Alliance Justice and Compassion resources and promotes the local and global ministries of The Christian and Missionary Alliance in Canada that seek to bring wholeness and well-being to people made vulnerable by circumstances of poverty, disaster, and injustice. May the stories and thoughts inspire the reader to act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with God.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Inspired by an Eight-Year-Old

I have never met Nathan but when his mom wrote a letter to our office accompanying several cheques from various members of their extended family, I was instantly filled with admiration for this eight-year-old young man.  After Nathan and his parents received the "Friday  Foto" email update from International Worker, Lisa Rohrick, and saw this picture of kids filling the family water jars...
...this B.C. family decided that they wanted to raise money to provide a well for a village in Niger.  Nathan chose to do a swim-a-thon as his contribution to the effort!

Nathan swam 2.4 km in one hour and raised over 1/2 of the $1,900 that they sent in!!

In his mother Cindy's words, "It seemed appropriate - one child swimming in clean water with a heart to provide clean water to those who do not have it!!"  She also expressed that it had been a joyful opportunity for their family to learn more of God's heart for the world.  
Nathan, you and your family have inspired me
and I know what you have done will motivate so many others to care
for those that are less fortunate!! 

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Praying Against the Odds

Niger has one of the highest infant mortality rates; nearly 25% of babies will not live survive until their fifth birthday.  Imagine here in Canada, if we became aware that there was a huge possibility that 1 in 4 babies in our local daycare or our church nursery would die by preventable causes within the next 5 years!  We would do everything within our power (and knowledge!) to ensure that this would never happen. 
Our International Worker's in Niger are building relationships with people for whom this is a reality!  Whether it is lack of knowledge or access to healthcare and proper health facilities, our team is working hard to address the issues with these communities by engaging in initiatives such as community health education, mosquito net distributions, water and sanitation projects, and resourcing local clinics.
Here is an upclose look into a very recent experience of one of our workers.  Lisa Rohrick writes:
Back in January I asked you to pray for Jane who, after ten years of marriage  and at least one miscarriage, told me she was pregnant. This week's happy news is that on Tuesday evening she gave birth to a beautiful baby girl. This picture was taken ten hours later.
I was staying in the village that night and had the privilege of taking Jane to the clinic in the next town. All was dark. The maternity building is being renovated and the little bit of equipment they have (including a birthing bed) was all piled in a corner under a thick layer of dust. The smell of wet cement hung in the air. One of the ladies with us went to find the midwife. She came back alone and asked me to go with her. The presence of a white face brought forth a grumpy midwife. It was deplorable. It's no wonder that Niger is the worst place in the world for mothers--it's amazing that any child leaves that place alive. Thankfully there were no complications and we went home an hour later with mother and baby. The clean-up job was done in front of a campfire by Jane's aunt.
Praise the Lord for giving life! Please pray for this little tyke. She has a battle ahead of her. Nearly 25% of the babies born in Niger don't make it to see their fifth birthday.  Pray that she will not become another of these painful statistics.
Thanks for supporting our workers and their friends with prayer and resources as they seek to bring holistic transformation to communities with such great need! Alongside these practical ministries, we are also committed to loving them through relationship and introducing them to Jesus, the One who came to ...bring Good News to the proclaim that captives will be released, that the blind will see, that the oppressed will be set free... Luke 4.     

Friday, April 20, 2012

Niger Vocational Training Centre - Investing in the Lives of Girls at Risk

Niger is one of the least developed countries in the world. The 2011 United Nations Human Development Index ranked Niger 186 out of 187! Needless to say, there is extreme poverty! One of the implications of this is that girls, even as young as 12 years old, are at risk for early marriage (sold for a dowry price.) Often marrying men already with multiple wives,  leading to early childbirth and abuse. 
In October 2010, we started the Niger Vocational Training Centre for girls at risk.  We currently have 60 girls between the ages of 12 and 19. Parents have to commit to not marrying off their daughter until she completes the two-year program!! 
The curriculum consists of classes in sewing, embroidery, literacy, French language, math, basic business concepts and bookkeeping, health, nutrition and hygiene.

There is also an emphasis on looking at their vision of a good and godly woman, the type of women they want to become, and what they can do to achieve these goals and grow as a person and in self-esteem.   
Providing them with skills and knowledge will increase their own sense of self worth. It will also increase their value in the eyes of their families who will not marry them off as desperately. At the end of the program they will earn their own sewing machine and write a National exam which will give them a certificate of completion for their skills. They will be able to go out with the new skills to make money in order to provide for their future. 
     If you would like to support this ministry, visit the
Alliance website, click on the Donate Now button and designate your gift to the Niger Vocational Training or send a cheque to:
The C&MA,
30 Carrier Drive, Suite 100 Toronto, ON
M9W 5T7
Visit the NVOC Blog for more info: