“Bring our girls back”

Did you realize that it has been a year since this slogan started circulating on Twitter and other socials medias. On April 14, 2014, 276 girls were kidnapped from a school in Nigeria by Boko Haram. It was all over the news and soon many people around the globe were taking up the tweeter campaign to “Bring our girls back.” Maybe you even participated in spreading the word. I know I tweeted it out. But even as I sent my tweet last year I wondered what good it would do.

Now here we are almost one year later. The world has moved on from this tragic event to other more current news. Do you know what ever happened to those girls? Of the 276 girls, 57 of them escaped. The other 219 remain in captivity. The tweeter campaign failed. Not only did it not bring the girls back but the situation in northeast Nigeria continues to deteriorates. Since the conflict started more than 800,000 children have been affected by the conflict. These children live in fear as they flee their homes to seek safety in refugee camps across the borders of Nigeria. Many of these children have also gone missing as they try to escape the conflict. Those children that have gone missing have been abducted and forced into a life that we can not even begin to imagine. The boys are usually forced to be soldiers or they have been used as weapons themselves. The girls are forced into marriage or used as sex slaves by the members of Boko Haram. It is such a tragic situation.

John 3: 19 “This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil. 20” For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed.”

How many of you really thought a campaign where we all sent the same message out on tweeter would actually make a difference? I think that in today’s world people actually believe such a campaign will work. But I think the bigger issue is that we believe that sending out a message on social media allows us to think we did our part to help the situation and that is all we need to do. Once we send out the message, we are done and can go back to our regular lives and everything is now right in the world. I believe we are called to do more as Christian than just send out messages and hope for the best.

Luke 4:18 “The Spirit of the LORD is upon me, for he has anointed me to bring Good News to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim that captives will be released, that the blind will see, that the oppressed will be set free,”

Children are so often the victims of such unspeakable horrors in many countries, not just Nigeria. With our work in Nepal and Myanmar, we are very aware of such issues. Helpless, abandoned and impoverished children are especially susceptible when it comes to crimes like human trafficking. God called us years ago to help such children and our work with them continues to this day. To make a actual difference in these types of situations requires dedicated people on the ground and lots of resources. A letter writing campaign will change nothing for these children because the evil people that commit such crimes don’t care about what we think. We must take action as Christian even in the face of such unpleasantness. The action I suggest does not mean that we all rush to Nigeria to find the missing girls or go to Nepal to try to physically stop human trafficking. Some people are called to the front lines but not all. I do believe we are called to help those the Lord has called to the front lines. I further believe we are called to be diligent in researching to see what Christian organizations are working in these areas and how we can help them. That help can be with finances, or prayers or by sharing about their work with others. We can no longer just turn a blind eye to the evil of this world, we must all do our part to change what is happening to these children. We are called to be the hands and feet of Christ to those in need. Some of those hands and feet will be on the front lines doing the unpleasant work. Most of those hands and feet will be reaching into a purse or reaching for the bible in prayer to help those on the ground.

1 John 2:  16 “For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world. 17 The world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God lives forever.”


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