In recent years Jos has had to deal with local, ethnic, economic, political, and religious tensions. These tensions have caused crises situations in the past, in the city or in some surrounding villages. Hillcrest has never been part of these tensions and while at times one must be careful about entering certain sections of the city, the campus has remained a safe place to work and live.
Hillcrest is a secure campus, with our own guard force. Regular security drills take place to help students know what to do and where to go in case of an emergency. We collaborate with our partner missions. We conduct security training for our staff, and we make decisions in light of local conditions.
Our mission is “educating global disciples of Christ.” We believe that Christ has called us to serve and teach here at a historical missions hub in Jos, Nigeria. Christian education involves face-to-face contact with people. Risk, then, is an unavoidable consequence of having people and a purpose.
We believe that we should not accept unnecessary risks, and we seek to mitigate or reduce known risks. There are very practical things we can do to reduce risks, so we can continue to accomplish our purpose as long as God directs and allows. Of note, the greatest threat to our people and work is not terrorists or criminals. Statistically, it is things like interpersonal conflict, burnout, illness and traffic accidents. We take a balanced approach to risk: ‘trust God’ and ‘act wisely’.
The international media, as well as foreign embassies, will discourage one from traveling to, or living in many parts of Nigeria, including Jos. Consulting with local mission and church agencies might provide one with better information and assurance. It is important to think about why we face risk. Each person has their own unique understanding of risk in relation to their calling. We refer to this as our Theology of Risk. Each person looks at risk differently and has a different amount of risk they are inherently willing to take. An excellent book on this subject is ‘Facing Danger’ by Anna Hampton. Please feel free to discuss the issue of security with us as you gain a perspective on the risks you may face, and learn how we deal with them.