Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camp in Benue State

May 17th, 2018 | By | Category: Featured
by William J. Murray, Chairman

            We did what little we could:  The conditions at the IDP camp our team visited in Benue State were far worse than anything I had seen in Iraq.  Previously, the worst I had seen was a camp in the Darfur area of the Sudan when I was there in 2006 on a fact-finding mission.  The situation was so bad in Darfur that one of our team members contracted hepatitis.

William J. Murray arrives at an IDP camp with aid for Christians who were forced to flee from their homes by Muslim attackers

William J. Murray arrives at an IDP camp with aid for Christians who were forced to flee from their homes by Muslim attackers

Before arriving at the IDP camp we stopped by the “Modern Market” which could best be described as a wholesale market for street vendors and small shops.  The wholesalers did not have large warehouses, but rather small rooms dedicated to just a few products.  We were there to buy diapers and feminine products, as we had been told there was a desperate need for them at this particular camp.

Using what cash we had with us, I bought 100% of what was available even though it would help only a small percentage of the more than 15,000 women at the camp we were to visit.  The IDP camp contained about 34,000 people, mostly women and children.

We also brought protein meal to mix with the cereals the government was providing for the children.  Hundreds of the women who were near the entrance to the camp rushed forward to see what aid might be available and had to be held back by camp security.  Small children with nothing to do were milling about throughout the camp.

Financial transactions in Nigeria are difficult and moving funds to Nigeria from the United States is even more difficult.  Just purchasing the small number of supplies we did for the IDP camp was a challenge.  While there, we learned that there had been a measles outbreak among the children at the camp.  With conditions so crowded, disease can spread quickly.

I really wish the Religious Freedom Coalition could help these people more, but IDP camps this large are just out of our scope.  A major international effort is needed to help these displaced Christian families, but that will not happen as long as the European and American governments pretend that there is no Muslim violence against Christians.  There are some very specific areas where the RFC can help — such as building a water and sanitation system for the Christian orphanage in Miango and making repairs to some of the burned out churches.  We can make the lives of some people better, but our real challenge is the work that needs to be done on Capitol Hill to silence the whole “Islam is a religion of peace” mantra from Democrats and even some Republicans.  We need to wake up our politicians to the dangers Christians face in the world!  Please pray for our missions.

Help persecuted Christians provide diapers for their families.

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