When the village of Guyaku in Nigeria was attacked by Boko Haram extremists, Pastor Andrew could only watch on in horror as the village burned. When they returned, several believers had been killed, and all but six of the houses were burned down, including the church. Here is Pastor Andrew’s story, in his own words.
At about 7pm, the treasurer of my church ran to my house to tell me to run. Fire was consuming the entire village. Boko Haram are trying by all means to wipe us out.
We saw how they banged the doors of the church, and how fire was consuming the whole village.
During the time of the attack, my prayer for my church members was that God would strengthen their faith. And even if they are abducted, they should not deny Christ but hold firmly to their faith.
The persecution was so much that I never imagined we would come together again to worship in the church. We lost everything. How would people go back to their normal lives again now that they have become homeless?
Hope After Horror
Main image: temporary worship place. Top left: burnt remains of the church building.
When we came back, we had to think of where we will be worshipping. I called the attention of some of the church members, and we brought all our burnt zinc together and some sticks to make a worship place.
After the attacks, you were the first to come and help each family with food support. Not only did you give us food, but you also brought trauma healing teachings to us. And when we decided to build our church again, you stepped in to help us.
Maybe Christianity would have died in Guyaku because people lost their source of livelihood, their loved ones, and their houses. There was no hope that people would come back together. But because of you, we have all returned and are living together.
Image: women joyfully singing in worship.
You have strengthened our church, and the members who had lost hope completely. Especially as a pastor, I have been strengthened spiritually and physically to be able to face persecution such as this and that yet to come. God brought you at just the right time.
Come what may, I won’t turn back because I know there is a reward that awaits me. Jesus promised He will not leave me or forsake me – and I can testify that.
My heart is filled with joy to express my gratitude. If there were a word greater than thank you, I would have said it. But, because of you, my church is living hopeful, thinking of the kingdom of heaven.
Thank You For Making A Difference
Image: Pastor Andrew.
You were there alongside Pastor Andrew. As soon as Open Doors heard about the attack, local partners rushed to serve the church with emergency relief and food aid, as well as trauma counselling and support for the longer-term. Christians in Guyaku didn’t just need to keep going for a few days – they need to survive for the next generations. And your gifts and prayers, and God’s mercy and grace, mean that can happen. Thank you!