One of the more surprising ministries at Reconciliation Anglican Church is the entire area of what might in some churches be called foreign missions. We call it building the kingdom of God through relationships.
For purposes entirely His own, God has seen fit to put our little church (speaking of the former St James Anglican Church) together with a diocese in northern Nigeria, a largely Muslim area. Exciting things are happening as a result of that relationship. Other people and churches have gotten involved as Bishop Lamido and his wife Mary have come here to visit, teach, and meet people; many have gone to Nigeria and know their people.
This page helps explain some of the specific projects that are ongoing, not only in the Diocese of Wusasa, but in Ikara. In all cases these efforts have followed the missionary model that has worked so well in very poor areas, that is to build up the schools, the hospitals, and also to strengthen/encourage the local clergy.
In addition, we have been involved briefly in ministry efforts in Jos, Ghana, and Uganda.
St Martin’s St Alban’s School for Girls–Gedage. (Ikara Diocese)
When this school was founded in 2006, the Rev Doug Sherman was assisting at St Martin’s Church, and the village of Gedage was still part of the Diocese of Wusasa. In the 12 years since it was built, it has grown, adding a new classroom block built by the local diocese, which they named St James. The churches of District 8 in Pittsburgh, and others who become aware of the project, to this day send money for the girls’ school for scholarships which help girls go to this Anglican secondary school. Muslim girls do apply and have been accepted, understanding that this is for Christian education, which is what diocesan schools provide. There were two major concerns for girls in this environment. First, in this area there is little value placed on education for women, as the thinking often prevails that as girls are “only good for having children, school fees are better spent on a boy.” Bishop Lamido and his wife wanted to change this way of thinking in the diocese. The village chief and the new Bishop of Ikara, Bishop Jonfalon, agree. The second major concern is that Christian girls sent to state schools in this Muslim area are at very real risk of forced conversion, forced marriages, sexual advances–a terrible situation, making the need for separate Christian girls’ schools more pressing. This school has been a tremendous success, and the villagers are very proud of it for good reason. It now has a female principal. A gift from All Saints Church in Rosedale provided the funds for a borehole, or deep well, which not only provides a source of clean safe water for the school, but helps the village as well.
Mai Mai School–Wusasa Diocese. Girls’ School, scholarships.
The issues are the same as described above, and it is exciting to see that another girls’ school is taking shape in Wusasa Diocese. The school has been refurbished with a new roof, desks, and classroom block, which has been named Weiss Hall in honor of Robin Weiss, a longtime member of St James Church. The scholarships for this school help girls from the very poorest families in the diocese
St John’s School–Wusasa Diocese.
Generous gifts helped restore this school for use: a new roof, a classroom block, and new desks were bought with monies from here.
St Luke’s Anglican Hospital– Wusasa.
150 bed hospital with a nursing school. This hospital serves the Christian and Muslim population around it. Ongoing efforts by the medical team from our diocese here in Pittsburgh helped St Luke’s update its managerial systems and facilities and retain the accreditation for the school of nursing. Work with the Rotary Club of Murrysville raised money for a large enough generator to power the hospital compound. Gifts have gone toward a new roof, much needed supplies, lab equipment, a new autoclave, the nursing school library, computers, security, and other improvements of the facility. Most recently (spring, 2018), we have sent a large container of medical/hospital equipment in partnership with Brothers to Brothers Foundation.
This project had its origin in a gift of land to Doug Sherman, not long after he’d been made a chief in the village. After much prayer about what in the world could be done with this land gift, the vision for a clinic came to Doug and Winifred. After some years and much labor, the clinic opened in 2014 with the hopeful name, Light of the World Clinic and Maternity Home. It has 10 beds, a full time nurse, a pharmacy, with physician visits on a regular basis. Because this village is fairly remote and there are few cars, this has really improved health care opportunities in this village and the surrounding communities.
Teaching and Encouragement
Since 2004, the Rev Doug Sherman has been traveling to Nigeria on a regular basis at the invitation of Bishop Lamido to teach at Clergy Conferences and Seminars on a variety of topics such as forgiveness, inner healing, reconciliation, and intercession. Others have gone from Pittsburgh on a regular basis, working as the need arises on projects ranging from the hospital reorganization and reaccreditation, to children’s ministry, to reorganizing a seminary library, to beginning an auto repair school. We have all preached the gospel at church services, we have all been touched and changed forever. Since 2007 an integral part of the team sent from Pittsburgh have been two young men from Ghana, Isaac and Reggie, two strong intercessors.
In August, 2008, with the full knowledge and blessing of Bishop Duncan, Doug was made Canon Commissary to Bishop Lamido in the US. But that summer the chief of the village of Gedage announced an even stranger turn of events, which was to take place the following summer: he was proposing to make Doug a chief in his village! The chief of defense, or the “Sarkin Yarkin” of Gedage.
Jos, Nigeria–Christian Institute Library.
The idea of helping this library took root in 2004 on Doug’s first trip to Nigeria when he first met the man who has since become Bishop Zhumbes. At the time he was the principal of a secondary school in Jos with a library with almost no books. From that connection, Doug got the idea of collecting books in a warehouse owned by people at St Martin’s, with computers from St James, and the project was off and running. So many books were collected, from Trinity and Nashotah House, and from priests around the diocese, as well as publishers, that the collection was sent to the seminary library, with only a small part going to the secondary school. In 2009, a week long project was undertaken led by Winifred Sherman to put the books into shelf order at the seminary for the ease of the community.
Ghana–preaching and teaching at the invitation of then Archbishop Akrofi.
Most of these visits were made with SOMA (Sharing of Ministries Abroad) and were before we became so related with the work in Wusasa. But we still have precious relationships that were formed in Ghana, and this is where we met Isaac and Reggie. Young men and women that were touched by God during those specific times of ministry in 2005-6 are still being used by God today to spread his Word and His kingdom power.
Uganda Christian University–
In 2007 Winifred Sherman had the opportunity to travel to Uganda with a group of clergy wives from the Diocese led by Nara Duncan. We took many supplies for their libraries, sports teams, and in particular, from St James Church, linens for their guest house, a much appreciated gift.
How can I help?
If any of the projects mentioned above, particularly the scholarships, hospital, or the new clinic have sparked an interest in you and you want to know more, or would like to send a donation, please contact the church, or email us. You may also be interested in going to Nigeria sometime in the future. We would love to hear from you.