As you would expect, church services look much different here in Niger than in my home country. As in every part of the world, culture and tradition strongly influence life, including the way a group of people choose to celebrate their faith together. I thought I would share a glimpse of some of the worship services that we’ve experienced.
Our family has participated in church life here since 2017, because our work has been to support and strengthen existing communities of believers. Our two sons were even baptized here in a local church in 2019! We have the privilege of being in relationship with several pastors in different congregations, and this helps us to have a broad understanding of culture and faith in this country.
Some services are three or four hours long, and some are just two hours. In every service we’ve attended, without exception, singing and dancing have been paramount!
Andy (my husband) says that in these services he is afraid they might invite him into the dance circle. Ha ha! That has happened to me before, and it is definitely intimidating – especially with my own lack of rhythm!
Most churches here are quite small, having less than 50 people, including children. But there are some churches, like the one pictured above, with 100-200 people who attend regularly. Even so, Christianity is less than 1% of the population.
Many churches here sing and preach in more than one language. French is the official national language, however it is the second language for nearly everyone. (Including us!)
This was definitely just a quick glimpse! There is so much more to church life here – choirs, baptisms, skits, congregational memory verses, women’s month, teen month, potlucks, prayer meetings, special seminars and retreats. Of course, all of these things have their own Nigèrien flair!
I wonder what style of worship services you enjoy?
Would YOU like to get up and dance?