Population: 17.1 million (2012)
Major religion: Islam
Official language: French
IFES movement: Groupes Bibliques Universitaires du Niger (GBU Niger)
Niger is a desert country, the largest in West Africa and one of the most strongly Islamised states on the continent. Some surveys estimate that 80% of the population is Muslim but it could well be higher. Niger is ranked in the top ten poorest countries in the world.
- 4 universities and many institutes and vocational colleges
- 5 groups in 5 faculties of the national university 9 high schools with groups, 2 regional coordinators
- 1 full-time staff, a group of volunteers
- committed graduate ministry
- largest group at the School of Health Sciences (more than 50 members)
- smallest is a new group at the School of Agronomy (2 members)
The GBU plays a strategic role in the lives of Christian and non-Christians students. For Christian students, the movement trains transformed leaders who are equipped for various ministries, having therefore an impact on the church and the wider society. Christian charities very often call on the GBU to recommend them qualified and competent candidates. These same charities are also hiring their workers among the graduates of the movement.
GBU Niger believes that faith must be put into practice. At a recent camp, high school students were encouraged to think about how they might serve one another, their neighbours and society in a spirit of humility and love. University medical students showed that they are learning this important truth as a group went to serve in a missionary hospital in a rural area of the country. Finances continue to be a major challenge for the movement. However the revival of the Friends (graduates supporters) of GBU Niger has been a note of encouragement.
View from the inside
Abdou Issa is the General Secretary of GBU Niger. John 14:10 is an important verse for him: ‘Don't you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you are not just my own. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work.’
Abdou says, ‘God gave me this verse telling me that he is in control at the time I was considering taking on the role of GBU General Secretary. God was preparing me for this mission.’
- for continued provision of finances;
- for staff to be protected from discouragement, worry and fear as they face these financial challenges;
- for students to continue to grow as disciples of Christ who live out their faith in practical ways.