It is now nearly two years since all but one of a group of 121 abducted pupils from Bethel Baptist High School in Kaduna State, Nigeria, were released.
The Christian children were taken from the school in the early hours of 5 July 2021. Thankfully they were released in batches in the weeks and months that followed.
By Christmas that year only three remained. One was freed on 28 December 2021. Another followed on New Year’s Day 2022. But the last one was held – until now.
On 2 November 2023, Treasure Ayuba (who was only 12 when captured) was finally released, to great thanksgiving from his family and the wider Christian community.
The news – and indeed Treasure’s own name – come as a reminder that the Lord treasures the prayers of His people, which rise before His heavenly throne (Revelation 8:3).
No doubt many Barnabas supporters were among those of the Lord’s people who prayed earnestly for the release of all 121 of our young brothers and sisters in Christ. Perhaps some of us had all but forgotten in the months and years that followed. But God did not forget – and now our prayers, which had already been heard, have been answered.
We should let this be an encouragement to us in our prayers. There are many things to pray for, including the needs of the suffering and persecuted Church – believers who face violence, discrimination, hunger, imprisonment and even death because of their Christian faith.
Treasure himself will need our continued prayers as he recovers from his lengthy and traumatic ordeal.
The Lord treasures our prayers. In grace, He hears us and He acts. Therefore, we have confidence to “always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people” (Ephesians 6:18).