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 recently retired after a career with the Red Cross and the YMCA.
I was born in Eku at the mission hospital while my parents were serving as missionaries in Nsukka. When my parents brought me home, our Nigerian women neighbors quickly undressed me to investigate if I were indeed like other humans. When they were satisfied, they began to sing and dance and raise me in their arms above their heads in joy and gave me the name Chinyere, meaning “gift of God.” Many times I have drawn strength from that name, as I have drawn strength from the Nigerian people and culture that claimed me in ways I am growing to understand. I remained in Nigeria all my youth, living in Eku during the Nigerian Civil War and then in boarding school at Hillcrest High School in Jos until I was graduated. I have answered Nigeria’s claim of elucidating African intellectual life as a faculty member at the University of Alabama teaching post-colonial theory and African literatures. By elucidating Nigerian peoples’ physical challenges and meeting those challenges through targeted impact programs, Nigeria Faithful Works provides a different and equally important way to answer the claims of home.
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.
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.
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. Like my sister, Dr. Paige Reece McCormick (also a member of the NFW Council), who was born there, 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.