From cattle to Christ

By April 7, 2009

Nigeria (MNN) — What do one veterinarian, hundreds of needy people and thousands of cattle have in common? Believe it or not, the Good News of Jesus Christ.

An SIM International missionary, who for security purposes will be called "Denise," works in Nigeria using her skills as a veterinarian to lead people to Christ. "I have the opportunity to share the good news of God through the skills He's given me," says Denise.

The Fulani people of Nigeria come to Denise with their cattle so she can vaccinate them. After the process is over, those she has helped often invite her into their homes where she sits with them and begins to build relationships. This environment provides opportunities for Denise to share the Gospel.

"In those cultures, it's a very natural thing to talk about God," says Denise. "So we talk about their feelings and thoughts of who God is and what their needs are, and we get the opportunity to share who Jesus Christ is."

This ministry has been taking place for twenty years now. Denise has created lasting relationships and become a mentor and friend to many of the Fulani. A school has been created for people she has helped, and discipleship programs are in place.

There is a need to help people once they have learned to trust in Christ in Nigeria. The country is strongly divided between Islam and Christianity, and those who follow Islam are becoming more aggressive toward Christians in Nigeria, according to Denise. There is more pressure on those who choose to follow Christ, from the community, but especially from relatives.

As a result, Denise has worked hard to be sure that those who do come to faith are given proper care. "We take in those that have become new believers when their society has rejected them, and we help them to get educated and move into society and move into [becoming] pastors. It's really a wonderful thing we have at our place."

The people that come for this kind of help typically have very little or no resources at all. SIM now has the opportunity to build a discipleship building to support those who are in need, and they would love for you to get involved. To help SIM, click here.

In the meantime, please pray for believers who are ostracized in Nigeria. Pray for Denise's ministry to the Fulani and for their hearts to be open to the Lord.

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