A month ago, Boko Haram kidnapped more than 100 girls from a school in the Nigerian town of Dapchi. On Wednesday, nearly all those who were still alive were freed. However, one of the kidnapped girls, Liya Sharibu, was not released because she refused to forsake her God.
Nata Sharibu had hoped his daughter Liya would be among the dozens of girls who returned home Wednesday after suspected Boko Haram fighters snatched them from their school last month in northeast Nigeria.
But as Sharibu searched for her among the freed students in the town of Dapchi, he soon learned his daughter wasn’t released because she had apparently refused her captors’ orders to convert from Christianity to Islam.
“Boko Haram insurgents decided not to release my daughter because she refused to denounce Christ,” Sharibu told reporters today. “I am happy for that, even though as a father I wish she had returned home as the rest. But God is in control.”
It’s an amazing story stricken with grief.
This kind of thing happens in 2018. There are martyrs today. Children of God are persecuted and put to the sword for their faith.
Even today, people are put to the ultimate test. Deny God. Convert. Or else.
Pray for Liya and her family. Pray for her captors. Pray for the 112 Chibok girls still missing (since 2014). Pray for strength and courage, wisdom and peace in the unimaginable.
Liya is inspiring. Even in her captivity, she is clearly confident in her freedom in Christ.
There is a powerful scene in a powerful movie—Martin Scorsese’s Silence—in which Christians must wrestle with what it means to be faithful to the Lord even amidst unspeakable hardship, amidst doubt, amidst silence.
Father Sebastião Rodrigues: Lord, I fought against your silence.
Hidden Voice: I suffered beside you. I was never silent.
Father Sebastião Rodrigues: I know—But even if God had been silent my whole life, to this very day, everything I do, everything I’ve done… speaks of Him—It was in the silence that I heard Your voice.
Let us all have the courage—if it comes to it—to refuse to renounce Christ. To know his freedom in the middle of the shackles of the world. To hear his voice clearly—even if it comes in the silence.