For Ayana

You can’t read this blog post right now, Ayana, nor can any of your 200+ schoolmates, but I write it for you.  For Ayana, “Beautiful Flower.”

I was supposed to be on a blogging break, but the searing reality of your abduction and the fact that you remain missing, three weeks later, will not let me rest.  It is, to quote the prophet Jeremiah, a fire shut up in my bones.

You are at the forefront of my last lingering thoughts as I drift to sleep at night.  You push to the front of the line of hazy early-morning thoughts that greet me daily.


I recall the horror stories about Boko Haram and I shudder.  I won’t dignify their barbaric conduct by giving them space on this blog, but I recognize them for exactly what they are:  tools of satan who will be defeated.

We are not wrestling against mere flesh and blood when it comes to your captors.  They embody spiritual wickedness of the most despicable kind.

That’s why we are committed to fight for you on our knees, in our hearts, in our words, and in our actions.  In the spirit, we see you coming out of this ordeal with a testimony of how God heard your cries and answered you miraculously.

It took them an army to physically snatch you all away, Ayana.  It is taking an army–worldwide, determined, united, buoyed by the untrammeled belief that justice must be served and your young life is worth rescuing–to bring you freedom.

You all were in school to be trained for leadership as doctors, lawyers, perhaps politicians?  Your captors, whose name means “Western education is sinful,” value you at $12 each.  Your potential and skills?  To them, garbage.  But we value your life as of infinite worth.  We will fight for you!

Just like your name, you are a beautiful and precious flower that we hold in our hearts and prayers.

We commit to ask, seek, and knock on heaven’s door and on every door on earth that can help us liberate you from the yoke of oppression that Boko Haram thinks it will place on you permanently.

We choose to rise above the low road of “what ifs”:

  • What if 200+ girls had been abducted in the Americas?  In Europe?  In Asia?  Would it have taken this long for people to react?
  • What if the Nigerian government had asked for help earlier?
  • What if your school hadn’t been reopened for you to take final exams?

We choose to trust God to bridge the gap between questions and answers.  We sure can’t!

In his piece in the New York Times on May 3, Nicholas Kristof states:

“More than 200 teenage girls have just been enslaved because they had the brains and guts to seek to become teachers or doctors. They deserve a serious international effort to rescue them.”

Ayana, the tagline of this blog is: “Pray.  Wage War.  Pray Again!”  I commit to do that every day until you’re reunited with your family.  Chibok, Nigeria, awaits you with open arms.  And so do we, all around the world.

Beautiful flowers, each of you–all 200+ of you–we love you and are believing for your deliverance.  Rescue is coming!


  1. This is so heart breaking..As a mother of three daughters myself, the pain is unbearable, the thought of having these girls snatched away in the middle of their dream is unthinkable! Yes I pray for their safe return, yet still I feel helpless. I’ve considered making my voice heard as well through my blog and I will do it yes, but my emotions are running high on the matter right now. I applaud you for the courage to speak out while at the same time maintaining your composure. My question still: Why would God allow bad things to happen to good people? Help me with this please Alison.
    Yvonne I. Wilson recently posted..Why Showing Mom Gratitude Is Good For Her..And You!My Profile

    • I understand the feeling of helplessness, Yvonne. I think we have to convert it into action, lest it fester and cause bitterness to build up. Prayer is the outlet I use, as well as the online petitions available for signing and, of course, social media. Prayer is the most powerful weapon in this war against the darkness that is Boko Haram.

      Re: bad things happening to good people, it’s part of us being in a fallen world in which sin is very present. I have to believe that God will bring something beautiful out of what looks like pure ashes right now. He can, and will, answer our prayers.
      Alison recently posted..For AyanaMy Profile

  2. This is so crazy! Thank you for sharing this with us! I had no idea!
    Brittnei recently posted..$100 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway Sign Up!My Profile

    • Brittnei, it’s sad and truly crazy that in 2014, this sort of madness is occurring. The devil is a liar. I’m believing God to do for those girls what no human being can do at this time.
      Alison recently posted..For AyanaMy Profile

  3. This gave me chills. I can’t even begin to imagine the heartbreak those families must be going through. Praying for their safe return.
    Michelle @ A Dish of Daily Life recently posted..Parenting Moments: Telling it Like it is {Ladies Only Blog Share}My Profile

    • It’s horrible, Michelle. I can’t fathom the pain. I’m not related to them and I feel it intensely, much more for the parents of the girls. Ugh!

  4. fabiana says:

    I have known fear but I keep going back to the fact that the fear I know is nothing compared to what these young girls must be feeling. I still ask myself how is this possible? Over two hundred people walk across villages but no one has reported seeing them. I too pray for them and their parents.

