Background

Phil Maxwell

Phil counts it a privilege to have a rich heritage of parents and grandparents who were missionaries in West Africa for a combined
total of over 150 years. There isn't a time that Phil can remember when God wasn’t part of his everyday life.

When Phil was 8 years old he accepted Jesus as his personal savior during a spiritual life conference at International Christian Academy, a boarding school for missionary children in Cote d’Ivoire.

Phil spent 15 years growing up in West Africa, 9 of those years in Cote d’Ivoire. Phil earned a B.S. degree in Construction Management from John Brown University in 1989. Phil then returned to International
Christian Academy to serve as Plant Supervisor for one year. Upon returning to the USA, Phil spent 3 years working as a residential
carpenter.

Believing that God was calling him back to Africa as a missionary, Phil attended Moody Bible Institute for a semester before joining SIM International (Serving In Missions) . During Phil's first term in Niger, West Africa, Phil served as the Construction and Maintenance Supervisor
of Sahel Academy, another boarding school for missionary children.

There he met and later married Shannon Dent, the 5th 6th grade teacher.
During Phil & Shannon’s second term, Phil was the office manger, projects manager and oversaw the remodeling and construction of missionary housing in Niamey,

Niger’s capital city. Phil's desire is to be obedient to God's calling in sharing the story of Jesus Christ in French speaking West Africa. He will be working with the Gourma church leaders and CSEN orphanage , through discipleship, leadership training and construction.

Shannon Maxwell

Shannon was born in California into a Christian home, and early on learned the importance of having Jesus as her personal savior. At the age of five, in her Sunday school class, she asked Jesus to come into
her heart to stay. As Shannon matured, she became very involved in choir, youth group and Christian summer camps as both a camper and counselor. Her knowledge of missions and care for missionaries was nurtured in her home as visiting missionaries often stayed with her family and their letters and prayer cards were openly displayed on the family bulletin board.

After Shannon graduated from high school, she attended BIOLA College,
majoring in Early Childhood Education. Later she transferred to Cal Sate Hayward and graduated with a degree in Liberal Studies, Elementary Education in 1985. Shannon had been interested in using her teaching skills overseas for many years.

Family friends presented the opportunity to her after their return from a short-term missions trip to Nigeria. When they arrived home they told her of an SIM boarding school in Nigeria that needed teachers.

After applying with SIM for a short-term assignment Shannon traveled to Nigeria for her first teaching experience. This first year of teaching in Nigeria, turned into 4 more. When Shannon returned to the US she was uncertain as to where God would lead her next. During her furlough she was asked by SIM to take a 6 month teaching position at Sahel Academy in Niger, West Africa. The Lord made it clear to her that this was the direction to go. Within a month, her support was raised and she was on her way.

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