Thursday 03182010 Update: Jacob was rushed to the hospital this morning and diagnosed with pneumonia, kidney failure, and head trauma. Evidently he was held for 8 days outside with no food and little water. Please be in prayer for his recovery.
We regret to inform you that Jacob Achinefu was kidnapped in the NIATS school van at Upakari Junction on his way to Aba this evening, March 9th around 6pm. He was on his way back from 2 meetings at the high school and then NIATS,the bible college behind Nigerian Christian Hospital. It is possibly the same group that had kidnapped Bob as they headed in the same direction. Several weeks ago police raided Onicha Ngwa village capturing 3 kidnappers and killing one. The next two Sundays (Feb 21 and 28) the kidnap gang shot and killed police at Ohanze, the neighboring village to Upakari.
Your prayers are needed. Jacob Achinefu, the Director of the Nigerian Institute for the Arts and Theological Studies our NIATS associate school in Nigeria, was kidnapped and is being held for ransom. Jacob lives and works on the same compound as Dr Bob Whitaker who was kidnapped earlier and they suspect that it may be the same group of kidnappers. Jacob and the NIATS van were taken while he was on the road to Aba, Nigeria. Jacob is a faithful preacher, a capable leader and a faithful husband and father of 8. He is also a good friend and co-worker. Kidnappings and tensions have escalated again in this region of Nigeria and prayers are needed for the Christians of Nigeria.
Nigerian Institute of Advanced Theological Studies
It is my pleasure to introduce to you brother Jacob Achinefu, whom I have know and with whom I have worked over the past twenty eight years.
Jacob was converted in Nigeria in 1958 by Rees Bryant, who was teaching in the Bible Training College at Onicha Ngwa, (where the Nigerian Christian Hospital is located).
Jacob was a bright young man with a very sharp mind. He entered the Bible Training College in 1959 and has been preaching ever since. In 1973, Dr. F. W. Mattox, then president of Lubbock Christian College, having met Jacob in Nigeria in 1965, invited him to come to Lubbock to study Bible. Jacob received the B.A. degree in Bible in 1976, then went to Abilene Christian College, where he received the M.A. in English, after which he returned to Nigeria to preach and to teach in the Bible College.
In 1980 Jacob was appointed administrator of the Nigerian Christian Hospital. He continued to preach and hold meetings during the entire 10 years of his tenure there. Since that time he has faithfully held meetings, preached for the largest congregation in Aba, and has been very active in helping struggling congregations, helping to settle disputes, debating issues, assisting preachers, and generally promoting the Lord’s work in Nigeria. His wife, Justina, is a nurse/midwife and until recently was head nurse at the hospital. One of his daughters is also a nurse/midwife, and is married to one of our Christian doctors. Both work at the Nigerian Christian Hospital. Jacob and Justina have six daughters, two sons and two grandchildren.
For many years we have been channeling funds to Jacob for more than 70 preachers who receive their support from the U.S. These funds are sent to the College Church in Searcy, Arkansas, and deposited into a “preacher’s” account from which Jacob draws each month to distribute to the preachers. He faithfully handles between $7000 and $10,000 monthly, which is a very time-consuming job. Without exception, the preachers express their love, appreciation and admiration for Jacob and his work. He is truly a servant and knows most of the preachers in Nigeria
Two years ago Jacob was appointed director of the Bible Training College (Now called the Nigerian Institute of Arts and Theological Studies – NIATS). The school was virtually destroyed during a border clash in 1989, and has now been re-opened. He is sponsored by the church in Kirksville, Missouri. His main goal for this trip is to raise funds for the Bible School and for struggling preachers. He is a man worthy of honor. Those of us who know him love him and his family. I know that you will be blessed by his visit.
H. Glenn Boyd
International Health Care Foundation (African Christian Hospitals)
102 North Locust, Searcy, AR 72143