    • I know, Fab. It’s crazy, but everyone is so scared of Boko Haram that I think even if they saw something, they’re scared to talk. This type only comes out through prayer and fasting… It’s like the Lord’s Resistance Army in Uganda. They are terrorists, plain and simple.
      Alison recently posted..For AyanaMy Profile

  5. Like so many others, I am in disbelief that a crime of this magnitude could take place without immediate repercussions. I add my prayers to the millions of others for the girls’ safe return.
    Dana recently posted..There is joy in the grayMy Profile

  6. Like Yvonne, my heart is breaking. My emotions are all over the place with this. I will pray, on my knees, everyday, and give offerings in church for their safe return. This should not be happening.
    KalleyC recently posted..LTML-18: A Mother’s SurpriseMy Profile

  7. Hi Ali! So glad I just decided to see if you were back from blog-break. This story just breaks my heart, as I see it breaks yours too. I pray that with the help from our government, we will have these flowers back soon. They are in my prayers.

    Ceil recently posted..Why Ask Why?My Profile

  8. Amen Alison, the acts of this horrible terrorist group are unconscionable. I pray for the little girls and the parents that must be going through probably the worst time of their lives. I pray each and every one of them return home safely.
    Nellie @ Brooklyn Active Mama recently posted..Friday Fitness Check-in: Motivation On The Rocks, Low Carb Fail + Exciting News!My Profile

  9. we must continue to pray! my heart breaks for the girls and their families. i hope they are rescued soon.
    catherine gacad recently posted..Mother’s Day BabyMy Profile

  10. Yes, yes, continuing to pray for a miracle.
    Linda@Creekside recently posted..Doing Community WellMy Profile

  11. Powerful post. Standing with you in prayer for the return of these girls and the many others that we haven’t heard about. Thank you for helping to keep this in the forefront of our attention.

    ~ Cassandra from Renaissance Women
    Visiting via Give Me Grace community
    Cassandra M. Stewart (Renaissance Women) recently posted..Weekend Worship: The BrokenheartedMy Profile

    • Thanks, Cassandra. The war goes on, on our knees, in our prayer closets, as we go about our daily business. Prayer will bring our “Ayanas” the victory. God is not sleeping!

  12. Still heart-broken over this. I’m praying for of the girls but specifically one by name. So I’ll add my faith to yours and pray for the release of Tabitha and Ayana and their classmates. Jesus come quick. Amen.

  13. This is a very sorrowful experience. The only truly good thing is that the girls may plant some of the seed of the Lord in the hearts of the people who are keeping them. And they may be free. Their hearts may stay with the Lord even though much is trying to be poured into them to leave Him. We can count on Him, eternally, for the full-time consequence. Want them free, of course, so parents and others will be filled with joy instead of fear and anger and hatefulness. We’d be the same way…and it may occur here in our nation, too. I am connected to locally to some very godly Christians from Nigeria…and I know they are the ones who can pray better, with much more understanding, than many of us. Thank you for sharing.
    Joanne Norton recently posted..CLOUDS OPEN OUR HEARTS TO HEAVENMy Profile

    • Thanks, Joanne. It is indeed sorrowful. It’s a pain in the spirit that will not go away. I pray God will heal each girl’s hurt and bring them closer to Him as they await liberation.

  14. Sheron Treasure says:

    I cannot begin to emphatize or even phantom what they or their parents might be going through. I just pray that God will remove any despair and give them hope! Smh! Great blog, Alison!

  15. Can not begin to imagine the distress these parents are feeling. I pray these girls are returned home safely soon.
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  16. Hey my friend!! I still can’t believe this story! Here it is months later and nothing is yet to be done! Don’t know how true it is. but recent reports say that they were forced to marry off and convert to Islam. My heart goes out to their parents and families…we must continue t pray! Blessings my friend!
    Michell @Prowess and Pearls recently posted..Mastering YOU Monday…surgery and recoveryMy Profile

    • Michell, it’s heartbreaking. Yes, what you heard apparently is true: they were forced to marry and convert. Can you imagine the pain their parents are going through, knowing how brutal Boko Haram is? A few girls escaped, but I haven’t had the courage yet to read their stories. I continue to hold out hope that they will be released. God is still on the throne!

  17. This is terrible and I was reading your updates in the comments! So Sad!

    OAN – I hope you are having a blessed and happy holiday season dear!

    • Hi Joi! Happy new year to you, my dear, and God’s riches blessings to you and yours in 2015. I had a good Christmas with family back home.

      Yes, these precious girls are still captives nine months after their abduction. Only God knows the horrors they have gone through. We have to continue to pray for them!
      Alison recently posted..For AyanaMy Profile

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