Reaching the “Core North”
22 September 2008
“O, Core North of Nigeria (the Hausa, Fulani, Kanuri people), I have posted watchmen (ECWA church members) on your walls; they will pray to the Lord day and night for the fulfillment of his promises. Take no rest, all you who pray. Give the Lord no rest until he makes the Core North of Nigeria the object of praise throughout the earth.”
With this paraphrase of Isaiah 62:6,7, Christian leaders in the northern districts of the Evangelical Church of West Africa (ECWA) declared a fresh impetus to evangelize northern Nigeria, which is still dominated by a different majority religion.
Spreading the Gospel in this region was the objective of the SIM founders, but decades passed before they were even permitted to go there, and the response was slow. There are, however, numerous ECWA congregations scattered throughout the far north, and some of the larger urban churches have organized round-the-clock prayer for a surge of Christ-followers from all the people groups in the area.
SIM is partnering with ECWA in this renewed outreach, primarily by providing training for the Nigerian Christians who are motivated to share Christ with their neighbors. Tom and Heidi Jessurun have been living in a major city in Nigeria’s far north, training local believers in the Bible and Christian living. Terry and Sue Hammack, veterans of 14 years of ministry in the north, have recently moved back there after serving several years in the SIM office further south. They have renovated a large garage to serve as a classroom and resource center for ECWA pastors and missionaries serving in the surrounding region.
EMS Hostel MInistry
ECWA’s Evangelical Missionary Society (EMS) sends missionaries to work in the Core North. In many cases, their assignments are so rural or their living situations so fragile that their children need to live in a hostel back in Jos (in the South).
Here caring Christians, working with a minimal budget, provide housing, meals, school fees, hugs, fun, and Christian training for children who are participating in the sacrificial lifestyles of their missionary parents.