|NIAMEY, NIGER - DECEMBER 09: Student writing in her exercise book at a Nigerian school on December 09, 2013, in Niamey, Niger. Photo by Ute Grabowsky/Photothek via Getty Images)***Local Caption*** via Adotei Akwei of Amnesty International Nigeria: Bring Back Our Girls!|
On April 14 more than 230 Nigerian girls were abducted from their Chibok boarding school by the Islamist armed group Boko Haram. A man claiming to be Abubaker Shekau, leader of Boko Haram, said in a video that the schoolgirls were "slaves" whom he planned to sell in the market. "I will marry off a woman at the age of 12. I will marry off a girl at the age of nine," he said at another point in the video.
Chilling, isn't it?
I've spent most of today reading up on the horror of what happened. I won't repeat the details here. If you're interested in learning more, Adotei Akwei of Amnesty International has blogged Nigeria: Bring Back Our Girls! You can find out more there. Or do a search on Google and check the news services for reports of the abduction.
The above photo of a girl bent over her school work is on Akwei's post. She appears to be my granddaughter's age. That could be my Emma -- young, bright, focused. Dedicated to her schoolwork and hopeful of her future. There were 200+ girls like Emma ripped from their beds and thrown into vehicles the night of April 14. They vanished into the forest with their abductors and haven't been seen since. Their families are sick with worry and overwhelmed with fear.
Too many days it's easy for me to detach myself from the reality of evil like this. To say "It's terrible, but there's nothing I can do." Today is different. I can't go and rescue those Nigerian girls, but I can pray and ask God to do so. I'm a woman of faith. I believe in the power of prayer.
Today I think:
What if one of those girls were my Emma? What if she were my granddaughter? Wouldn't I want someone to care? Even if it was someone on the other side of the world, wouldn't I want that person -- that grandmother -- to pray for my girl?
Today I'm praying as if all those missing girls are my granddaughters. I'm praying that God will crash the gates of Hell and save those precious girls. That He'll bring them back home to safety and the freedom to see their dreams come true.
And this will be my daily prayer until my granddaughters are free.