Jim’s wife Jodi McGill ended mission service in June 2021. Jim and Jodi are periodically in the United States and are available to speak to congregations as their schedule permits. Email them to extend an invitation to visit your congregation or organization.
About Jim and Jodi McGill’s ministries:
Jim serves with the Evangelical Church in the Republic of Niger (EERN) and the Presbyterian Church of South Sudan (PCOSS) to ensure sustainability for clean water and sanitation at both community and user levels. He works with the church in being a strong participant in the rural development of Niger and South Sudan and an effective advocate for the health of its people. Jodi serves with the EERN in its efforts to create and staff church-run health clinics and to train students in its new nursing school. She also works in the EERN health clinic on a regular basis.
Niger is often called the gateway between North Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa. It is one of the continent’s most economically impoverished countries and is at the bottom of the UN’s human development index. Niger has the highest fertility and population growth rates in the world. Fewer than 50 percent of children are enrolled in school, and its annual per capita gross domestic product is only about $800.
Farming is limited by frequent droughts, and the country’s vast desert regions are growing because arable land is falling victim to droughts, excessive cultivation, overgrazing and deforestation. While 95 percent of Nigeriens are Muslim, the government is secular and there is openness to the gospel. Most non-Muslims in Niger are Christian or adherents of traditional religions. The Evangelical Church in the Republic of Niger is the largest Protestant church in the country and is a member of the World Communion of Reformed Churches. In recent decades, the Evangelical Church in the Republic of Niger and the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) began working as partners in mission.
In early 2011, the people of South Sudan voted to separate from the rest of Sudan and form an independent country. The referendum was part of a 2005 peace accord that ended decades of civil war between rebels in the South and government forces from the North. However, just two years later, the country was engulfed by fighting when president Salva Kiir accused vice-president Riek Machar of attempting a failed coup. Government and rebels agreed to attend peace talks in Ethiopia in 2014, and a deal was finally signed under threat of UN sanctions against both sides in August 2015. An ongoing and increasingly brutal new wave of violence broke out in July of 2016 and has caused widespread famine. The conflict has displaced more than 3 million people.
The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) has been involved in Sudan for more than a century and has longstanding relationships with two partner churches in South Sudan: The Presbyterian Church of South Sudan (PCOSS) and the South Sudan Evangelical Presbyterian Church (SSPEC) as well as Nile Theological College, RECONCILE, Across, and the South Sudan Council of Churches. These years of civil war and conflict have left South Sudan’s infrastructure in ruins and its people traumatized, but the region is home to abundant natural resources and many faithful people. The PC(USA) is working with its church and ecumenical partners to help South Sudan maximize the promise of independence and improve the plight of the people.
About Jim and Jodi McGill:
Jim and Jodi McGill began mission service in 1995, working with the Church of Central Africa in Malawi in the areas of water/sanitation and health.
Jim received his bachelor’s degree in physics from Wake Forest University and his master’s degree in geological engineering at the University of Arizona. Prior to his service as a mission co-worker, Jim spent many years in Africa as the child of Presbyterian missionaries to Congo and doing geophysical research with the Geology Department of Duke University.
Jodi holds a bachelor’s degree in nursing from the University of Arizona and a bachelor’s degree in chemistry and microbiology from Northern Arizona University. She also holds a Master of Science in Nursing as a family nurse practitioner and a Master of Public Health from Emory University. She has served as a nurse both in the Atlanta, Georgia, area and in Africa.
The McGills are the parents of six children, twins Jason and Michael, Salome, Selina, and twins Joseph and John. They are members of Columbia Presbyterian Church, Decatur, Georgia, Presbytery of Greater Atlanta.