Tulsa Couple Starts Effort To Help Kidnapped Nigerian Girls

Monday, June 9th 2014, 5:53 pm
By: News On 6

An Oklahoma couple is on a mission is to help save the more than 200 Nigerian girls kidnapped by members of the terrorist group Boko Haram.

Matt and Julie Beemer are from Tulsa but have spent the last five years living in Nigeria. They say you don't have to be a missionary to help.

The Beemers want people across the globe to press Nigerian officials to rescue the girls.

The Beemers run a bible school for children in the Nigerian capital.

"When you are there everyday there are challenges but we've done this so much, there is a confidence that we are in the right place at the right time doing the right things with the right people," Matt Beemer said. 

They say Boko Haram, the group responsible for kidnapping the girls, is terrorizing the region.

The group wants to overthrow the Nigerian government. The Beemers have taken Oklahoma's spirit of giving overseas. They are confident if people here knew how to help, they would.

"This has been going on for five years now," Matt said, "so getting the awareness out will make a big difference."

His wife, Julie, added, "I knew that if I could bring attention here, then it could possibly persuade somebody far away in Nigeria. If I got enough people to go viral with this; it will push, it will cause pressure. It was cause people to want to activate and do something. "

 That something starts right here at home on Facebook through pledges.

The Beemers founded a nonprofit group called Club 1040. They sponsor mission trips. On the last one, their daughter Elisabeth met kids her own age and saw how differently children there live.

The "1040" part of the name refers to an area of the world located between the 10th and 40th parallels north, where the world's neediest people live.

"I can't imagine my daughter being abducted, taken by strangers and being sold for 12 dollars, basically to anybody around the world," said Julie Beemer.

But she says people in Oklahoma can help.

"Praying for these kids is going to make a difference, God knows where these kids are. He can know a strategy to help the Nigerian government be able to find these girls and do something."

Matt Beemer boarded a plane headed to Nigeria on Monday. Julie will join him in two weeks.

Visit the Club1040 web site to learn more.