I am very glad to report that our Red Letter Day was a great success. With the help of Dan Gibbs of GECHAAN, and the miracle of the internet, our friend Pastor Aminu was able to “show up” at our Friends of the Fulbe Society meeting and give us a very full and good report of what was happening there among our brothers and sisters in Nigeria.
I hope to pass along some of that report in the coming days, but there is an urgent need I need to talk about right away.
Pastor Aminu told us right away, at the beginning of our meeting, that right at that moment on the Plateau (it was 9 pm in Nigeria when we began the meeting), friends of ours from a small village had been attacked by a gang of young men; their houses had been burned, along with many of their belongings, and about 10-15 families had fled from their homes into the bush, and were making their way to Gembu to seek refuge there.
These Christians had been attacked not for any ostensible religious reason, but because they had been working on making a better lives for themselves through the planting of eucalyptus trees. The youths wanted the benefits of that for themselves, and so conspired to take it away from them.
I confess to being a bit confused about it all. Over here in Canada and the US we do not often hear about people attacking a whole village, so how something like would come about is a bit of a mystery to us.
What is clear is that there are now about one hundred of our Christian brothers and sisters who have made their way to Gembu with little more than the clothes on their backs. There are enough Fulbe Christians within the town of Gembu to house all of them, so the most urgent issue will be feeding these folks. Food costs have risen steadily the past while, and the economy has not been great overall.
Wiesenthal Baptist Church has responded already by sending $500 as an emergency fund with which to purchase food for them, but my guess is that more will be needed. For the long term we will have to wait to hear the reports we receive. This is the second time this little village has been attacked in this way (the first time was in 2002), and it is unlikely now that these folks will go back there; they will no doubt find other places to resettle and begin their lives over again.
Thanks so much for your prayers for our brethren there. If you would like to help with some of the material costs you may contact me and I will let you know the best way to do that.