In January 2015, Rev. Soumaila Labo, pastor of an Evangelical Church of Niger (EERN) congregation in Niamey, was at the church when he saw a small group of young Muslims turn off the water source to the building. They then threw burning materials onto the building and watched as the structure was totally destroyed.
Labo, his wife, and their four children lost everything when their adjacent home was also destroyed in the fire.
Church members responded peacefully to the arson, calling for justice but not vengeance. While the community expected anger, the church demonstrated an attitude of forgiveness.
“We’ve seen good come out of this evil,” reported Rev. Kurt Selles, director of Back to God Ministries International.
Selles and ministry partners from Words of Hope met with church and community leaders in Niger last December. They explored ways they can work together to share the gospel with people in this country through media.
Niger is a poor country in West Africa. Its economy depends largely on agriculture. Islam is the dominant religion practiced by 94 percent of the population.
“We are looking to the expansion of our French media ministry in Niger. Back to God Ministries would come alongside the local church to provide long-term sustainable ministry,” Selles added.
The EERN already has some broadcast ministry in urban areas. BTGMI is looking to partner with Rev. Labo to head up the new ministry in Niger.
Labo, who studied and taught at a Bible college in Niger, has since moved to Maradi, the third-largest city in Niger. He has a heart for reaching out in urban areas and is working as the director of the Christian broadcast studio in Maradi.
“Please pray that God will provide both the means and opportunity to start our media outreach partnership in Niger,” said Selles.
About the Author
Nancy Vander Meer is a staff writer with Back to God Ministries International in Grand Rapids, Mich.