McKinleyville Man Reported to Be Kidnapped in Niger

Jeff WoodkeJeff Woodke, a McKinleyville man, is widely reported to have been kidnapped in Niger. According to a report in the Daily Mail, “Gunmen stormed the house of a longtime American aid worker in Niger, killing two people before fleeing with the man toward the border with Mali, authorities said.” The article identifies Woodke as the man kidnapped.

Jeff Woodke’s Facebook page has comments on it indicating he lived in Niger and is married. His bio on Redwood Coast School of Missions states, “[Woodke] earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Wildlife Management and a Master of Arts degree in Environmental Systems and International Development.” The bio also indicates that he founded a ministry in Niger which he operated for over 25 years. 

The North Coast Journal has more on the story here.



  • LeAnna Carson-Hansen

    May he be kept safe from all harm and returned quickly. So very sad to read of his kidnapping. It takes an incredible stamina to be in dangerous areas assisting folks in need. Please keep us updated on the efforts to find and rescue him.

  • was he trying to help a nigerian prince with a 47 million dolla bank transfer?

  • And that’s why you dont go to Nigeria kids

  • Very scary. I hope he is found safe and the state department is involved.

  • you would think that would be the last place a American should be .

  • I am guessing he was kidnapped in Niger which shares a border with Mali and not Nigeria.

  • Maybe we can get Jimmy Carter or Dennis Rodman to mediate his release?

  • Henchman Of Justice

    Wow, hope he is not gonna be murdered and stays safe, vigilante.

  • Eureka is way worst than Nigeria

  • This is a very serious situation. Especially so, in that, as the article says (paraphrasing), ‘he operates a ministry’. Some places don’t take kindly to other religions being ‘offered’ to the public.

  • Jeff is an “Aide Worker.” Yes, he is also a Christian. He has been living a totally self-sacrificing life (enduring hunger, thirst, heat, internal parasites, etc) in order to help the destitute there obtain food, clean water, education, etc, instead of staying here and living a cushy American life. He began his work there 25 years ago when it was safer. He is well loved and respected by many of us here in Humboldt, as well as the people he helps, in Niger. He was kidnapped by terrorists from a neighboring country. Please show him the respect he deserves.

    • Point taken. My point is that is dangerous work, especially these days, on that continent.
      Thank you for filling in what he has done for the people in Niger. No doubt he comes from his heart. Few ‘religious’ people actually make the sacrifices that Jesus encouraged. Let’s pray, visualize him free, or in the light, etc., as appropriate to each persons’ beliefs.

  • Eureka is worster than Niger

  • Hoping for his safe return. It is so sad to see this happen to someone who is spending their life trying to help others

  • Honeydew Bridge Chump

    Why did the Nigers kidnap him?

    They aren’t going to give him an Islamic punishment for being Christian in Muslim land, are they?

    Hope God will save him and punish those Nigers.

    • For the same reason honeydew trolls think they are funny. Nicely coded racism. Not. Ive been hearing more blatant racism this year than I have in the last twenty.

    • go find someplace else to hang
      honeydew..bigots/racists are neither funny or cool..
      perhaps you should grow up a bit? (after showing your ignorance in public)


  • Should of left that turbin on

  • disappointed by you people

    What’s wrong with you people? Lame jokes? this isn’t reality t.v. Its real life, he’s a real man, in real danger. If you can’t manage to show some compassion and respect for a dire situation, at least try to refrain from posting lame jokes. If you think this article is worth making jokes about, look up “arrested developement”, and ask yourself “why am I still operating at a 3rd grade level?” Turn off the t.v., and wake up.

    • off with his head along with the rest of your so call missionaries. mind your own business and this stuff wont happen. your not welcome there get it. 20 years out of country. i have seen first hand the problems you people cause in the name of god. maybe you should wake up. most dont like you. now he can live with the hand god dealt him. or maybe you know gods plan. f off

      • You know, I’m not religious but I don’t think hate helps anyone. I doubt that religion is anywhere near the cause of problems that hate is. Religion can be a force for good but the kind of hate that would attack a man while he has been kidnapped and is in fear for his life doesn’t seem like it does anyone any good.

        • disappointed by you people

          Although this hate is sad and unnecessary, it is based in reality. So much murder, rape, and theft has been committed under the banner of churches, mostly Catholic over the years. Sad but true. Anyway it’s flat out wrong to judge this man based on the actions of other ” missionaries” . Maybee he was a “good” one….Maybee not, it’s not for us to judge.

      • disappointed by you people

        Sure, lots of dark crimes committed in the name of God. I’m not defending the missionary mission, I’m just tired of people not being able to take life seriously. I’m not ready to judge this man based on the actions of other missionaries. Although your comment was hardly civil, or respectful, at least it wasn’t a joke. Thank you for offering your opinion on this matter. Maybee next time you can withhold the angry f-bombs. And we should all be careful passing judgment on people based on what little bit of information we get from one little news story.

  • Praying for Jeff, his wife, and all who love him.

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