The Mantle of Leadership

A few weeks ago I was attending our African Violet Fundraising Dinner and had the privilege of hearing Edet Udofia speak on “What Nigerian Christian College means to the people of Nigeria.”  Edet was raised just a stones throw from the campus of NCBC and shared what the school meant to him, his family, and all the brethren in the region.  Edet is just one of the shining examples of missionary leaders who have emerged from under the shadow of God’s work in Nigeria. Edet who now works here in the United States has baptized over 700 people through prison ministries and inner city evangelism.

We are proud of the strong Christian leadership that has developed over six decades of work in Nigeria. Both West Nigeria Christian College and Nigerian Christian Bible College are fully staffed and directed by African brethren. They operate under local oversight and everyone on the field are indigenous workers.

This “mantle of leadership” is evident through the efforts we have seen established in recent1780160_10203023059008196_1396057095_o years.  It is our Nigerian brethren (not American missionaries) who have initiated: 1) Vocational Training Programs in Computer Science; 2) Efforts to establish a degree program with the University of Ibadan; 3) The launch of International Christian Academy (K-12 program); 4) Fundraising efforts among the Nigerian Churches for the annual preacher’s forums and lectureships; 5) an extension program in Benin City, Edo State, Nigeria (with an initial enrollment of 12 students) and 6) Agricultural workshops designed to help the local people around the colleges. Most of these programs have been established with a minimum U.S. investment.

I can only imagine the pride and appreciation Paul and the early missionaries felt when they returned to visit the churches and find mature, committed, and capable brethren leading those works. As a young missionary I was told that my role was to “work myself out of a job.”  The goal is for our brethren to be self-sufficient and mature.  When we placed the mantle of leadership on our brethren in Nigeria, we were confident in their abilities, but they far exceeded our expectations. May God receive the glory for the good work they are doing.

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