This past week, global outrage ensued at the kidnapping of over 300 girls from a school in Nigeria by Boko Haram, a terrorist group whose name roughly translates to “Western education is a sin.”
By now, I’m sure you’ve seen the hashtag #BringBackOurGirls. I first saw it this past week during the social media march, and began researching the events that transpired. I learned that over 200 girls are still believed to be missing, and that the leader of Boko Haram, Abubakar Shekau, released a video arrogantly taking responsibility for the kidnappings and saying he was planning on selling the girls as “wives” on the open market.
When grave injustice like this happens, as it does every day around the world, my temptation is to give it a number, a hashtag, a country name…. distant ways to cope with the tragedy because if I really allow myself to think and process what happened, it’s too much to bear.
When grave injustice like this happens, as it does every day around the world, what I really need to give it is a face.
A face with beautiful dark brown skin, eyes filled with courage and excitement in learning, a confident smile knowing her education is giving her the power to change her town, her country, her world. A face that has a name given to her by her parents, called out to her by her brothers and sisters; a name that connects her to her family, and community; to people who love her. A face that has a story.
Their stories are what I’ve been coming back to this week. Over 300 unique, individual stories. Over 300 ways to change the world. Over 300 gifts and talents. Over 300 families these girls could mother one day.
The thought of their stories being cut short is weighing on my heart. The thought of evil winning this battle makes me angry.
And my only comfort this week has been in this: I know the Author of their stories. I know He is fighting for them. And I know that He is already victorious over evil.
If you’re stuck wondering about ways you can tangibly help, here are a few:
1. Pray. Yes. Pray to God on behalf of these girls. Beg the God of Justice to enact it, and bring every single one of them back safely. Pray that the sex-trafficking industry would magically dry up, and there would be no economic incentive for Boko Haram to sell the girls. Pray to the One who knows all of their names, all of their hearts, who knit them together in their mother’s womb, and who knows exactly where they are. Pray and ask God to move.
– Organize a rally in your own city or on social media to show your support.
– Sign the Change.org petition here
– Stay up to date with all the latest on the #BringBackOurGirls Facebook page.