In my final blog in support of the upcoming Persecution Sunday on November 3rd, 2013, when more than 100,000 churches in over 115 countries will join together to pray for our persecuted brothers and sisters in Christ around the world, I want to share with you the story about a newborn baby from Nigeria. However, I want to put his young life into context. The baby was born in the village of Dogo Nahawa, which lies a few miles south of Jos, Nigeria. Dogo Nahawa and two neighboring villages have had a long history of conflict between Moslems and Christians. Jos lies in what is known as Nigeria’s “middle belt,” where dozens of ethnic groups live in an area of fertile, and hotly contested, land that separates Moslem northern Nigeria from the predominantly Christian south.
In March 2010, Fulani Moslems, a cattle-herding tribe that has become increasingly radicalized in their Islamic beliefs in recent years, attacked the three villages. They came armed with machetes, and on that day slaughtered 501 Christians. The Islamists showed no mercy, and did not spare women and children; even a four-day-old baby was killed by their machetes. In just one area, five babies and 28 children under the age of five were killed. According to a report at the time from the British newspaper, The Mail:
Nigerian villagers wailed in the streets as dump trucks carried hundreds of bodies past burned-out homes towards a mass grave. Rubber-gloved workers pulled ever-smaller bodies from the dump truck and tossed them into the mass grave. A crowd began singing a hymn with the refrain, “Jesus said I am the way to heaven.” As the grave filled, the grieving crowd sang: “Jesus, show me the way.” . . . One young victim appeared to have been scalped, while others had severed hands and feet.
But in addition to those who were killed, and the creation of many widows and orphans, the attack also left countless others homeless, destitute, and maimed. Among the victims who survived the attack that day was Weng Goodluck Tshua, who was only three weeks old. All nine members of his family, including his mother and father, were killed. He was rescued from a burning house, but not before the fire had consumed his feet. As Weng has grown, he has been unable, of course, to run or walk. However, a team of prosthetics experts from The Voice of the Martyrs have fashioned special shoes for his limbs. Each of his shoes is made of three layers. As Weng grows, the inner layers can be removed as needed to allow more room in the shoes. In coming years, the prosthetics team will provide new shoes for Weng before he grows out of the final layer of his special shoes. A deeply touching, short video of now three-year-old Weng walking is available here.
May God give peace to the eternal memory of the holy martyrs murdered that day in Nigeria. Please pray for Weng and his fellow victims who survived the atrocities of that day. Please also pray for the Fulani Moslems and Boko Haram terrorists who attacked, and killed and maimed so many Christians, so that they will renounce the works of Satan, and come to know the Lord Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. As we read in Revelation 6:10, the martyrs plead, “How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?” Maranatha, O Lord, holy and true!