Nigeria Native Missionaries Rebuilding After Violent Storm In Tense Region

Monday, May 21, 2007

By BosNewsLife News Center

ABUJA, NIGERIA (BosNewsLife) -- Native Christian missionaries in one of the most remote and religiously tense areas of Nigeria continued their activities Friday, May 18, amid reports that a violent storm destroyed an entire community.

"We had a serious disaster caused by a violent wind storm. It devastated the entire community, leaving half the people without a home. One mission building, housing eight missionaries and the school for the children of the Koma people were blown down by the night-time disaster," said Gabriel Barau, an indigenous ministry leader, in a statement obtained by BosNewsLife.

He is among workers of the group Missionary Crusaders Ministries (MCM) which has been working in northern and central parts of eastern Nigeria, despite reports of activities by Muslim militants in the region.

"The Koma people, a group the ministry discovered and where the storm happened, was not even known by government officials," confirmed Christian Aid Mission (CAM), which represents native missionaries.

PLANTING CHURCHES

"MCM has planted over 40 churches among them [and] some of the new believers attend a school of missions, where they receive training in discipleship and evangelism before returning to their people to spread the Gospel," CAM told BosNewsLife, without mentioning specific areas, apparently for security concerns.

"We need immediate assistance...the rains are already falling and we need to build something immediately to shelter the missionaries," Barau stressed.

"They have no place else to stay." CAM said one large house can be build for about $2600 while another $600 was needed for lost properties, huge amounts for many people in impoverished Nigeria.

FIELD VISIT

CAM President Axel Lanausse told BosNewsLife he had "personally visited this very same field," a few years ago. "I slept in one of those multi-use buildings. The field is located in an isolated and remote area, extremely far away from the ministry base. I know how important these buildings are to the ministry."

Besides Koma, native missionaries also reach Verre, Kona, Minda, Dirim, Jibu, and Fulani people, missionaries said. "These people groups are all in many ways remain removed from the rest of the world. They live in isolation among the hills or other remote areas; some are even nomadic" CAM added.

CAM said it can be reached for information on donations and missionaries via email: insider@christianaid.org (With BosNewsLife's Stefan J. Bos and BosNewsLife reporting).

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