Mission co-workers strive to help one of world’s poorest countries
August 26, 2017
The Evangelical Church in the Republic of Niger welcomed mission co-workers Jim and Jodi McGill and their family to the country in July. The McGills have joined Claire Zuhosky, and Michael and Rachel Ludwig and their children, who have been in Niger since 2014. They have brought with them a wealth of experience, having served as mission co-workers in Malawi for 20 years.
Once they get settled in and oriented to the language and culture, Jim will begin work with the development department of the EERN (the French acronym by which the church is known), helping them in the areas of water, sanitation and hygiene. Jodi will begin work with the church’s health clinics and newly established nursing school, using her training in both nursing and public health.
Niger is one of the poorest countries in the world. The literacy rate is about 40 percent for men and 20 percent for women. There is an especially high rate of infant and maternal mortality. The church sees its work in water, sanitation and health as one strategic way to improve the well-being of people in the country.
There are many factors that make Niger a challenging environment in which to work. Many days of the year, the temperature exceeds 110 degrees Fahrenheit. Although the Christian community is having a positive effect, they are less than 1 percent of the population in an overwhelmingly Muslim country and it can be difficult for them to have a widespread impact.
Furthermore, troubles with Boko Haram in neighboring Nigeria have forced refugees into Niger. The country has also become a layover point for African migrants traveling across the Sahara Desert to Libya, who then attempt the dangerous journey across the Mediterranean to Italy. These external factors have put a strain on the country.
Please pray for the church in Niger, that they can provide health and well-being to the citizens of their country, and for the Presbyterian Church (USA) mission co-workers who will be joining them in this work.
Support for the EERN can be given at presbyterianmission.org/donate/E051746.
More information about the McGills, Claire Zuhosky and the Ludwigs can be found at presbyterianmission.org/ministries/global/niger.
Josh Heikkila, West Africa Regional Liaison
Today’s Focus: Niger
Let us join in prayer for:
PC(USA) Mission Co-Workers
PC(USA) Agencies’ Staff
Let us pray:
You are the source of living water, O Lord. We pray that wells dug in Niger will flow with life, that Moringa trees will be nurtured and that your children will be fed. Let the wilderness and dry lands be glad; may the desert blossom. Amen.