Africa Mission Report: Southern Africa and Nigeria

Jan 08, 2003 12:14 PM EST

Southern Africa -- The hunger crises in Africa explodes to a staggering 18 million at risk of starvation in seven south African countries. World Vision's Carla Andersen says they are providing for urgent needs, but need more help to solve the problem.

"Our development activities include distribution of seeds and tools. We also work a lot with the people to educate them about techniques in planting, crop rotations, better irrigation systems and helping them to recover from the problem so that it won't continue in the coming years."

Andersen mentioned evangelistic outreach opportunities in the region.

"We carry out our activities as an extension of Christ's love, and we also partner with many Christian organizations in all the countries where we work as well as the local churches and we provide all of our relief and development activities without any discrimination."

Nigeria -- Sectarian fighting has resulted in many casualties in Nigeria, where Christians live under rising persecution under a full Islamic law government.

Baptist World Alliance's Denton Lotz commented, "There's an underlying rivalry, almost, between these two groups, and that's unfortunate. The Christians in Nigeria and the responsible Muslim leaders have come together and said 'this isn't right."

However, Lotz says, the church continues to grow.

"There's a tremendous response to the Gospel, partially because they've been living in such desperate times. Here it's an oil-producing country, but they've had oil shortages. There's a real disparity between the rich and the poor and between those who have and those who do not have, and so, the Gospel come in as a moderating force and it gives people hope."

Lotz said the Alliance encourages Nigerian Christians by helping to fix some of the destruction wreaked in the recent riots.

By Pauline C.