What Christian Ministry Looks Like in Niger
Ever wonder what a day in the life of a spiritual department co-worker looks like? Surprisingly, it entails more than you might think.
Every morning at 8 am, the CURE Niger Spiritual Department leads a daily chapel service. As patients and co-workers make their way in, the spiritual co-workers begin with an opening prayer, followed by songs of worship and praise. After everyone settles, the service proceeds with a sermon and closes with prayer requests.
After chapel ends and everyone else gets ready for the day, the spiritual team begins spiritual rounds, going from building to building to pray for each co-worker and patient, committing the day’s work into the Lord’s hands.
The spiritual team then splits up, as each member has their own task for the day. Within the spiritual department, each member has a different responsibility. A few women, like Salamatou and Mantou, work with the guesthouse patients, which include children and mothers (the guesthouse houses only girls, small boys, and their female caretakers). They instruct the mothers on how to perform basic household skills and teach them entrepreneurial skills, like how to make small things to either use or sell. These lessons empower single women and enable married women not to be entirely dependent on their husbands.
While these women are being taught, they are being ministered to. The spiritual co-workers talk with the women about Jesus. Sometimes, the co-workers plays games with the children on the playground or inside. They also take time to color and tell the children Bible stories. They follow up the stories by asking the children questions to see how well they understood. Some days, the co-workers teach songs like “Jesus Loves Me” in the patients’ mother tongues.
Not only is the spiritual team here for the patients and their caretakers, but they are here for the co-workers as well. The spiritual team runs a bible study, gathering the CURE Niger co-workers every day for about 30 minutes. Lead by Emmanuel, Bible study attendees read a chapter from the book of Psalms. Then, they discuss the chapter and exchange point of views. Bible study ends with a prayer, and everyone goes back to work!
Weekly, Emmanuel goes from office to office, praying for anyone who needs or wants prayer. Wherever his help is needed, he is ready to give a helping hand.
Since CURE Niger has a 30% Christian staff, the spiritual team is not only here for spiritual reasons. They are here to give assistance and advice. Their ready availability is another form of ministry. The goal is to provide a Christian perspective on whatever situation a person may be going through.
Last but not least, CURE Niger’s spiritual team provides spiritual training for those outside the CURE Niger community. Recently, CURE Niger held a pastor’s sensitization training to help pastors from different parts of Niger identify people in medical or emotional need. Attendees learned how to both help people amid bad emotional situations and also how to refer them to CURE Niger to be taken care of physically.
“After this training, I understood how important it is to be aware of how to talk to people depending on where they are coming from emotionally and physically, which has helped me help a lot of people get out of a bad situation,” said Pastor Hassan.
Pastor Hassan took this training last year and was so encouraged by it he came back for a second training.
Pastor Assouman just completed the training and said, “The training will help me heal people not only emotionally but spiritually, also. The training helped me understand how to talk to people who are emotionally hurt by letting the Holy Spirit work in me to guide them to Christ.”
The spiritual department has a lot of responsibilities that keep them busy; however, witnessing the spiritual growth of their patients, caretakers, and co-workers is an incredibly rewarding task, making “spiritual department member” a job title of which to be proud.