In this issue of the newsletter
New: Dollar dropping in value will affect all ministry operations’ power
New: Temporary classrooms made of scrap lumber must be replaced
New: Orphanage farm may produce many tons of potatoes and corn
New: Former Nigerian governor flatly states Christians must accept Muslim rule
The Dollar’s Decline Is Hurting Missions
Falling buying power is a problem: The second week of April the big brokerage house Charles Schwab issued the following statement on the strength of the dollar:
We generally look at indices that compare the dollar’s value to the values of a broad range of currencies, weighted according to the value of their trade with the U.S. By most measures the dollar has fallen by about 8% to 10% in both real and nominal terms since late last year.
The drop in the value of the dollar causes some of the inflation in America because imported products cost more.
The devaluation also means that ministries such as the Religious Freedom Coalition must pay more for products in nations we operate in such as Jordan or Iraq.
The problem with the devaluation is only in certain areas. In Nigeria the cost of food has been stable, but products used in construction have increased.
Presently we are raising funds for the construction of cement block classrooms to replace a temporary structure made of scrap lumber at the Jos Christian Refuge for Children. In a special fund-raising letter to Religious Freedom Coalition supporters a couple of weeks ago I stated that Block B classroom construction would cost 29,000,000 Naira or $41,000 USD.
The $41,000 estimate is based on a special exchange rate we have been getting of 700 Naira for one dollar. The “official rate” in May was 460 Naira for one dollar. To build Block B for $41,000 we needed the rate to stay at 700 to 1.
Unfortunately, the decrease in trade in the US dollar is dropping our exchange rate and that means we will need more dollars to obtain the 29,000,000 Naira we need.
The cost of the building is rising as the value of the dollar decreases.
So far, I have been able to move only $21,000 to start construction at the 700 to 1 rate. The remaining $20,000 has not been raised. Please join me in prayer that the Block B classrooms can be finished before there are additional price increases caused by dollar devaluation.
All of Africa is not hot and steaming. Jos is in the Mountains.
In the summer Jos can have extremely high temperatures and sudden massive rainstorms. Yet in the winter months the cold wind blows through the mountain passes. The cement block buildings protect against extreme temperature changes and storms. The entire complex needs to be completed in cement block as soon as possible.
Temporary buildings made of clapboard do not protect from the storms in the summer.
When Block B of the classrooms is completed the most needed construction projects will have been done. Other construction such as an administrative building can be completed next year.
The only remaining project for this year is the Block B classrooms.
Please pray with me that the final permanent cement block building can be provided for the educational area.
Please pray that all funds can be transferred to Nigeria before any further dollar devaluations occur. Please pray we can keep our current rate of 700 Naira to the dollar.
Our working farm
Planting continues – Irish and Sweet potatoes: Planting began at the end of May. Not all the crops are planted at the same time because of the way seasons and rains work in this area of Africa.
Irish potatoes grow fast, can be harvested and then a second crop added.
About half a hectare (1.25 acres) of potatoes were planted at the orphanage farm. In the United States farms yield well over ten ton per acre.
Two weeks after the Irish potatoes a new field of sweet potatoes was also planted. Irish and sweet potatoes are staples in the Nigerian diet.
We are praying for five ton or more of Irish potatoes. That would be a blessing for the children.
We are praying for as many tons of sweet potatoes as well. Tons of fresh food may sound like a lot, but it isn’t when divided by 147 kids over several months.
On an average day the orphanage kitchen will serve over 100 pounds of potatoes per meal to students and staff.
The maize (corn) was planted at about the same time as the Irish potatoes and by the first week of June had just sprouted. The soil is very fertile, and the maize will grow to well over 8 feet before it is harvested.
Only hand tools will be used. Every potato will be pulled up and bagged by hand. The corn will also be manually harvested. Ground nuts, which we call peanuts in the USA) also will be harvested by hand.
The children at our orphanage take great pride in being able to supply their own needs and not depend purely on charity. In previous years our children tithed some of the crops to less fortunate orphanages.
Objective is an Islamic Nigeria
Nasir El-Rufai, the governor of Kaduna State from 2015 to 2023 confessed to the goal of Islamification of Nigeria in a speech to his tribe that has been posted on social media without his permission. Below is a report on the context of the speech, which was delivered in Hausa, a tribal language of Nigeria. (Below from Islamic social media post).
El Rufai disclosed that Islamic government and Jihad has been inaugurated in Kaduna during his tenure to promote Islam and to wage war against Christians of Southern Kaduna until they surrender to Islamic rule and accept Islamic rulership as a way of life!
After a few more tenures of Muslim rulers in Kaduna state the Christians of Southern Kaduna will be dealt with continuously until they surrender without further resistance to Hausa Fulani rule in the state!
He also said the Idea of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu was agreed upon by him and Muslim Colleagues in the North to pave the way toward inauguration of permanent Islamic rule in Nigeria through an Islamic alliance between the Muslims in the North and Muslims in the Southwest.
He said after a few more Muslim-Muslim Presidency what is happening in Kaduna will be replicated in Nigeria.
Kaduna is a key “belt state” that lies between the capital of Abuja and Plateau State. Both Kaduna and Plateau were majority Christian just a few decades ago, but Christians have been steadily driven out. The city of Jos, where the orphanage is located, has managed to maintain its Christian nature, but incursions have been made.
Bola Tinubu, a Muslim, has been elected the new president of Nigeria. He chose a Muslim vice president, breaking a long-standing tradition of the vice president being a different religion from the president. Yet many Christians in Nigeria voted for the Muslim/Muslim ticket.
Why did many Christians vote for a Muslim with a history of hatred toward Christians? Simply because of fear!
During the campaign it was made clear by Muslim leaders that there would be an increase in violence if a Christian won. About 20% of Christians who voted did so for the Muslim/Muslim ticket headed by Bola Tinubu.
The only Christian candidate was Catholic politician Peter Obi and most of his campaign promised an end to corruption, but the Muslim candidates promised that as well.
What is the condition of Nigeria under Muslim leaders?
A recent poll of Nigerians found an astounding 90 percent said the country is moving in the wrong direction. The poverty rate is 60 percent. Nigeria ranks number 150 out of 180 nations in corruption.
(The nation with the least corruption is Denmark that is rated one, Finland is two.)
Open Doors’ World Watch List ranks Nigeria highest as the nation where Christians face the most persecution. The chart above shows how Islam has spread through violence.
This once Christian nation is officially now 55% Muslim, but Muslims continue to immigrate into Nigeria illegally. All of the northern states have a form of Sharia law. The darker the green in the illustration above, the greater the percentage of Muslims.
Can it be stopped? I don’t know when, but the partition of Nigeria is probably a temporary solution. Partition would mean civil war.
Summary: For decades I have worked in the Middle East to help Christians and encourage them to remain in their homelands. My work in Nigeria is an extension of that doctrine.
In Nigeria the Religious Freedom Coalition works to aid the victims of violent Sunni Islam. The orphanage is just one of our projects, but there are others.
Prayer is needed of course, but material help must be provided for our brothers and sisters in Christ to maintain themselves.
Please continue to pray for this work and for divine protection for the faithful all over the world who face persecution in their daily lives.
William J. Murray, President