A friend of mine who witness the events that took place in Niamey on January 17, 2015 wrote, “Today was a day of bravery and sacrifice in the name of free speech. The bravery was in France, the sacrifice was in Niger.”
Another missionary living in Niamey wrote, “It’s easier to count the churches that were NOT attacked rather than those that were. But adding to our sadness is the large number of Christian schools that were burned. Schools where we were holding our trainings this month and last month—all gone, completely burnt. We are in shock.”
A third missionary penned, “It is quiet in town, but not in the heart of the people. My housekeeper is extremely sad today. I have no word to comfort her. It is a very difficult situation to live.”
What should we think of all that destruction?
Niger being such a poor country, those churches buildings represents years of saving and hard work; and in only 24 hours it’s all gone. Tragedy and pain can come our way at any time. A similar story took place over 3000 years ago to the nation of Israel living an exodus in Egypt. A new political leadership took control of the office; overnight Israel went from freedom to slavery. Their futures look hopeless! Perhaps some start thinking “Does God Care?” Many Jews during the holocaust began to doubt that God cared about them. Typically we do not consider pain as a gift. But a tooth ache can be a gift telling you it’s time to pay a visit to the dentist before it is too late. The thing we most despise can in fact be our best friend. But behind the sad news concerning the hardship Israel was experiencing under that new king, there was good news. God care for them, we read “But the more they afflicted them, the more they multiplied and grew” (Ex. 1:12). Does God care about the misfortune of these Christians living in Niamey? You better be sure that He does. Does God care when adversities come your way? Yes of course! Jesus said, “Come to Me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest (Matthew 11:28).