How the Council Works
The Nigeria Faithful Works (NFW) Council meets as needed, usually twice a year, in various locations. The agenda includes updates and planning for future projects. The Council’s intention is to make decisions after all points of view have been heard. Requests come to the Council from our partners in Nigeria. Donations to fund projects come from friends of Nigeria — missionaries, missionary kids (MKs), their relatives and friends, churches, and other groups. Donations are tax-exempt and go directly to projects in Nigeria. Since Council members serve as volunteers, administrative costs are low.
Nigeria is dear to my heart. I feel so blessed to have been born there and to have spent the majority of my childhood there. Ogbomoso is the city of my birth but we lived in Osogbo, Igede—Ikiti and Jos, where I attended Hillcrest High School. Currently I live in the New Orleans area and work as a surgical assistant to an orthopedic surgeon. The cultural diversity of the city allows me to enjoy many different festivals and events. Frequently I eat delicious food at the local African Restaurant, where I am reminded of my homeland. Serving on the council of NFW has afforded me the opportunity to embrace the possibility of making a difference in the lives of people who have made such an impact on my family and friends.
I first went to Nigeria in 1955 at the age of 3, and it was my home until I graduated from Hillcrest School in 1970. I visited again in 1972, just before my wedding, and in 1982 and 1988 when I was a missionary in Francophone West Africa. After my parents and in-laws (Don and Ina Frazier) retired as missionaries in 1990 I concentrated on my work in Burkina Faso and Niger and Nigeria receded into the background until I was asked in 2003 to supervise IMB missionaries in Nigeria from my base in Niger Republic. For the next five years my wife Gail and I were frequently in Nigeria (mainly in the north) for extended periods, always traveling by car, and came once again to love and appreciate the country of our childhoods. We came to appreciate afresh the contributions our parents and others had made, and to value highly the efforts and initiative of the Nigerians themselves. We retired in 2014 (after a final 4 years’ service in Montreal, Canada) and it is a privilege for me to join forces with others who have a special connection to our beloved Nigeria in helping to supply human needs, inspire further initiative, and encourage the efforts of the great people of Nigeria.
My many ties to Nigeria and Nigerians have been a valuable part of my life. As a child I lived in Ogbomoso, Saki, Kaduna, Kontagora and Osogbo. After college I was a teacher in Osogbo for two years. In 2007 I attended the 100th anniversary of the hospital in Ogbomoso and visited other cities as well, re-establishing ties with special lifelong friends and making new friends, too. It has been very gratifying to serve on the NFW council, building relationships with Nigerian partners and working with them on projects that provide practical solutions to challenging problems. I live in Blacksburg, Virginia with my wife, and retired after a career with the Red Cross and the YMCA.
I was born in the town of Joinkrama in the eastern part of Nigeria known today as Rivers State. My family lived there only one year before moving to Oyo for language school, and then on to Ogbomoso. Both of my parents worked at the Baptist Hospital which is now Bowen University Teaching Hospital. My physician father saw patients and my nurse mother worked as the operating room supervisor. All of my childhood memories are from Ogbomoso. These memories are wonderful, my time there was blessed, and I treasure the fact that I was a child of Nigeria. I have a great love for the people and am honored to be a part of NFW and all this organization does for this my beloved homeland.
Like many American/Nigerian MKs, I am omo Ogbomoso (child of Ogbomoso). Nigeria—where I spent most of my girlhood, in Ogbomoso, Oshogbo, and Eku—is the sweetest earth to me. I was very sick for a time ten years ago and made a promise to go home if I lived. I made the commitment in part because I had written a book and claimed Nigeria as home. I thought I should make good on my claim. The two lasting impressions I gained were of great needs for basic necessities in Nigeria and the enduring graciousness of Nigerian people, though life for the majority is exceedingly difficult. Other MKs have made NFW work and I am ever grateful to them. NFW is church for me, a community through which I affirm my faith in the family of God. It is also a tutorial in my parents (Lloyd and Anne Neils) lives, as I work with others, negotiating priorities, learning to respond wisely to complex needs and gifts not yet realized. NFW provides a reunion with my past and a new living history with Nigerian friends.
While I am not a Missionary Kid and have not visited Nigeria, I have had the privilege of marrying Michael Taylor, whose parents, Orville and Evelyn Taylor, were missionaries in Iwo, where my father-in-law taught at Baptist College, which is now Bowen University. Michael, who died in 2013, attended Newton School as a child, beginning with the first group of students in 1957. My husband had a great love for Nigeria, which he instilled in me, and a deep commitment, which we shared, for helping the needy and telling others about Jesus. Imagine my excitement when I was asked to serve on the Board for Nigeria Faithful Works! I accepted at once. I hope my background as a retired judge and presently practicing lawyer can allow me to contribute to this wonderful organization. I am delighted to work alongside the members of the mission community and be a part of those showing love to people in need.
I was three years old when my parents sailed to Nigeria in 1959 to begin their mission work. I spent my childhood and school years there, immersed in the culture and growing to love the people and the land. I have drawn strength and a powerful sense of responsibility from the Ibo name given me, Okpara, which means “First Born Son”. I too lived through Nigerian Independence and then the Civil War and was there to see the still intact nation struggle out of this dark time, but renewed with a sense of optimism and destiny. And despite all that has happened since that time, I believe Nigeria is still a nation of optimism and great potential. I have come along side the other Council members because I want to be a part of the continuing development and renewal of the nation and people that I love. Now retired, I look forward to being able to participate in that good cause through NFW and the life-sustaining projects we hope to accomplish in cooperation with our Nigerian brothers and sisters.
I was born in Ogbomoso, Nigeria at Frances Jones Nursing Home to Mel and Lil Wasson, delivered by Dr. Martha Gilliland. At that time, my parents were house parents at Newton Memorial School in Osogbo. After returning from furlough, my family lived in Ogbomoso until 1969. Many wonderful memories are from Ogbomoso, the home of my childhood. In April 2006, after seeing and appreciating the good work that NFW had already accomplished and feeling the need to help, I accepted the position to be on the NFW Council. Like many missionary kids (MKs), I have a personal interest in wanting to help my original homeland. Being a participant in an organization involved in providing life-sustaining projects to the Nigerian people is a real blessing. It makes me feel that the work of our missionary parents is continuing on through the Nigerian people.
My parents, David and Ollie Mayhall, began their life of service in Iwo, Nigeria in 1950. I was born in Ogbomoso in 1955. They served in Iwo, Ijebu, Osogbo and then finally, Ogbomoso, where we lived until 1969.In retrospect, 14 years is not a dreadfully long time in a person’s life, but, in terms of its impact on who I would become they were some of the most important years. Nigeria had an enormous impact on my childhood, and it would be there that I would have experiences and gain friends whom I would never forget. When I was invited to serve on the NFW Council, it was a answer to a prayer to become involved in something that meant a great deal to me. The fact that it was directly related to the place of my birth and my childhood made it that much more important. To have the opportunity to share in these experiences with my childhood friends has been a blessing.