By Mark Ellis
Four months ago, longtime YWAM missionary Jeffery Woodke, was kidnapped by armed terrorists in the West African nation of Niger.
On October 14, kidnappers rode up to his home in Abalak on motorbikes, shot his bodyguard and housekeeper and took Woodke captive. Before they departed, Woodke was forced to strip down to his underwear.
The terrorist group who abducted him is thought to be the Movement for Unity and Jihad in West Africa (MUJAO), an Al-Qaida linked group.
Jeff Woodke’s home church is Arcata First Baptist Church (AFBC), which stands next to Humboldt State University in northern California, where Woodke gave his life to Christ as a student.
“Jeff’s passion in providing humanitarian aid to those who are amongst the poorest in the world, coupled with his desire to see God’s Kingdom advanced in a largely Muslim world has played a large part in the life and ministry of AFBC,” the church stated on their website.
Woodke was partnering with an organization called JEMED at the time of his kidnapping. JEMED works with Taureg and Wodaabe herders to provide “fixation points” where they have access to clean water, health care, education, and food security while preserving their nomadic lifestyles.
For 25 years, Woodke, 56, ministered in Niger. He continued his Kingdom-building activities despite U.S. State Department danger warnings.