In November, I will be traveling to Jos, Nigeria with a group of 18 others. As of right now, I’m still not entirely sure what I’ll be doing out there, which is why the details here have been non-existent. They will come shortly, and I promise to update you. For now, here is some info on Nigeria:
From Wikipedia: Nigeria, officially named the Federal Republic of Nigeria, is a federal constitutional republic comprising thirty-six states and one Federal Capital Territory. The country is located in West Africaborders with the Republic of Benin in the west, Chad and Cameroon in the east, and Niger in the north. Its coast lies on the Gulf of Guinea, part of the Atlantic Ocean, in the south. The capital city is Abuja. and shares land
Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa and the eighth most populous country in the world with a population of over 140 million. It is a regional power and it is also listed among the “Next Eleven” economies. The economy of Nigeria is one of the fastest growing in the world with the International Monetary Fund projecting a growth of 9% in 2008 and 8.3% in 2009.
From Sending in Mission: Nigeria is Africa’s most populous nation with 140 million people, and is one of its most influential countries. Though the country is rich in natural resources, most Nigerians are in economic distress. About 470 languages are spoken in Nigeria. English is the official language. The constitution guarantees religious freedom.
The founders of the “Soudan Interior Mission” arrived in 1893, called to reach Nigeria’s far north with the Gospel. Not until the late 1930s, however, was missionary work permitted in this area. A center was established in central Nigeria in 1902. Since then, SIM has worked in over 30 Nigerian language groups. The Evangelical Church of West Africa (ECWA), growing out of SIM’s work, claims more than 6,000,000 worshippers. The church is engaged in theological education, medical work, radio, publishing, rural development, urban ministries, and cross-cultural missions. Over 1,600 missionaries from ECWA churches serve with ECWA’s Evangelical Missionary Society (EMS), both within and outside Nigeria.
SIM Nigeria’s goals include increasing the numbers of adequately supported Nigerian missionaries and motivating believers to get involved in evangelism. We seek ways to increase the number of pastors and church members who are involved in effective discipleship within their congregations. Increasing the numbers of competent Nigerian health workers committed to compassionate evangelistic witness is a goal, as is supporting the church’s involvement in care for the suffering and marginalized, especially among AIDS patients and orphans. Finally, we are developing our capacity to support Nigerian missionaries.
In recent years our work in Nigeria’s far north has been neglected. We now wish to expand our SIM base there, to assist and support the work of the church in evangelism and discipleship. This is a challenge, given the area’s climate and deeply Islamic traditions.
While we aren’t going over with SIM, we will be working closely with their ministries in Nigeria. For those of you who care and have the time, there is a 20 minute video on what they’re doing out there.