Eglise Evangelical de la Republique du Niger
- the Evangelical Church in the Republic of Niger
In this post, I want to show some pictures from a trip Debbie Braaksma and I made to Niger at the end of May, 2012, to visit the PCUSA partner there, the Evangelical Church in the Republic of Niger. Christians in Niger are only 1% of the population, so they are a tiny minority in an overwhelmingly Muslim nation. But the EERN is a vibrant church and joyful church, despite this minority status.
Our first Sunday in Niamey, we worshipped with the university students, who were celebrating a special Sunday, lifting up the gift of women. The entire service -- preaching, praying, singing, was led by the women of the church. This was a bit unusual for the EERN, a church which still restricts ordained ministry to men.
|The young women's choir.|
Over the past ten years, the PCUSA has helped the EERN develop its schools. Through the Presbyterian Hunger Program, wells have been built in underdeveloped rural villages. Currently, we exploring the possibility of helping the church with literacy programs. In a country were the literacy rate is approximately 30%, there is a great need for literacy education.
In some villages, the church's pastors and evangelists are the only people who have received a formal education. Many residents seek them out, asking for literacy instruction. It's a prime opportunity for the church to reach out,
|A typical village school, run by the government of Niger. |
Some buildings are made of mud brick, like the one above.
Others from millet stalks, like the two 'buildings' in the distance below.