The ongoing tragedy in Nigeria, suffering half a world away, has pushed my heart over the edge of grief. Confusion and pain mingle with feelings of helplessness as I ask, "What can be done from here?"
What can we possibly do from the safety of our Living Rooms?
If you have slipped through these days unaware of the nearly 300 Nigerian schoolgirls stolen by the radical Islamic group Boko Haram (roughly translated, "Western education is sin") you are not alone. The mass kidnapping went unreported at first, as the girls were hidden within the inner jungles of Northeastern Nigeria. Only recently has CNN and other major networks begun covering the story. Updates, as American forces start getting involved, has shed a bit more light on the tragedy. But if you want to know about the girls and their plight, read Kristen's comprehensive account and observations over at Rage Against the Minivan. Not only does she educate us on the horrific turn of events, she challenges us to action.
After reading her words, signing petitions and hashtagging my way through facebook, I still felt hollow. What more can be done?
I believe there are three Justice motivating, Spirit infusing, Bondage-breaking things we can do, right were we are.
1) Pray. I'm not talking about the transitory prayers of people coming and going, but the transcendent prayers that rise unceasingly, over the busyness of our safe lives. Falling down upon our knees, interceding. Awkwardly raising hards, beseeching. Prayers.
Dear Lord, Our world desperately needs your captive freeing love right now. We ask that you flood the heart of each victim with a sense of your nearness, protect them physically and emotionally, as your Spirit guides their rescuers even now. Bring these girls out of this hell and restore them to their families back home. And may your justice and judgement envelope the evil men who believe they are pleasing their god through these violent offerings. We ask this all in the bondage-breaking, powerful Name of Jesus. Amen.
2) Hope for Heaven. When the knees ache and the tears run dry, believe what is True.
"He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death' or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away." (Rev. 21:4) "he will swallow up death forever. The Sovereign LORD will wipe away the tears from all faces..." (Isaiah 25:8 ) "and those the LORD has rescued will return. They will enter Zion with singing; everlasting joy will crown their heads. Gladness and joy will overtake them, and sorrow and sighing will flee away. (Isaiah 35:10) "Your sun will never set again, and your moon will wane no more; the LORD will be your everlasting light, and your days of sorrow will end." (Isaiah 60:20)
3) Partner with International Justice Mission. My husband and I are passionate about the Work IJM is doing throughout the world: Working with local governments as they rescue men and women, boys and girls, in this modern age of unparalleled slavery. Girls bound in the terror of sex-trafficking, and multi-generational families enslaved over the smallest debt; stories upon stories of liberated victims, and evil brought to justice.
I am not a political master-mind, but I am a woman, and I am human, and I feel, and I have the intense need to do something... to bring our girls back! Join with me by praying, hoping, and partnering with ministries purposed to take justice to the oppressed. Will you? Won't you?