On Monday afternoon, February 23, the General Board of the Church of the Nazarene unanimously approved the denomination entering four more countries. With these additions, the Church of the Nazarene is officially active in 155 world areas.
The four new countries of work include:Guinea-Conakry
Located in West Africa, Guinea-Conakry's Atlantic coast borders Guinea-Bissau to the north and Sierra Leone to the south. The inland portion neighbors Senegal to the north, Mali to the north and northeast, Côte d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast) to the southeast, and Liberia to the south.
DjeDje Yao Clement, who serves as assistant to the district superintendent, personally helped to open the work of the Church of the Nazarene in Guinea-Conakry. This was done with the help of faithful Guinean church members of the Andokoi church on the Cote d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast) South District.
The work was launched in the town of Nzérékoré in a remote part of the country. A congregation with 30 members was organized in March 2008 after DjeDje had spent a week there in leadership and membership training. The church sent the pastor for training through the Nazarene Theological Institute and he has a great vision for expansion in the rest of the country.
A delegation had visited the capital of Conakry, located on the coast, to see what needed to be done to officially register the church in this French-speaking nation. Niger
Niger is a landlocked country located in Western Africa. It borders Nigeria and Benin to the south, Burkina Faso and Mali to the west, Algeria and Libya to the north and Chad to the east.
The work of the Church of the Nazarene started in Niger in 2006 as an expansion of the work in Northern Benin. As a result of the evangelistic zeal of the Beninois leaders, the message of Holiness was carried across the border into the towns of Gaya, Dosso, and the capital of Niamey.
Two small communities of faith have been meeting in the Gaya and Dosso area and one in Niamey. They have national leaders who have been regularly mentored and taught by members of the Benin leadership team. This team has made frequent trips into Niger to encourage, teach, and challenge the church to persevere in what has proved to be extremely difficult conditions.
To meet publicly, the church received a temporary recognition as a religious association under the name "EGLISE DU NAZAREEN". Official recognition by the International church gives credibility to the work and will enable it to more strategically pursue the opening of the work and the formation of its leaders. Moldova
Moldova, officially the Republic of Moldova (Republica Moldova) is a landlocked country in Eastern Europe, located between Romania to the west and Ukraine to the north, east, and south.
In the spring of 2006, some of the church's rehabilitation individuals from Vinnitsa contacted some of their former comrades from their earlier drug lives that lived in Moldova. They began to evangelize them, share the love of Christ, and share that there was a way out of the swamp these individuals lived in. As a result, a request was given for the Church to enter Moldova, start a ministry of spiritual growth, and see how the Lord would direct as to what ministries the church would get involved in.
Currently, the Eurasia Region has a couple serving in Moldova, Sergay and Irina Talalay. Sergay is from the Ukraine and his wife, Irina, is from Russia. They have been there since early spring of 2008 and have an apartment and good working relationship with the Pentecostal Union, which has helped the church get started in Moldova. Sergay and Irina live and concentrate most of their work in Kishenov, the capital city, and have made contacts with other mission agencies as well as denominations working there. They have a small home group that meets weekly and a good group of children that they meet with twice a week.
For the 2004 census, Eastern Orthodox Christians, who make up over 90 percent of Moldova's population, were not required to declare the particular church they belong to. The Moldovan Orthodox Church, autonomous and subordinated to the Russian Orthodox Church, and the Orthodox Church of Bessarabia, autonomous and subordinated to the Romanian Orthodox Church, both claim to be the national church of the country.
The Constitution of Moldova, as well as all Moldovan laws, declares the Moldovan language to be the state language. Ukrainian, Russian, and Gaguaz are also spoken here. Noteable is the fact the Declaration of Indepenence of the Republic of Moldova names "Romanian" as the state language.Norway
Norway comprises the western part of Scandinavia in Northern Europe. The rugged coastline, broken by huge fjords and thousands of islands, stretches over 2,500 km and over 83,000 km including the fjords and islands. Norway shares a 2,542 km land border with Sweden, Finland, and Russia to the east. To the west and south, Norway is bordered by the Norwegian Sea, the North Sea, and Skagerak. The Barents Sea washes on Norway's northern coasts. At 385,252 km, Norway is slightly larger than Germany, but, unlike Germany, much of the country is dominated by mountainous or high terrain, with a great variety of natural features caused by glaciers.
The Church of the Nazarene entered Norway in 2003, when Jorge Rocha and his family moved to the Oslo area because they felt called to serve there. They started a Portuguese speaking church among the many contacts they had who were working in Oslo.
Jorge Rocha has the heart of an evangelist and has led many to the Lord in his time in Norway. He and his church leadership team have spent hundreds of hours in government offices writing and delivering paperwork. Thanks to their diligence, the Church of the Nazarene is now registered and recognized by the Norwegian Government.
Nearly 83 percent of Norwegians are members of the State Church of Norway, to which they are registered at baptism. Many remain in the State Church to be able to use services such as baptism, confirmation, marriage and burial rites which have strong cultural standing in Norway. Up to 40 percent of the membership attends church or religious meetings during a year, with fewer attending regularly.
Approximately 95 percent of the population speaks Norwegian as their native tongue, although many speak dialects that may differe significantly from the written language.
--NCN News, World Mission Department