After attending a VOM-led training session with her husband, ‘Christina Saleh’ has begun to meet with women in four villages, teaching Christians and witnessing to Muslims.
Before attending the training session, Christina had been afraid to openly share the Gospel. Muslim women had frightened her by showing her the graves of missionaries, and some vendors in the local market had stopped accepting her money when they learned she was a believer. But Christina gained encouragement from sessions on evangelism and church planting, and she praises God for the new method of sharing the Gospel that she learned during the training.
The training session, which included more than 100 pastors and evangelists along with their wives, offered courses in Bible storytelling, church planting and worship with traditional instruments, among other topics.
Source: The Voice of the Martyrs USA
- Thank the Lord for the opportunity Christina had to attend the training session. Pray for all others who attended, may they experience a similar boldness.
- Pray the Lord’s favour will be upon Christina and other evangelists and teachers in Niger, may they receive many opportunities to boldly share the Gospel and may they rejoice as they see the Holy Spirit at work.
- Pray the local church will grow in love for one another and faithfulness to the Lord.
Jeff Woodke, who works for Jeunesse en Mission Entraide et Developpement, a branch of the US based organisation Youth With A Mission (YWAM), was abducted from the town of Abalak in northern Niger by unknown assailants late in the evening of 14 October.
Bilou Mohamed, the mayor of Abalak, announced that the community has “suffered a terrible tragedy” and that locals “wept with sorrow, lamenting the loss of a friend” the day after his abduction. He then spoke of the 55-year-old missionary’s dedicated service: “This man has lived among us for years, even when it has been difficult to accompany vulnerable populations… Everyone knows his goodness.”
According to Niger’s interior minister, Mohamed Bazoum, a group of armed men — believed to be from a radical Islamic group called Mujao — burst into Jeff’s home at around 9pm after killing two security guards, including a member of the National Guard who was stationed there. The kidnappers took Jeff by force and drove towards eastern Mali, where Mujao has a stronghold.
Known in Abalak for his devotion to Niger and its nomadic populations, Jeff runs several development projects among the Tuareg people, focussing on farming, health, literacy, primary school education and access to drinking water.
Source: World Watch Monitor
- Please uphold Jeff in prayer as he faces this time of uncertainty in captivity. May he experience the assuring presence of our Lord. Pray he will soon be recovered.
- Pray for Jeff’s concerned family, friends, colleagues and community members, may they be comforted and granted the peace that surpasses all understanding.
- Pray for those grieving the loss of the two security guards. May the Lord walk closely with them during this time off suffering and loss.
January marked the anniversary of shocking riots that blazed across Niger in 2015 when radicalised Muslim mobs targeted Christian property, burned churches, looted pastors’ homes, and created a picture of hell on earth for the country’s tiny Christian minority.
On 16 and 17 January, angry protests erupted across all of Niger’s major cities, from the capital of Niamey to Maradi, from Zinder to Goure, and beyond, just nine days after the deadly Charlie Hebdo murders in Paris, France.
Today, Christians in Niger are still picking up the pieces. Most churches destroyed one year ago still worshipped this past Sunday under charred and rickety roofs, congregations assembled in semi-permanent shelters, and pastors prepared sermons still without their theological libraries, many of which were lost to looters.
Nigerien Christians continue to face challenges as they experience the reality that Jesus promised that his followers would be hated. Niger stands situated in West Africa amidst a rising climate of Muslim extremism and animosity towards Christians.
Source: International Christian Concern
- Pray for the comfort of friends and family of the victims who were murdered during the Niger attack; pray for their emotional and spiritual healing.
- Praise God for the faithfulness of the Christians in the area who are determined to meet together despite the potential of further opposition.
- Pray for the surviving victims to heal not just in body, but also in mind and spirit; pray they may be proud and courageous witnesses for the Gospel.
NIGER: Christian Community Shattered