By Linda Jones
06/08/2017 Washington, DC (International Christian Concern) – In February of 2016, Islamic Fulani militants carried out a brutal attack against the Agatu Council area in Benue state, Nigeria. At least 500 people were killed or significantly injured during the attack. The majority of houses in the village were also destroyed as well as the crops, the main source of food for the village. Most of the victims in the attack were Christians.
Many of the families lost their primary breadwinners, their homes, and their source of income. In the aftermath, many of the families had little choice but to seek refuge in internally displaced people (IDP) camps located throughout the area.
Mrs Laraba, one of the many victims, told International Christian Concern (ICC), “My husband was killed…I lost everything. All my brothers were killed too. I am left all alone.” Her home was also destroyed, leaving her with no place to go.
"They totally razed our home. Everything was destroyed. What I'm wearing is all I [was] left with. They attacked us unexpectedly and we ran for our dear lives. My husband was killed because he hesitated, looking out for one of our children who was sick," Laraba lamented.
She has been living in the IDP camp along with her six children since the attack. Even though the camps do what they can to provide for these victims, the conditions are poor for the Laraba family, who is in desperate need of rehabilitation and a proper shelter. Fortunately, thanks to generous donors, ICC was able to assist this widow and her children in the construction of their house, and also to help them leave the unhealthy camp conditions.
ICC’s house for Mrs Laraba is currently under construction. The first phase has been successfully completed which included the design and construction of the two bedrooms, living room, a kitchen, a full bathroom, and the installation of the roof, doors, and windows.
The second phase will be implemented within the next few months and will consist of finishing final details such as toilet fittings, plastering the inside and outside walls, ceiling fixing, and flooring. Once the house is finished, a dedication ceremony will be held with Mrs. Laraba’s church members and other Christian community representatives to formally present the house to the Laraba family, who have already expressed their excitement and gratitude.
Countless Christian families in Africa have been affected by Islamic radicals like the Fulani militants and Boko Haram in Nigeria. Many of these victims are simply targeted because of their faith and have become the most vulnerable to these types of attacks. It is important to continue demonstrating compassion and support to these victims who continue spreading the Gospel in the midst of persecution. Our brothers and sisters, like the Larabas, need to know that they are not forgotten and that God is always faithful.
Let’s continue to pray for God’s support during such a difficult time for Christians in Nigeria. Remember to ask God for guidance as we continue to help our persecuted families and for His provision as we continue to implement new projects to help those in need.