On April 15th, in northern Nigeria, 326 girls, ages 15- 18 were kidnapped from their boarding school by Boko Haram, a militant Muslim extremist group. (Boko Haram reportedly means ‘western education is a sin.’) I saw this a 2nd time in a NY Times Op-Ed piece by a Mr. Nicholas Kristoff on May 3rd.
These girls were taken to be auctioned off as ‘wives’ for the terrorists. Whatever the reason, I am certain that their lives are a living hell. Although 50 of the girls escaped, 275 are still in captivity. You can imagine what the terrorists, who have no regard for life in general, and who hold women in great disdain, are doing to these girls. Every moment for each girl is filled with sheer terror and abject humiliation. Each has probably been raped at least once. Each has probably been tortured. Many may have already been killed. Their bodies have been violated beyond anything you have ever encountered, probably beyond anything you can even imagine.
STOP for a moment! If you think you are not capable of making a difference in the lives of these 276 teenage girls, give me just a minute here.
Go and get a pointed but dull tool, like a letter opener or a screwdriver. Now take it and press it into any part of your body until it hurts. How was that? You see, there are two considerations here.
First, this hurts. Pain is real. It is not just a word in an article. It is not just a ‘scale’ in your doctor’s office or the ER. Second, pain inflicted by someone other than yourself is out of your control. When that other person doesn’t care about you at all, there is no limit to the pain they are willing to inflict. They don’t care about how badly they hurt you. They don’t care how long they hurt you. And they don’t care if you live or die. And unless you die, they will not stop.
It is embarrassing to me that Secretary of State Kerry, in response to being asked about this terrifying crime, said that the United States is applying pressure. I don’t know the details of that, but I do have a thought. I suggest we combine our forces, perhaps with the other free nations like Britain, Germany, Australia, Canada, and Japan to suggest a few, to send our specialized troops to rescue these girls. I can only imagine that our elite forces, such as our Seals, Rangers, CIA, and Marines would gladly knock on the door of Boko Haram and get these girls back. Why? Because these girls aren’t somebody else’s girls. They are your girls. They are our girls.
GO! Now what are you going to do about it? Well, you could do nothing and try yo forget about these young girls living in a nightmarish hell on earth. That would be terribly sad. Sad for the girls, yes. But actually sadder for you.
Or… you can write to every public official you can think of. And you can write to every press and broadcast organization for which you can find the email or postal address. If you don’t know what to write, copy and paste this. But just write. Just spread the word. As Kristoff said, “Bring back our girls.”
Finally,and most importantly, if you believe in God, pray. Pray fervently. And pray faithfully until our girls are brought back home.