On this holy day celebrating love, faith and family…

On this holy day celebrating love, faith and family…

__Please remember #LeahSharibu.

On this day where so many across Africa and the world have shared special times together with friends and loved ones, I think especially of the family of Leah Sharibu, the young Nigerian schoolgirl held captive by Boko Haram for 22 months now. As many of you here know, Leah is the teenager (now 16 years old) abducted from her school in Dopchi who refused to renounce her Christian faith. Whilst other classmates taken hostage with her that day were released in March 2018, Leah has not yet been released.

Every single day I continue to pray for Leah’s safe return, this courageous teenager nearly the age of my own youngest daughter.

May the Spirit of the Lord stay with you, young Leah, and with your family, filling you with love, light and grace, and keeping you safe and strong.

“He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. (Ps 91:4)

Last December, thousands of you here on this platform took the time to write heartfelt words and prayers to support Leah and her parents as well as humanitarian worker Alice Ngaddah and others held captive around the world.

In your tributes compiled last year by my team and sent to Leah’s family in Nigeria, one of you (Stella) wrote,

“Dear Leah, I want you to know that we love you and we remember you in our prayers. You’re an inspiration to many girls in Africa and the world (me especially), like many trials and tribulation women go through, You’ll get through this because you’re strong, courageous, brave and fearless. A day will come when you’ll stand on the biggest stage and tell your story. God will guide you and see you through this use you as a testimony that miracles still do happen. Don’t give up yet because we’ll never give up on you, Keep fighting my dear sister we’re strongly behind you. NEVER GIVE UP”.

Today may I respectfully ask you, whatever your own faith tradition may be, to consider taking a moment again to join me and my family in praying or reflecting in your own way, for Leah and her family. Share your tributes here and let Leah and her family know they are not alone or forgotten.

“Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9)

Merry CHRISTmas.

End.

Author:Strive Masiyiwa

Strive Masiyiwa is the founder and Executive Chairman of the Econet Group. He serves on several international boards including Unilever, and the Global Advisory boards of the Council on Foreign Relations and Stanford University. A board member of the Rockefeller Foundation for 15 years, he also serves as Chairman of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA). He is a co-founder of the Carbon War Room, Pathways for Prosperity, and the Global Business Coalition on Education. He and his wife, Tsitsi, co-founded the Higherlife Foundation and are signators of the Giving Pledge.

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