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Audio Bibles: Bringing New Life to the Hardest Hearts

Audio Bibles: Bringing New Life to the Hardest Hearts

A VOM worker visiting Niger was astonished by the welcome he received at churches that had been planted just three months earlier. While he had expected to meet only a handful of people at each church, he instead was greeted by upwards of 30 people in each village. “It was apparent that the storytelling method they were using was attracting people in this oral culture,” he said. He and the frontline workers in the area realised, however, that these new believers and seekers could not be discipled through storytelling alone. They needed audio Bibles so they could hear God’s Word for themselves.

Over the past two years, the audio Bibles have proved fruitful. After a frontline worker shared the Gospel and left two audio Bibles with a Fulani couple who make their living breeding livestock, the couple soon called him back. They told the worker they had accepted Christ after listening to the Bibles but had many questions. The frontline worker returned to spend three days with the couple and provide intensive discipleship training, and a few months later they were baptised.

A frontline worker who ministers among the Tuareg people said audio Bibles have also been invaluable in his work. “We remember that in the years 1999 to 2016, all the Tuaregs refused to accept the Word of Jesus, and they persecuted the Christians,” he said. “But we give glory to Jesus Christ that now the people of the village accept us and especially the Word of Jesus Christ.” A year ago, the worker distributed memory cards loaded with copies of the New Testament and Christian songs in the Tuareg language.

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NIGER: Mob Torches Churches After Mosque Sermon

NIGER: Mob Torches Churches After Mosque Sermon

A mob of Muslim radicals attacked two churches in Niger’s third largest city on 13 June following an imam’s inflammatory message.

The protestors burned an Assemblies of God church in the Zaria neighbourhood, along with the pastor’s car, as well as the Life to the Full Christian Church.

The imam in Zaria had denounced a new government bill on the exercise of worship, saying it was against Islam, though he later said he had misunderstood the bill.

Police arrested 178 rioters following the attacks. No one was injured in the attacks, but the Assemblies of God church was completely destroyed. “Please pray for the Christians in Niger”, a VOM contact said. “Many are afraid.”

Source: The Voice of the Martyrs USA

  • Ask the Lord to uphold the Christian community. Pray the Lord will take away their fear.
  • Pray the church members will not give up meeting together. Ask the Lord to use this incident to unify and strengthen the church.
  • Pray for the imam and the rioters. Ask God to have mercy on them, soften their hearts and bring them to repentance.

Post your prayer for Niger in the comments below.

NIGER: Persecution is Fertiliser for the Gospel

NIGER: Persecution is Fertiliser for the Gospel

A VOM partner ministry worked with 144 evangelists in Niger last year, providing discipleship training and opportunities to help them support themselves.

The evangelists then visited communities throughout the country, sharing the Gospel and teaching people about Jesus.

As those hearing the Gospel began to place their faith in Christ, some were threatened or expelled from their families. One Christian worker, however, said the persecution also had a positive effect. “Persecution became fertiliser for the spread of the Gospel,” he said.

In places where there was strong persecution, the evangelists observed more eagerness among the new believers to apply biblical principles to their lives. In some places, their dedication even made communities more accepting of Christians. “Extending discipleship to the persecuted will bring about a stronger church,” the Christian worker said.

Source: The Voice of the Martyrs USA

  • Thank the Lord for working through these courageous believers. Pray that God will multiply their efforts.
  • Thank Him for turning opposition, difficulties and suffering into light and spiritual life.
  • Pray for the growth and spiritual maturity of new believers.

Post your prayer for Niger in the comments below.

NIGER: Five New Churches in Two Years

NIGER: Five New Churches in Two Years

Christian workers on the ground in Niger report a chain reaction of disciple-making over the last two years.

One man who went through a VOM-sponsored church planting program went on to share the Gospel with seven others. After those seven people were well-developed in their faith, they each went to seven different villages to share their faith there.

In every one of those villages, at least one person accepted the Gospel. “From these seven disciples, five vibrant churches have been created”, wrote a VOM contact. “The new believers are like the early church as they are pooling together their resources amongst themselves to contribute to the building of a church building.”

Source: The Voice of the Martyrs USA

  • Praise God for the spread of the Gospel in Niger. Thank the Lord for the powerful witness of these new believers.
  • Pray these believers will remain firm in their faith, develop in Christian maturity and take every opportunity to share the love of Christ with other members of their community.
  • Pray the church in Niger will become a light to other nations in Africa.

If you would like to financially support the work of Voice of the Martyrs, please go to: vom.com.au/donate

NIGER: Pastor’s Daughter Kidnapped

NIGER: Pastor’s Daughter Kidnapped

The teenage daughter of a pastor was kidnapped on 16 October in Diffa, south-eastern Niger, in what appears to be the first targeted kidnapping of a Christian by Boko Haram-affiliated militants in the West African nation.

Aphodiya Garba Maida, 17, daughter of a pastor with the EERN (Église Évangélique de la République du Niger), was on her way to school when she was kidnapped by three women and three men. She was able to use her mobile phone to send a message, saying that she is being held in an unknown location.

The kidnappers are likely affiliated with the Islamist group Boko Haram and security forces in Diffa have been alerted.

The Diffa area borders Nigeria to the south and Chad to the east, and has seen an upsurge in attacks by Boko Haram in recent months. In July, militants kidnapped 30-40 women and children and slit the throats of nine other people in the village of Ngalewa, while a month earlier two female suicide bombers attacked a UNHCR camp for internally displaced people (IDPs) in Kablewa.

In February 2015 Boko Haram launched its first attack on Niger territory, targeting Diffa and the nearby town of Bosso, causing thousands to flee. Following the violence several NGOs had to suspend operations and all the churches in the region were closed.

Source: World Watch Monitor

  • Ask the Lord to directly intervene to ensure the release of Aphodiya and other captives, either through His miraculous hand or through the work of the local security forces.
  • Ask the Lord to comfort, protect and strengthen Aphodiya and her loved ones during this very difficult time.
  • Pray the Lord will bring change to the hearts of the captors to bring true repentance.