Pastoral training brings hope and healing to Niger

By November 7, 2011

Niger (MNN) — As October wound down, a Global Advance team ushered in a new
season of growth in Niger, West Africa.

Islam is the dominant religion, and groups with
strict and aggressive interpretations of it are on the rise. According to "Operation
World," the spiritual effects of folk Islam and demonic oppression are major
hindrances to people coming to Christ.

However, there is encouraging spiritual openness
among its peoples. Within the past few years, the church has seen signs
of growth. Global Advance also noted that
the body of Christ is strategically positioned to cultivate that even more.

There are less than 10,000 Christians in the entire nation and, according to
Global Advance, about 400 churches represent these believers. Outnumbered and under-resourced, church
leaders can get discouraged about the demands of discipleship and the need for
new leaders and training.   

Jason and Anna Holland led the Frontline Shepherds Conference, attended by
some 250 pastors and church leaders from across the country. Some leaders travelled to Niamey from
Diffa, easily an 18-hour bus ride. They were willing to travel the distance because the team was teaching on vision,
faith, church leadership, spiritual gifts, prayer, raising Biblical elders, the
Great Commission, church planting and much more.

Global Advance's Anna Holland led special workshop sessions for pastors'
wives. Along with the wives of some of
the most influential churches in Niamey, the women's team taught over 10 hours
specifically to encourage women to operate in their gifting and callings.

In the end, more than 50 leaders committed to plant a new church in the next
12 months, and nearly 30 committed to go as a missionary to an unreached people
or another nation.

In addition to the conference, the team spent two days ministering in
villages in southwestern Niger. The
team reported some miraculous healing where sight and hearing were restored to
some, among other ailments. The
healings served as a testimony to the non-believing villagers of the power of
Jesus. Keep praying for hearts to
respond to the Gospel.

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