Reports about missions in the news typically feature short term visits by people with big hearts but who sometimes have very little background understanding. Long term missionaries, if attended to at all, are often seen through the lens of The Poisonwood Bible. It doesn't always happen, of course, but missionaries who spend years living with and loving people should, and usually do, come to see the strength and beauty of the people they work with. A deep compassion for them, which grows out of a love for God, is matched with a deep understanding of the local and international systems which impact their lives.
In this article which appeared in an Ontario, Canada newspaper, the reporter seems to get it. He has seen Sheila Dykstra's heart for Nigerians, and her respect for them, which have led her to serve them for more than a decade already. Sheila's work in developing teachers whose faith in Christ directs their teaching is extremely vital to the future of her adopted country. Her ministry is with, not to, Nigerians who also have dreams and goals for their country and want Sheila's help. Our denomination has a long history and significant expertise in Christian education. Sheila's work in Nigeria represents one of the best contributions we can make in the contemporary mission effort.