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Nankpak Kumzwam (VOM Australia)
Nankpak Kumzwam

Eight-year-old Nankpak Kumzwam watched his mother lie face down on the ground as a screaming Islamic militant ran towards them with a machete. Her cheek was already stained with dried blood from a gunshot wound, and she looked physically and emotionally exhausted. The family had slept on the ground the previous two nights while fleeing marauding rioters, and they just received the heartbreaking news that the rioters had killed Nankpak's father.

When Nankpak regained consciousness after the machete attack, he instinctively knew his mother, sister and brother were now also dead. Bleeding from machete wounds and the gunshot wound he had suffered the day before, the child hiked through the bush to find help, eventually arriving at a friend's house.

After receiving treatment, Nankpak moved in with an uncle until VOM workers helped enroll him at a boarding school located in a safe area. The ministry supports numerous persecuted believers in northern Nigeria by providing them medical care, food, living expenses, education, vocational training and spiritual encouragement.

Nankpak, who has now completed high school, hopes to become a doctor so he can care for persecuted Christians. He is ready to serve wherever God calls him. "I don't really need to be afraid," Nankpak affirms. "I was the only person who was able to escape. I believe God has a reason."

Nankpak thinks often of his family, and especially misses his mentoring father. "Many times he went from one place to another, speaking the Word of God," Nankpak recalls of his father's dedication to the Lord's work. "Whenever he was at home, we spent much time discussing the Word of God." The young man's father also taught his children to live peacefully among Muslims. "He always told us to love one another...and to share the Good News." Nankpak hopes those who hear his story will be mindful to pray for persecuted Christians.

Current Ministry Projects

VOMC works with in-country partners to encourage and strengthen persecuted Christians through a variety of methods. Christians are equipped with audio bibles to distribute to their persecutors. Christian widows receive skills training and trauma counselling as a way to provide an income for their families and heal from the trauma they’ve faced in losing their husbands. Children who have lost parents and relatives due to attacks are provided with a safe place to grow and be nurtured. Medical fees are paid for Christians who have suffered injuries due to attacks by Boko Haram and Fulani. Discipleship and vocational training are given to Muslim Background Believers to help them start their new lives spiritually and practically. The Glenn Penner Scholarship Award is used to help equip persecuted Christians completing their Masters and have a heart to share the Gospel with the lost in their community.

Project Funds: Women’s Ministry, Bibles, Medical Fund, Families of Martyrs, Equipping the Saints, Relief & Development

Country Information

219,463,862 (July 2021 est.)

Ethnicity (%)
Hausa (30), Yoruba (15.5), Igbo (15.2), Fulani (6), Tiv (2.4), Kanuri/Beriberi (2.4), Ibibio (1.8), Izaw/Izon (1.8), Other (24.7)

Religion (%)
Islam (53.5), Christianity (45.9), Other (0.6)

President Muhammadu Buhari (2015)

Government type
Federal presidential republic

Legal system
Mixed legal system of English common law, Islamic law (in 12 northern states), and traditional law

Source: CIA World Factbook

Pray for Nigeria

May God minister great comfort and healing to all who have been injured or bereaved as a result of the militants' brutal attacks. In addition, pray for the remaining abducted Chibok schoolgirls, that they will be assured of the Lord's abiding presence as they await release from captivity. Continue to uphold President Buhari and other members of the Nigerian government as they make further attempts to rescue the remaining girls and provide protection for vulnerable citizens. As they persevere in their endeavours to overcome terrorism, may they be granted wisdom, courage, strength and help from on high.


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