Local churches pray for Nigerian girls


It's been more than a month since almost 300 girls were taken from their school dorm in Nigeria and for the first time we're seeing video of some of them.

The leader of the Islamic extremist group responsible for the kidnappings swore to Allah that the girls would not be seen again until the government releases his detained fighters.

A lot of these girls are members of the Church of the Brethren and there are several local Church of the Brethren locations in our area.

Members say they are praying for a peaceful outcome.

The Nappanee Church of the Brethren was given a list of all the girls who were kidnapped and they were also asked to say extra prayers for one girl in particular.

Pastor Byrl Shaver says, "We've just been actually just this past week been called into a time of fasting and prayer by the Nigerian church."

Many members of the Nappanee Church of the Brethren have never met the victims or their families but they still feel a connection to them because most of the girls kidnapped were members of the Nigerian Church of the Brethren.

The pastor says, "You can really just get a gut level sense of this if you just take it personally and say hey what if this was my kid. What if this was my grandchild that was captured? I think anyone can have empathy toward that."

The Church of the Brethren has annual conferences in America so the pastor says he's met several church members from Nigeria.

Church leaders from America have been reaching out to church leaders in Nigeria to offer emotional support.

Carol Waggy is a member of another Church of the Brethren location in Indiana.

She actually spent five years in Nigeria with her husband and spent time in the area where these girls were kidnapped.

She says, "We know that area. We know some of the people from there and certainly the church people and to have that personal connection made it even more heartbreaking."

Church members say they hope the united states will help resolve this peacefully without military action.