ON THE LORD’S SIDE is a Christian engagement with politics, news and culture. Listen or read below:
WHO FAILED LEAH SHARIBU?
Yet another distressing news about Leah Sharibu broke this morning. Leah, abducted by Boko Haram Terrorists in Nigeria in 2018, has now been delivered of a second baby while still in the captivity of these evil terrorists.
This is absolutely heartbreaking. You could not truly imagine her predicament and her parents’ misery without being moved to tears.
Recall that Leah was among the 100 schoolgirls abducted on Feb 19, 2018 from a school in northern Nigeria. So, she has spent 3 full years in captivity. The generally available information is that she refused to convert to Islam and so was not released along with many of the other abducted girls reportedly because she refused to publicly convert to Islam. Instead, she was married off to one of the Boko Haram commanders and has now been delivered of a second baby within a period of 12 months!
But, on Twitter this morning, a former presidential aide, Mr. Reno Omokri challenged this idea of saying that Leah was married off to a Boko Haram Commander. He wrote in part: “It is not possible for a girl that was abducted and held at gunpoint to consent to sexual intercourse, let alone marriage. Leah Sharibu is a hostage …”
And he’s 100% correct. Leah was just a schoolgirl when she was abducted.
So, who failed her? Who failed Leah Sharibu?
Did the government of Nigeria fail her? You bet! For the negligence that allowed terrorists to gain foothold and territory in Nigeria, for the security lapse that allowed for the abduction of the Dapchi girls and the many other abductions in Nigeria; for the failure of the entire security and diplomatic architecture of a sovereign nation to secure Leah’s release 3 years after her abduction, you bet that the Nigerian government and nation failed Leah.
Has the international community failed Leah. Without a doubt. Where is the sustained campaign? Where is the sustained outrage? Where is the pressure on the Nigerian government? Where is the type of military operation that freed that rescued that American from terrorists in Nigeria in the final days of the Trump administration?
And Christians? Have we failed her? Dear People on the Lord’s Side, we have. We have failed Leah Sharibu. How often have we corporately and individually lifted her up in prayer? And if we have, how consistently have we done so? Have we truly prayed for her without ceasing as the Bible admonishes us to do?
And, yes, while those of us on the Lord’s side should not r and would not raise this question, many who are not on our side would definitely entertain it: Did God fail Leah Sharibu? Has God failed her?
If you think that this is the end of Leah Sharibu’s story, you may suppose that God has failed her. But remember Joseph in prison, Daniel in the lions’ den, the three Hebrews in the furnace of fire, Paul and Silas in prison; and even Jesus on the Cross. Remember God’s power in those instances from the scriptures and entertain the thought, indeed, fan the flame of faith to believe that this shall not be the end of the Leah Sharibu story.
I have no doubt that God can yet make a beautiful story out of Leah Sharibu’s life and this henceforth will be my prayer for her. I don’t know how. But I know that God has a thousand ways where the human eye and mind cannot see even one.
And if all of us on the Lord’s Side would consistently and unceasingly lift up Leah Sharibu in prayer, that beautiful story will emerge, those children would be Christ’s and it would be said that “everything happened that the glory of God may be made manifest.”
This is my new prayer for Leah Sharibu. I hope it’s yours, too. Please do not forget her.