate orphanages in Jos.

More build-out: Our orphanage is operational but not complete. The chapel is a hollow building with no lights. The musical instruments that were lost at the destroyed site have not been replaced.

All the children’s belongings were replaced including clothing. They even have new Bibles. The kitchen is fully functional, and we are supplying sufficient food. The new wells and water towers we have built are providing adequate water.

BUT … We still have classrooms with no power. Some of the classrooms are temporary buildings constructed for us by a local ministry out of scrap wood. One good storm with winds over about 25 or 30 miles an hour, and some of the temporary buildings will come down.

The temporary structures must be replaced with cement block structures to withstand the extreme elements in the mountainous area where Jos is located. What we have is great to keep sun off the students, but they leak in the rain and it is now the rainy season.

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