Story Nigeria | 27-2-2024

“God is everything we live for” – Praising God even after a devastating attack


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After an attack by Fulani militants on his village left his wife and son dead, Pastor Zachariah, a church leader in Nigeria, was devastated and questioned where God was. Thanks to you, he was invited to attend trauma counselling, and now he is asking God to forgive his attackers. 

In May 2023, Pastor Zachariah was returning to his home in Mangu, Plateau State, when he noticed that villagers were fleeing in the opposite direction. “Most of them were barefoot,” he remembers. “Their bodies were covered with mud, because they had had to crawl to escape the attack. The closer I got to my house, the more I saw people with injuries – and dead bodies beside the road.”

When he arrived at his home, he found it burned to the ground – and the bodies of his wife and son in the kitchen area. “Since this incident, no matter what I am doing, I will always remember what we went through,” he says. “Even when I am praying, I get lost thinking of the incident. That day I cried like never before; it was on that day I knew that death was truly painful.” 

“Why would God allow this kind of attack?” 

The attack on Pastor Zachariah’s village was one of several in the region that killed 125 people in a single week. Understandably, he wasn’t sure where God was in this awful situation: “Honestly, when this attack took place, I felt as if God had forsaken me, because I said if God is in control, why would He allow these people to cause this kind of attack on us? Where is He that He will not take charge of the situation?”  

Sadly, Pastor Zachariah’s experience is becoming more and more common. Nigeria is number six on the World Watch List, and violence against Christians is increasing – more Christians are killed for their faith in Nigeria than the rest of the world combined.  

Pastor Zachariah’s mind is ‘at rest’ thanks to you 

But Pastor Zachariah and his church are not alone. Thanks to your prayers and support, local Open Doors partners were able to come alongside them with trauma healing ministry.

“Your organisation called us for counselling and trauma healing for affected individuals and I learnt a lot,” says Pastor Zachariah. “This teaching has encouraged me greatly because right now I am asking God to forgive our attackers, and for them to enter the Kingdom of God and not to die in their sins. Had I not come for this counselling, I would not have been living a good life – but since I came for this programme, now my mind is at rest.” 

Pastor Zachariah praying with a trauma counsellor 

Your prayers and support truly show our persecuted church family around the world that they are not alone – and, because of you, they can continue to be salt and light in their communities even as they count the cost of following Jesus.  


“If we believe He can do all things then we will not be broken.”

Pastor Zachariah
“For those who have found themselves in similar situations which we have experienced, my prayer is that we should rely on God because He is everything we live for,” Pastor Zachariah shares. “If we turn our attention away from God, we will see Him as someone who cannot help us, but if we believe He can do all things then we will not be broken.”
please pray
  • For Pastor Zachariah and his four remaining children, that they will continue to experience God’s healing and goodness
  • Thank God for all who work at the Open Doors trauma centre in Nigeria – pray that they will be strengthened in their ministry
  • For God to comfort, restore and provide for all believers who have been attacked or displaced in 2023.
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*Any excess funds will be used to strengthen other persecuted Christians where urgent help is needed.
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