An international radio ministry working in Nigeria is combating radical Islamic terrorist doctrine by faithfully broadcasting the hope of Jesus with gospel programming in native languages.
According to the United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF), the past year has seen a four-fold increase in the number of children, especially girls, used as suicide bombers by terrorist group Boko Haram. A UNICEF spokesperson told the Voice of America that dozens of children – 55 girls under the age of 15 and 27 boys – were forced into terrorist missions that target markets, schools, universities, and displacement camps.
Don Shenk, director of The Tide global radio ministry, says even though the level of human suffering in some parts of the world can seem overwhelming and insurmountable, the gospel of Jesus Christ enables opportunities for healing.
"One of the things that our ministry partners do there in Nigeria," says Shenk, "is that they'll organize a banquet at the end of Ramadan and invite Muslims to that because, of course, Ramadan is a time of fasting. And so they'll reach out and try to build relationships and share the gospel."
Shenk also tells OneNewsNow that prayers are needed for better cooperation between nations as many radical Boko Haram insurgents come from bordering nations to terrorize Nigerians and then escape back into neighboring countries.
"We could blame the government of Nigeria for not doing enough," says the ministry spokesman, "but they need the cooperation of those neighboring countries to stop that cross-border type of terror that's happening."
Shenk says his ministry wants to become more engaged in changing society there, and he knows that will only happen by the power of God. "While we are instruments used by God, only he can change the hearts of those inflicting this terrible pain," he shares. "In difficult times like these, God's Word is needed more than ever."