1. Rev. Luka, serving in Yobe State in northeastern Nigeria where terrorism has killed and traumatized many people, says, “We thank God for the support received from Beacon of Hope Initiative through the African Widow and Orphan Support. The economic empowerment program has helped many widows in my church to establish small businesses which are helping them immensely. The educational scholarship assistance for orphans is a powerful witness. The trauma healing aspect of the work is liberating and I am an indirect beneficiary. Widows often come to testify of emotional healing from their pains. A widow whose husband was killed in her presence and had stopped coming to church resumed active participation in church programs after taking part in the trauma healing program, saying the sessions were like medicine to her sickness.”
2. Paulina, a widow from the Ndim community of Plateau State, says, “My husband’s death brought challenges for me and my children. I thank God for the support we received from Beacon of Hope in November 2017. God’s hand is at work in my life and I thank Him for helping me to forgive many who have hurt me after the death of my husband. I couldn’t forgive them for years but now I have done it and I am at peace in my spirit.”
3. Ezra, a 15-year-old orphan from the village of Gwawaren in Plateau State will never forget when unknown gunmen invaded his village and killed people including his father on Sunday, October 26, 2014. “For reasons unknown to me,” Ezra adds, “my mother left me and my three siblings and that increased our pain.” An uncle took pity on Ezra and his siblings and took them to his house, but they all dropped out of school for lack of school fees. “This was hard and heart-breaking, but I did not have a choice,” says Ezra. He remembers crying and asking God to send someone to help. “Whenever I saw my peers going to school, tears would flow out of my eyes,” he says. “In 2015, God used African Widow and Orphan Support to change my story. My uncle informed me that an organization had given money for my school fees. I am now in school in the third year of junior secondary school,” he announces with joy. Ezra is hopeful that God will also make a way for his siblings to return to school in the near future.
4. Japheth, a 14-year-old orphan from Tafawa Balewa in Bauchi State, was just two when his father was killed during an attack on their community. When his mother died just three years later, Japheth says, “I started moving from the home of one relative to the other, changing schools until I received a scholarship from the African Widow and Orphan Support.” Japheth hopes to be in a position to help others when he grows up.
5. Evelyn, a widow and mother of three from the central Nigerian state of Benue, says that after the death of her husband in 2015 meeting basic family needs became a huge challenge. Her children eventually dropped out of school for lack of school fees. But through her involvement in a village savings and loans program supported by World Renew through the Ecumenical Commission for Justice and Peace, Evelyn now owns a sewing machine and can earn money to support her family. Evelyn is happy providing a valuable service in her community and her children have resumed schooling again. She says with a big smile, “My story is changing for good and I thank God.”
Thanks to funding from African Widow and Orphan Support, World Renew and our local partner Beacon of Hope continue to empower widows and orphans in Nigeria to find relief from poverty, pain, and suffering. Between April and September of this year, 462 widows and 160 orphans from 11 different communities across northeastern and central Nigeria received life-changing support and encouragement to pursue peacebuilding and reconciliation in their own lives and their communities.
Thank you for coming alongside us, as we come alongside the poor and bear witness to the ways in which God is changing their stories!
Prayers for Nigeria
- Thank God for restraining evildoers, as northeastern and central Nigeria have experienced less violence recently than in the past 15 years.
- Thank God for the many who give generously and pray fervently for the ministry of World Renew in Nigeria and other parts of the world. Pray for God’s blessings on all the individuals, churches, and organizations involved in this partnership.
- Continue to pray for an end to terrorism and other forms of insurgency in Nigeria.
- Pray for peaceful political elections in Nigeria scheduled for February 2019.
World Renew Nigeria