Alanna's Story

A week-long mission trip to Nigeria turned into a nightmare when Alanna and her team were kidnapped.

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In 2017, Alanna travelled to Nigeria for a week-long mission trip to train local Nigerians in optometry.

On her final evening, shortly after midnight, the power was cut off from the bungalow she was staying in and armed gang members ushered Alanna and members of her team onto a boat. They were taken to a wooden shack without walls, surrounded by jungle. The men had kidnapped them for a ransom of one billion Nigeria Nira (approximately £2.1 million.)

“When we looked at the situation that was going on around us we were filled with doubt and despair, but when we came back to God’s Word and we focused our eyes on it we could find peace and joy and guidance in how to face our day. And I think that’s why it’s so essential to be rooted in God’s word, no matter what situation you’re in.”

The leader of Alanna’s team, Ian Squire, had asked for a Bible, which he was given. He had also asked for a guitar. During one morning when Ian had led the kidnapped group in worship, one of the kidnappers shot and killed him.

“There was no reason for him to die, but I’m thankful for the fact that I know that he is now in heaven and I know that not because he was a good man or because he did charitable work, but because of his faith in the Lord, Jesus Christ.”

While in captivity, Alanna found that the kidnappers were becoming more and more interested in the Bible, wanting to join them as they studied it:

“I had prayed before going out to Nigeria that I would get the opportunity to share the gospel with Nigerians. I just didn’t know whether that would mean that I would have to be kidnapped in order to do that. But God’s ways are not ours.

“By the time we got to our final week of captivity, some of the gang members actually came up and approached us and asked us if they could join in our Bible study.

They could see that we, by praying together by being God’s Word, we could find peace in the midst of the chaos and they wanted that too.”