Every morning and evening I still scan the Nigerian press looking for the latest news about her. I pray for her every single day. I also have one day a week set aside just to fast for her. I shared this article with some of you earlier, but here’s something amazing I read a few days ago in one of the Nigerian newspapers:
Emeka Ezeugo (a Nigerian soccer legend) has offered himself to be taken away by the Boko Haram insurgents in exchange for Leah… Writing on his Facebook page, Ezeugo stated:
“Leah must be released immediately from protracted predators’ solitary confinement. She is a minor. Her freedom must not be leveraged on by the ruling party or the opposition. What can we do to liberate Leah from Boko Haram? She has great shepherds in all of us. I have personally offered to be taken hostage in exchange for Leah’s immediate release.”
__”There must be something we can do collectively,” he writes. “We surely have not done enough.”
“Prominent former footballers, legends of the game, I am appealing to you all to intercede. Boko Haram militants love football and enjoy watching us when we were still active. Appeal to them publicly, you will be surprised how the Mighty One upstairs will touch their hearts. Your Grace may be responsible for freeing Leah.” https://
Can you imagine making such a selflessly courageous offer as Emeka Ezeugo’s, to take Leah’s place as a hostage, so this young girl can return home? It is remarkable beyond words.
There are other innocents around the world, too, other victims we don’t know about, who are also imprisoned or held somewhere against their will.
So what can we do?
Why not stop right now, wherever you are, and take a moment to pray for, or simply remember, if you prefer — the hurting, the healing, the lost, the searching, the imprisoned and the abducted, and also all who care for people enduring great suffering and pain, of any kind. And let us continue to pray specifically for Leah’s safe return to her family.
__Let us pray that love and healing may prevail.
In a few days, I will be traveling to meetings in Indonesia, a country reeling from a terrible tsunami that killed some 2000+ people in seas of mud and debris a few weeks ago. Then there’s the deadly conflict in Yemen, considered the world’s worst humanitarian crisis right now, where an estimated half a million children are seriously malnourished. Fears are that the food situation will get worse before it gets better. And I know in some of your own countries, there are conflicts, floods and hardships of different kinds…
Amidst it all, there are heroes everywhere, like Emeka Ezeugo and certainly some of you, working to make the world a better place.
So let us also stop what we’re doing a moment to celebrate them (and you?). In Zimbabwe, for example, I told you recently about our cholera epidemic. Well, we now have so many volunteers doing amazing work, cleaning up neighborhoods, teaching people about how to stay healthy, distributing life-saving medicines and soap and more. Let us be sure to stop and appreciate the beauty that is love in action, even amidst these trials.
And speaking of heroes… did you hear about Africa’s newest Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, Dr Denis Mukwege from DR Congo, who continues his work treating women victims of sexual violence, whilst living under the protection of UN Peacekeepers at the hospital?
Dr Mukwege said he was inspired to become a doctor after many visits to the sick, with his preacher father…
If not us, who?