West Africa (based in Nigeria)
Working with fellow Christian educators in West Africa and North America, Christian Reformed World Missions’ vision is to bring transformation within the education system in West Africa, one opportunity at a time.
Education in West Africa can be a very discouraging picture. Teaching is not a valued profession and many people have become teachers as a last resort. Teaching methods remain much as they were 70 years ago and few Christian teachers and administrators have had training on integrating faith into their curriculum. Despite this, many teachers and schools are opening their doors for meaningful dialogue and discussions. As more opportunities arise for these exchanges, Christians are envisioning how the biblical world view can impact lives and communities in Africa.
Christian Education ministry in Africa has many opportunities:
- Teacher continuing education
- Curriculum development
- Dialoguing with Christian schools throughout West Africa
- Mentoring and encouraging key leaders/administrators
- Participating in African and worldwide discussions of Christian education
- Connecting with churches and schools in North America to be involved in this movement
Ministry in West Africa
The West Africa region consists of 15 countries from Senegal to Nigeria that formed a regional community in 1975. Prior to 1960, nearly all the countries were British or French colonies. The colonial period’s influence is still evident in many of the countries’ national languages and educational approaches. The region’s 260 million people are also shaped by Christian, Muslim, and African traditional religions. Most people identify themselves as either Christian or Muslim but many continue to be influenced by traditional beliefs. Religious freedom has been growing in many West African nations, opening up opportunities for Christian ministry and perhaps spurring the Church’s recent rapid growth in West Africa. Still, with some of the world’s lowest levels of income, literacy and life expectancy, the region faces significant challenges. People are increasingly putting their hope in education to meet these challenges.
After teaching for several years in North America, I worked in international and missionary school settings within Nigeria for six years. In 2008, I accepted a full-time position with Christian Reformed World Missions as its Educational Consultant for West Africa. God has given me a passion for the people and culture of Nigeria.
Through my own experiences, I have seen God giving His people a hunger and thirst for what it means to serve Him with excellence. Now God is calling me to work with people in addressing the opportunities arising within the national school systems. I am especially passionate about:
- Working alongside teachers, exploring what it means to live and teach from a biblical worldview.
- The opportunity to reach beyond one classroom by working alongside West African teachers who are hungry to learn and make changes in their schools and systems.
You can help support the ministries Sheila is engaged in. Click on Canada or USA to find out more or to donate.
Educational Care Training of Trainers - Canada / USA
Teacher Resources - Canada / USA
I praise God for His work around the world and the privilege of serving Him. Thank you for your prayers, generosity and support for my ministry with Christian Reformed World Missions. Together, by God's grace, our efforts are transforming lives and communities worldwide. Thank you.