Charity, an ex-Boko Haram captive, and beneficiary of Open Doors extensive trauma care program for kidnap survivors in Nigeria needs prayer. Recently, she suffered another blow when her husband died from suspected kidney failure. Charity is now the sole provider for their six children as they continue to live in a camp for internally displaced people in Maiduguri, northern Nigeria.
Charity is originally from Gwoza in Borno State, northern Nigeria. One day in 2014, while Charity and her husband walked along a road, they ran into Boko Haram. Charity was still weak from having recently given birth and was captured. Boko Haram told her that her husband was dead, but he had in fact managed to escape.
Charity spent more than 3 years in the Boko Haram captivity.
“They forced me to get married to a Muslim and they forced me to pray in a Muslim way. Whenever I washed my feet and my face (before prayer) they said, ‘That is not the way to do it’. I cried and I cried and told them, ‘My father was not a Muslim. My mother was not a Muslim. I was born in a Christian home. How will I be able to do what Muslim’s do?”
Charity prayed hard that she would not get pregnant, but after 1.5 years, just when she thought she had been lucky, she discovered that she was pregnant. It left her in constant strife with her “husband” who failed to provide enough food for her, but also would not allow her to look for work. It was a constant battle against starvation.
Just after her third anniversary in captivity, Charity gave birth to a daughter, she named Rahila. Weeks later, the Nigerian army freed her.
When Charity was eventually reunited with her husband in the IDP camp in Maiduguri through considerable ordeal, it was not the happy reunion she had dreamed of. He was very shocked to meet little Rahila and blamed Charity for bringing her into the world. She faced beating and ridicule at the hands of her nearest family and the community.
Open Doors heard about her plight an invited her along to an introductory trauma care program. Later, she also joined our trauma care program coupled with art and advocacy.
About the care she received she said, “Really, the first time I came here for the trauma healing, it really helped me and encouraged me and when I went back many people saw a difference in me… I want to say thank you. Thank you for coming to Nigeria and thank you for everybody who has been praying for me and to those who have sent resources down to help us that God will repay each and every person according to what he has done for them.”
Not long after the second event, Charity contacted us to let us know that her husband had had a change of heart after reading the trauma care materials she had taken home with her. “It was through the book that God ministered to him”. He warmed to Rahila and even started picking her up and showing her the affection that little girl deserved.
Charity became pregnant again and gave birth to twins, she named Alheri (Grace) and Salama (Peace) because she saw the grace of God in her life.
Sadly, we received a call from Esther, another OD beneficiary, to let us know that Charity’s husband had died. He had suffered kidney failure for which he was unable to get treatment. Now Charity is left with her six children in the IDP camp with virtually nothing to cater for them.
OD is in contact with her and investigating the best way to help on the short and medium term.
- Please pray for Gods comfort for her and her children.
- Pray that God will sustain and protect her and the kids.
- Pray for peace in the country, so that she (and many others like her) can leave the camp and sustainable income generation activities.
* Thanks to the support of people like you, Open Doors’ Trauma Centre, opened its doors officially in March 2019. It is specially set up for Christians in Nigeria who have suffered all sorts of trauma and persecution, and provides a temporary respite and place of healing for them. The Centre also trains the Nigerian church to provide trauma care for their people.