Life in nigeria:
- TOTAL POPULATION: 177,934,000
- UNREACHED POPULATION: 59,743,000
- NUMBER OF PEOPLE GROUPS: 529
- PEOPLE GROUPS UNREACHED: 112
- 19.8 % EVANGELICAL
- OFFICIAL LANGUAGE: English
The bloodiest Islamic terror organization in West Africa––called Boko Haram, which means “western education is sin”––wages a holy war in northern Nigeria against Christians and the national government. In 2012, Boko Haram demanded the Christian minority of northern Nigeria “take off for the south as quickly as possible or expect to be killed at any moment.”
Northern Nigeria is one of the most dangerous regions in the world for Christians. Churches are destroyed by mobs or torn down by the government; building applications for new churches are processed slowly or turned down. For three intense years, the Boko Haram has terrorized northern Nigeria, assassinating Christian leaders, burning their homes and church buildings, ravaging farmlands and harvests. Boko Haram initiated a new wave of violence in 2012 called, “Revolt against the infidels.” Since then, more than 12,000 have been killed.
Christian churches, public markets, and homes are prime targets for bombings. The U.S. Commission for International Religious Freedom reported in 2013, Boko Haram usually attack during worship services at peak times and in public places to maximize casualties. Attacks in Nigeria from recent years included: forty-five killed by a bombing during a worship service in Kano; more than 300 schoolgirls in Chibok abducted; twin bombings carried out in a bus terminal and market in Jos with more than 100 killed; militants dressed as soldiers killed at least 200 in Danjara, Agapalwa, and Antagara. Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan declared a state of emergency in three northern states where Boko Haram are most active, with new attacks being reported almost every day.
In the midst of this turmoil, many of the 80 million Muslims in northern Nigeria are illiterate. Though Nigeria is the biggest oil-producing country in Africa, most live in severe poverty, lacking basic food, water, and education.
our work IN NIGERIA:
COH has worked in northern Nigeria for over 28 years. In the mid-1980s, COH's Gospel literature and farmer evangelism efforts began in Nigeria. Since 2006, millions of Muslims across northern Nigeria hear COH Gospel radio programs in the Hausa and Fulfulde languages nine times each week broadcast from nine government-owned, Muslim-operated radio stations!
COH produces and distributes literature in English and Hausa. COH also helps Muslim-background believers whose homes have been burned––replacing Bibles and songbooks; providing safe houses, clothing, seed to farmers, and small grants to business owners for opening new shops.
Our 35 farmer evangelists are trained in agriculture and Christian ministry to go into hostile areas controlled by Boko Haram. Together with their wives and children, they move into remote Muslim villages in completely undeveloped regions without running water or electricity. These coworkers teach farming techniques in remote northern Muslim villages, which yield abundant crops. Persecuted Christians are provided initial seeds and taught how to grow food for their families.
As Muslim neighbors notice their crop yields, our farmer evangelists plant seeds of the Gospel. The very Muslims, who murdered their family members and destroyed their homes, ask the Christians for help. Often questions about fertilizer lead to conversation about Jesus Christ. Our coworkers teach farming techniques to these Muslim families, which opens a wide door to proclaim the forgiveness that is only available in Christ.
As more Muslim villagers receive Christ, they are also persecuted. Children from Christian families are not allowed to attend local Muslim schools. Many Christians cannot afford private education for their children. Thus, Brother Saleh started a “goat project” for Muslim-background believers. Children receive a goat and finance their school books and uniforms by selling milk and baby goats; nourishing milk also improves their health. Christian families began giving baby goats to their poor Muslim neighbors. As these Muslims experience practical Christian love, many come to faith in Jesus.
A great spiritual harvest is being reaped in northern Nigera. As Muslims come to faith in Christ, church huts are constructed as meeting places for prayer, worship, and Bible study.
- Fifty-million Hausa-speaking Muslims hear Gospel radio programs in their mother tongue.
- Nine weekly radio shows are broadcast in two languages over nine stations.
- Our radio evangelists receive calls and texts from hundreds of interested Muslims.
- In three years, forty-one Muslims in the Kano area alone came to faith in Jesus through COH radio.
- Over 5,000 Bibles and songbooks, clothing, and farming supplies have been distributed to persecuted Christians.
- Ten young Christian converts, six men and four women, participated in a Hausa training on reaching Muslims for Christ.
- Around 2,000 families with an average of 5 people per household received Bibles and literature.
- Agricultural supplies were given to 300 family farms in the Borno state.
- Bro. Saleh and thirty-five farmer evangelists committed to befriend 100 Muslims each in 2012. These friendships yielded opportunities to share the Gospel, and many now attend church––hungry to know Jesus more.
In the nation of Nigeria, bloody conflicts and violence are breaking out on a regular basis. Christians in the area experience extreme persecution – their houses are burnt to the ground, they are robbed and many of them have been killed for their faith. Even in midst of such turmoil, God is using frontline workers in unique ways to plant churches and bring Muslims to a saving knowledge of Christ.
Calls of Hope’s farmer evangelists are very experienced in agricultural techniques and they use their talents as a means to start a conversation about Jesus with their neighbors. The evangelists begin by planting crops on a leased plot of land, as the crops begin to grow, nearby villagers take notice of the success that these farmers are having, thus a conversation begins. Curiosity about fertilizer and farming methods leads to relational evangelism and the presentation of the gospel message to Muslim farmers. When enough people in a village have accepted Christ and grown in their faith, a church is established in the area and farmer evangelists are sent out to other nearby villages to start the process again.
The goat project
Village life is often hard in Africa. The daily struggle for sustenance is severely compounded when former Muslims become Christians. Shunned by those around them after conversion, these poor families are marginalized and suffer greatly because of their faith in Christ. Knowing this prompted Call of Hope to introduce a practical ministry to help these new believers who are not even able to afford to send their children to school. It has come to be known as the Goat Project. Once neighboring Muslims witnessed the success of the program, they began asking for goats as well. Call of Hope then began including Muslim children in the program, which offered a new opportunity to share the love and Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Through the Goat Project, each child is provided with a female goat, school uniforms, shoes,a school bag, books and pens/ pencils. The female goats are given to children to raise with the hope and expectation that the goats will multiply and the offspring will be sold to provide for their school needs
By making a way for these children to receive an education, Call of Hope is building a bridge for whole villages to see the love of Jesus as demonstrated by His people; and to learn how they too can have a life giving relationship with Christ. The Goat Project provides a path for children to go to school, and families to be lifted out of poverty. Because of this gift, Call of Hope workers interact freely with families and have an openness that allows them to explain God’s love and compassion for them.
Since its inception, the Goat Project has provided nearly 10,000 goats to marginalized children in rural areas of Ghana, Nigeria and even Kenya. This project has supported many new believers and has also opened wide the door for the Gospel to penetrate heavily Muslim areas by demonstrating God’s tangible love to children and families! Through the love shown, many Muslims have come to a saving faith in Jesus Christ.
For just $60 USD, you can mightily bless a poor family in West Africa and build a bridge to reaching them with the gospel of Jesus Christ!