One of the tragedies of the recent violence in Maiduguri and other northern Nigeria cities is the loss of life. One of those killed in the conflict in Bauchi on Sunday was Ikechukwu, a Nigerian soldier and member of the Wulari Jerusalem Church in Maiduguri. Ikechukwu was an important part of the work in Maiduguri as he worked with and encouraged the young people of this fellowship. Brad and Jen Blake worked closely with this group for a few years and Brad had this to say about Ikechukwu.
“What a great guy! What a leader! What a legacy! Ikechukwu never married but was known by the entire Wulari-Jerusalem youth group as being the most beloved. This is the guy who helped Sister Eni in planting the first Ogu at the Pompomari farm. This is the guy who would accompany the INTERCEP people and work tirelessly on the farm. This is the guy who would rally the Wulari-Jerusalem youth group to serve on the farm even if the reward wasn’t immediately tangible. This is the guy that we would always meet working for the Nigerian army near the Nabordo, Bauchi gap where armed robbers would often penetrate on the Jos-Bauchi road. Jen and I remember well meeting him with our family and unloading a carton of Swan Water on him because we were so happy to see him securing the road… “
“Ikechukwu’s legacy endures beyond our fleeting and momentary trauma over his loss. His memory is seared on our consciences as we remember a brother who served as a soldier in a bigger kingdom than the federal army of Nigeria. His authenticity as a soldier was evident in the way that he carried himself throughout his life in Maiduguri, Bauchi, Liberia, and everywhere he found himself… “
“This was Ikechukwu in a nutshell: always present, always helpful, always bearing someone else’s burdens. When he worked tirelessly, there was always a smile on his face, a spring in his step, and joy from serving with his Christian family… “
“Tomorrow, we will wake up with the emblazoned memory of a fallen brother in our psyche who never preached a memorable sermon, never taught an informative class, and never wowed the masses with inspiring Christian writing. Yet, his life was a homily of inestimable proportion because his selfless service went under the radar with such a lack of notoriety that he was hardly noticed. His work ethic was so relentless that we all knew that we could count on him without any excuses of busyness, different priorities, or personal matters. It is people like him who remind us that the meek shall inherit the earth, the humble will be lifted up, and those who do justice and love mercy are walking humbly with their God. “
“Lord, thank you for allowing us to be blessed with the life of this dear brother and help us follow him as he followed the servant of all.”
We request your prayers for Ikechukwu’s physical and spiritual family. He will be greatly missed, but we are convinced that Heaven is a brighter place because of his presence.