|Journeyman missionary Nate Gunter works among the Tuareg people in Niger. Gunter spends much of his time speaking with fellow villagers and developing relationships with the Tuareg people. |
BANKILARE, Niger (BP)--Villagers stand in a small huddle around a stack of 50-kilogram bags of rice, speaking the Tamashek language in heated tones.
“This is the hardest part,” Nate Gunter, a journeyman missionary working in Bankilare, Niger, said. “They’re saying it’s just not enough.”
After working among the Tuareg people group in a bush village for two years, Gunter said he became accustomed to people begging for food, medicine and money. It wasn’t until he returned from a three-week conference in July 2005 that Gunter said he realized the despondency of the situation.
|Nate Gunter, an IMB Journeyman, initiated famine relief efforts in Niger, and continues to work closely with Niamey partners to distribute rice to those villages that are in the greatest need. |
“I started asking around town and found out that some people out in the bush encampment areas had already died from hunger,” Gunter said. “Many were sick. Many had been eating grass for a couple of months and had developed sicknesses related to nutrition. It was at that point I came back to Niamey and met with my supervisors and said, ‘We need to do something about this.’”
During his senior year at Hannibal-LaGrange College in Hannibal, Mo., Gunter struggled with the decision of how to use his college degree. While juggling the demands of classes, ministry and work, Gunter said he contemplated everything from church work to seminary to military service.