On the night of the attack, Pastor Andrew remembers the church treasurer running into his home, frantically yelling, “Boko Haram is attacking Guyaku!”
When Pastor Andrew* stepped into the night, there were already rows of houses on fire. “Fire was consuming the entire village,” Pastor Andrew says. “We ran for our lives and went to hide [in caves] under the mountains.”
My prayer for my members was that God would strengthen their faith
As he hid with other believers from Guyaku, Pastor Andrew whispered a prayer for his congregation—but it wasn’t what you might think. “During the time of the attack, my prayer for my members was that God would strengthen their faith,” he says. “And even
if they were abducted, that they would not deny Christ but hold firmly to their faith.”
Like Pastor Andrew, many Christians hid in caves and waited out the long night, hoping and praying their loved ones had survived. When morning finally came, everyone cautiously left their hiding places and tried to locate family members. When they entered
Guyaku, the scene was devastating.
The heavy smell of smoke rose through the air, and homes continued to smolder. Boko Haram had stolen their possessions, and what they couldn’t take, they burned.
Finding the strength to rebuild
“The persecution was so much that I never imagined we would come together again to worship in the church,” Pastor Andrew says. “We lost everything.”
However over time, as the remaining Christians began to repair their homes and resettle, more believers returned.
At one point, Pastor Andrew knew it was time to gather again as a church. The village was still largely in ruins, but they were able to cobble together a gathering place from among the wreckage.
“I called the attention of some of the church members, and we brought all our burned zinc [roofs] together and some sticks to make a worship place,” he says. And it was under that makeshift roof of burned zinc, walls thatched with sticks from the forest
and log benches balanced on rocks, that God resurrected the church. Boko Haram had intended to destroy the Christian community of Guyaku—but God wasn’t finished with Pastor Andrew’s little congregation just yet.
Partnering together for hope
As soon as Open Doors heard about the attack, we rushed to help the church with emergency relief, food aid, trauma widow counseling and the support needed to rebuild.
“Not only did you give us food, but you also brought trauma healing teachings to us. We organized various groups in our region, and you came down to us to teach us,” Pastor Andrew says. “We received both spiritual and physical support from you.”
Pastor Andrew with a member of his church
The church worshipped under a makeshift shelter after the attack.
Pastor Andrew’s experience represents the stories of thousands of Christians across Nigeria who risk their lives to call themselves Christians. Today, more Christians are killed for their faith in Nigeria than in any other country in the world. Boko Haram’s
objective is clear—to wipe out every Christian presence in the region—but, through your help, God is rebuilding these communities stronger than when they started.
‘I won’t turn back’
“If you had not come here with your support and trainings, I don’t know how the Christians would have been,” Pastor Andrew says. “But God brought [Open Doors] at just the right time. My heart is filled with joy to express my gratitude.”
Today, the Christians of Guyaku have a new church building, and their congregation is even larger than it was before the attack. What Satan sought to destroy, God multiplied.
Worshippers leaving the new church building of Guyaku after a service
When asked if the attack has weakened his resolve or made him fearful of following Jesus and leading his people, Pastor Andrew gives a simple but powerful reply: “Come what may, I won’t turn back because I know there is a reward that awaits me.”