Date:  August 14, 2022

Du Merci Children

In last week’s prayer email, you will have seen an urgent update on Professor Tarfa and the children of the Du Merci orphanages.

This week, we’re asking you to lift up the family in prayer as we continue to petition God on their behalf.

On Christmas Day in 2019, Professor Tarfa was arrested and later charged with illegally operating the Du Merci orphanages in Kano and Kaduna States, Nigeria. Once it became clear this charge would not stick, Professor Tarfa was charged with criminal conspiracy and abduction of minors. After almost a year in pre-trial detention, Professor Tarfa was released on bail on 10 December 2020, and was acquitted of these charges on 24 June 2021, but faced a final charge of forging an official certificate.

In March 2022, Professor Tarfa was convicted of forgery, despite exonerating evidence, and sentenced to a fine and two years in prison.

During his imprisonment Professor Tarfa has suffered a series of concerning health challenges - most recently a partial loss of sight. His wife Mercy told us: ‘Each time l visit him, my heart bleeds and l ask, why this injustice? He needs an urgent intervention.’

Sixteen of the Du Merci children who were seized from the orphanages remain in a government-run home in Kano City. Mrs Tarfa is still waiting for permission to see them for the first time in over a year. The five youngest children were relocated to a rural location, where their names have reportedly been changed, and where they are forced to learn Arabic study the Qur’an, and attend services in a mosque.

Thank you for choosing to stand with this family in prayer until we see a breakthrough.

Pray with us…

  • For Professor Tarfa’s health while in prison. Pray for his eyesight to be fully restored and for his physical and psychological wellbeing.
  • For Mercy Tarfa, as she continues to support her husband through the hardest of trials and struggles for permission to visit her children.
  • Finally, pray for a swift and successful review of Professor Tarfa’s sentence, and the return of all the children.