The news (assumed true) that Leah Sharibu gave birth to a son for a BH commander on Saturday 25th January, was of course heart-dampening. On the surface.
In reality, it is a confirmation of God’s wisdom in working out His divine unsearchable purposes, even in the midst of the worst of tragedies.
The abduction of a young girl by people, nay vicious beasts, with minds warped by sadist indoctrination is great tragedy indeed. The worst could be expected.
Serial rape followed by butchering is a regular feature in the perverse world of these heartless savages. Who can lightly forget the rampage at the Federal College of Education Zaria in 2002; not to mention the dozens of similar incidents, more recently, in villages and hamlets virtually all over the federation ?
That an abducted girl should refuse freedom with her colleagues from the custody of such evil gang is undoubtedly tantamount to courting trouble. And when the ground for such refusal is based on her religious conviction – the very fundamental issue pushing the abductors to their beastly actions in the first place – then she must be asking for serious trouble indeed. Yet, that was what Leah chose. She would not deny her Lord, come rain, come fire! (Rev. 2:13)
It is therefore a miracle and testimony to the wisdom and goodness of God amidst a terrible tragic situation that Leah’s story is taking the current dimensions. Of course the main reason she was kept alive and treated like a golden goose initially was the humongous ransom Boko Haram hoped to get on her. A report said the demand was in the region of 100 billion naira!
When that expectation failed to yield positive dividends, in the resulting tantrums, a frustrated Boko Haram first shot dead two captive moslem girls who were deemed to have apostatised in agreeing to work for the Red Cross; and simultaneously pronounced a worse fate for Leah: she would become a slave - a sabbiya or sex slave. As the terrorists explained, it was now “lawful” for them to "do whatever” they wanted with her. For many of us, that was the saddest period in the entire saga.
So, the latest report, is therefore yet a cause for thanksgiving. How?
Despite her reported undiminished commitment to her Lord and Saviour (as reported by some former co-captives), and even when it was clear she wasn’t going to bring in the hoped for huge resources to further the Islamists’ evil agenda, Leah still found sufficient grace in the eyes of the abductors to be given as a wife to no doubt one of their most competent young men. Looks like the case of Dinah and the young rapist, Shechem!
With a son for a top commander, the commercial value of Leah to BH has plummeted – would you ask someone to come ransom your own “wife” from your custody? [Not that we consider the supposed marriage as being valid]. And of course, she now qualifies for the best comfort and protection Boko Haram can provide. At the end of the day, by God’s great wisdom and mercy amidst a very unpalatable situation, we now we have not just a spirit-filled Christian lady residing in enemy territory like the Ark of the LORD, there is a potential Moses being nursed among them, as well as a Commander whose heart is being flooded by Christ’s goodness and witness daily. Certainly, this story is only just unfolding.
We urge the grieving Church to please cheer up, and watch how these things would further develop as the LORD shows forth His manifold wisdom and counsel even these dying moments of the end time. In the meantime, we must continue to advocate, ever more vigorously , that the Federal government rise for the release of the only girl left behind to Islamic abductors, after finding resources and political will to negotiate and secure the release of 106 other moslem girls (and a boy) in the same cohort!
“Leah was told to say some Islamic incantations before she would be allowed onto the truck. But she refused. She said, ‘I will never say it because I am not a Muslim.’ They became angry and told her if she wouldn’t denounce Christ, she would remain with them. Still, Leah refused. We watched Leah being left alone with the other members. We kept crying and waving at her ’til the truck vanished.”
When her classmates were released, Leah was able to pass on a message to her mother:
“My mother, you should not be disturbed. I know it is not easy missing me, but I want to assure you that I am fine where I am. My God, whom we have been praying to with you, is showing Himself mighty in my trying moment. I know your words to me during our morning devotions: that God is very close to people in pain. I am witnessing this now. I am confident that one day I shall see your face again. If not here, then there at the bosom of our Lord Jesus Christ.” https://www.opendoors.org.hk/en/2019/09/31331/