Comfort*, a 50-year-old widow from Mubi, Nigeria was among many Christian women from her village abducted by Boko Haram militants.
One night in October 2014, Comfort heard gunshots and loud screaming in her village. Alarmed, she sought advice from her neighbours. When the screaming drew closer, her husband decided they should flee. Together with their 25 year old twin sons Jerry and Eric, they ran to the car.
They shot my husband and sons…
Before the family could drive away, the car was surrounded by Boko Haram rebels. They were told to get out of the car and were forced to the ground. “As we lay there, I heard them shooting. I thought they were just shooting in the air, not realising that it was my husband and my twin sons who had been shot.”
Shocked and devastated, Comfort was then forced by the brutal murderers of her family back into the car. Together with other local Christian women, she was driven to a nearby house. Joining another group of abducted women and children, they numbered twenty women and ten children between the ages of two weeks and nine-years. The traumatised group were moved and imprisoned in a different house every week.
Let our yes be yes and our no be no…
As the eldest among them, Comfort encouraged the women to stand firm in their faith. “Let our yes be yes and our no be no,” she exhorted. “These people have already killed one or two of our people, for what reason then will we change? There is no reason to change our religion.”
“Different groups used to come in at different times to try and force us to accept their religion,” she shared. “They said that those who wanted to remain a Christian should stand on one side while anyone that didn’t want to stay a Christian should remain there. All of us chose the side of the Christians.”
The soldiers taunted the women, “We have burned your churches. Where will you hold your services?”
The women replied, “That is just a building you have burned. Our God lives in our hearts. Our God is among us.”
“Where is your Jesus now?” the soldiers mocked.
“He will rescue us,” the women answered.
“Then ask Him to rescue you now,” they challenged.
“We don’t tell our God what to do,” they replied.
Renounce Christ or die
The intimidation was constant and intense. The soldiers forced the women to line up in a row and ordered them to reject Christ at gun point. They were unwavering. They were told that they would be taken to the Boko Haram stronghold in the Sambisa Forest.
Observing their valiant resistance however, the soldiers believed they would be a bad influence on the Sambisa women who had accepted Islam. The women were then told that they would be taken to Gwoza, Boko Haram headquarters, to work as slaves.
The women spent their time in almost constant prayer. They knew that women abducted by Boko Haram were frequently raped so they prayed the soldiers would not see them as women.
Knowing too, that Boko Haram often drug abductees to induce initiation into Islam, the women prayed that drugs would not be put in their food to weaken and confuse them. Thanks be to God, He answered both these prayers.
Free at last
Their prayer for freedom was answered after four weeks when they were able to escape. Just as the Nigerian army began liberating Mubi from Boko Haram, the entire group fled into the mountains and hid for two days in the compound of a fellow Christian. They then made the journey to the city of Yola. From there some went to their relatives and others, like Comfort, returned home to Mubi.
*Names changed for security reasons.
- Praise God for Comfort and the other women standing firm in their faith.
- Pray for other believers who have been kidnapped, including the Chibok girls, that God would strengthen their faith to endure in their situation and give them joy in Him.
- Pray for salvation of the members of Boko Haram, that they would see their sin and turn to Christ.
Featured in our Frontline Faith – Africa Edition, Comfort’s inspirational story is also one of several found in our World Watch List country pack for Nigeria. You can download more stories and country information here. If you were impacted by this story, please share it with your friends and family.