Where a door closes in the Ivory Coast, new opportunities abound elsewhere.

By March 14, 2005

Niger (MNN)–Ivory Coast rebels are bracing for another attack as government forces raided Loguale, one of their positions. Civilians fled the area and sought refuge in the government-held town of Duekoue.

Although there were high hopes a peace accord would hold, the Ivory Coast’s continued turmoil forced missionaries to leave the International Christian Academy in November 2004. The second evacuation in two years, it seemed that this time, Evangelical Baptist Mission families were going for good.

Paul Jackson is with EBM: “I know doors close sometimes, but, boy, it is exciting to see what God can do in terms of opening up other doors of opportunity, and we’re really walking through that experience right now!”

Today, he says, most of those Ivory Coast families have re-located in Niger’s capital city of Niamey (nee-AH-may). Jackson says that’s where they have found ministry. “Some of our folks are going to be continuing in training of MK’s. We have an elementary school in Niger. Probably 90-percent of those children come from Muslim families. It is an incredible opportunity for evangelism. We are now broadcasting an hour and a half a day on public radio, we’ve had opportunities on Nigerien TV to present evangelistic programs.”

Jackson explains that it’s like a homecoming. EBM’s roots go back to Niger in 1930. In Niamey, the first teams translated much of the New Testament into the Zarma language (the second largest peole group in Niger) which has since been revised and is now in printed form. The Old Testament has also been translated into Zarma and is now available.

Although Islam is the principal religion, it is superficial to many. EBM’s work in Niger include bush evangelism, church planting, literature distribution, literacy programs, an elementary school, Bible translation, a radio ministry and an evening Bible school.

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