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October 2018 Persecution Magazine

HOPE GROWS DESPITE

HOPE GROWS DESPITE ONGOING VIOLENCE Two hundred and thirty Christians were killed in June 2017 over a three-day period. ICC is seeking to help these families rebuild through communal farms. By Nathan Johnson In late June 2018, Fulani militants raided and killed more than 230 people in Plateau State, Nigeria. Less than one week later, I was walking the same ground where my brothers and sisters in Christ lost their lives. As our team drove through the villages of Barkin Ladi, the local government area that suffered the majority of the casualties, I witnessed the pure devastation that this attack had placed upon the community. We drove passed countless houses that had been burned down or demolished. We saw churches that had been destroyed, leaving no central location for the community to hold the many funerals that the attack required. Many farms had clearly been ravaged by animals and trampled by moving cattle. Many of the smaller communities outside of the main town were abandoned. We visited with local pastors and some of the displaced families that were taking refuge in the last standing church compound in town. What struck me the most was the lack of extreme emotion over the situation that had just taken place. When I met with those who had lost family members, they spoke as if it was just another normal day. In less than a week, the tears had dried and the community had returned to life as normal, or at least as normal as life can be after such Above: Pastor Jacob Machif lost his wife and home in the horrific Fulani attack in June. Below: Fulani-owned herds graze around the remains of one of the villages attacked by the armed militants. 24 PERSECU ION.org OCTOBER 2018 INTERNATIONAL CHRISTIAN CONCERN

“I was away from home when the attack took place, but my wife was home. They killed her and burned my house down.” – PASTOR JACOB Thank you Thank you so much for your continued dedication, support, and care for our suffering brothers and sisters in Nigeria. Without your faithfulness, we would not have been able to reach 90% of our goal for all 10 farms in only four months. This is an incredible feat and you have exceeded all of our hopes and allowed us to dream even bigger. We are in the final push of funding and we would like to raise funds for new seed and fertilizer for the existing farms for next year. We can only do this with your help. These farms are incredibly efficient. We help the victims of Fulani militant attacks, who have lost their loved ones, farms, and homes, get back on their feet. That’s what these farms do. They bring families back from the brink of despair and help rebuild destroyed communities. $5 Provide seeds/stems for 1/5 acre $35 Give one person a job, security, and food for a year $100 Buy four 50kg bags of fertilizer $125 Provide a water pump for the farm traumatic events. This atmosphere of normalcy stood in stark contrast against the fact that the town and surrounding areas were still heavily occupied by Fulani herders. Though not all of the herders were among the groups that conducted the attacks, it still surprised me to see so many of them in an area that had recently been the site of major tensions. I felt nervous driving into areas where so many had been killed and where tensions were still high. It is widely known that Fulani militants had conducted the attack, Below: Some of the children in the surrounding area of the Fulani attack. yet many Fulani herders still occupied the area and allowed their livestock to graze as if nothing happened. Pastor Jacob One of the men I met, a pastor named Jacob Machif, had just lost his wife and home in the attack. He said, “I was away from home when the attack took place, but my wife was home. They killed her and burned my house down.” Jacob was one of the pastors living at the church compound when we visited. He travelled with us to Giving Options Check: Use the enclosed envelope. Write “Nigeria Crisis” in the memo line. Phone: Call ICC at 800-422-5441 Online: Visit persecution.org/ nigeria-crisis PERSECU ION.org INTERNATIONAL CHRISTIAN CONCERN 25