“We share our food. It’s what we do. We can’t let them go hungry.” The men of the cooperative explained why they had so many loans. The elderly, the homeless, and orphans come under their care. As long as there’s room, Tuaregs welcome family. They themselves were forced into urbanization as livestock dwindled, afflicted by everything from disease and desertification to flash floods that decimated herds at a time. It’s difficult not to admire their courage and their gentle tenacious love for family members.
We have worked with the cooperative since its formation five years ago. The interest-free loans, cereal banks, hut improvement, and sheep programs, they say, have given them hope. Slowly, some have become more open and perhaps even eager to receive God’s Word when we share it.
Why do we work in Niger? Because though we love our own family members dearly – and God knows just how dearly – our love is not simply for those who are near or close. Because only 200 of the 2.1 million Tuaregs in Niger1 follow Christ – like having 400 believers in all of Alberta. Because as the Alliance, we know that “Jesus is the hope of the world, and thus, he needs to be declared and demonstrated in all parts of the world”.2 In a posture of hunger and humility, we pray for Holy Spirit power each day to share Jesus in his fullness as we are called to do. We will take the risk to go and to bless because we cannot help but try to give “every human being in the present generation a chance for salvation.”3
We ask for the Spirit. We share Christ. It’s what we do. “That everyone who believes in him may have eternal life.” (John 3:15).
1 The World Factbook 2018. Washington, DC: Central Intelligence Agency, 2018.
2 Pyles, Franklin & Beach, Lee. (2016). The Whole Gospel for the Whole World: Experiencing the Fourfold Gospel Today. Pickwick Publications, p. 106.
3 Simpson, A.B. (1925). Missionary Messages. Christian Alliance Publishing Company.
This story is taken from the Fall 2018 Alliance Connection magazine. You can get a free copy of the Alliance Connection at Alliance churches across Canada or view the digital copy online. We hope you will be encouraged and inspired to go deeper in Jesus and as a result, further on mission.