Serving in Africa is one Northwest Colorado woman’s mission
Craig — A deep love for God has moved one Northwest Colorado woman to make her third mission trip to Africa.
Teneil Jayne is a 2003 Moffat County High School graduate, and she’s a non-denominational missionary, based in the Yampa Valley.
She left America on Nov. 18 for a mission in the small port town of Nkhata Bay, Malawi.
Malawi is an east African presidential republic slightly smaller than Pennsylvania. About 83 percent of people in the country are Christian, 13 percent Muslim and about 2.5 percent agnostic or atheist.
“Population growth, increasing pressure on agricultural lands, corruption and the scourge of HIV/AIDS pose major problems for Malawi,” according to the CIA World Factbook.
The Craig Daily Press caught up with Jayne.
CDP: Why did you choose to go to Malawi?
Jayne: I love the simple lifestyle and the way my brash, honest personality is welcome here. Nkhata Bay is beautiful. It’s full of fruit trees and good veggies. The best part about it is how close it is to the city Muzuzu, which is fun to say.
CDP: What are living conditions like?
Jayne: I am blessed to have a nice house with indoor plumbing and electricity. I cook on a small charcoal burner. I don’t have a fridge, so I have to go to the market almost every day, about a mile or two each way.
CPD: What is it like being a woman living alone in Africa?
Jayne: Living in a foreign culture as a single woman is really awesome.
Sure, there are people that want to take advantage of you, but there are many mothers and fathers and people that will take you into their hearts like an orphan.
CDP: What are the major differences between America and Africa? And are there any similarities?
Jayne: Pets have no emotional value. No one ever complains about the pain they are in. The entire village shuts down if there is a funeral service. No one drives. There is no trash collection service, so you are responsible for your own garbage. The hospital is free. All men hold hands with each other, as friends. Oh golly … I could go on and on.
CDP: Initially you planned to complete a degree in biblical counseling online, but were unable to do so because frequent power outages and poor internet connection made online study impossible. How did this change your mission and what are you doing instead?
Jayne: I decided to make the most of the trip and take the money from seminary and use it in the villages to provide things like wheelchairs, transportation, medicine and maybe a toy or two.
CDP: What is one message that you try to minister?
Jayne: God is for all people, because people are the same no matter where you go. Culture may change, skin color as well, but people are all made the same way by the same God. God is love, and all people have the capacity for love.
CDP: When do you plan to return to the Yampa Valley?
Jayne: I don’t have any idea when I will be back in the valley.
Right now, I am trying to be present in the opportunity, which I have been given to show my love of Christ to Malawi and America at the same time…. just doing what I feel led to do. Letting God do the rest. Where He goes I go, where he stays I stay.
I miss my family and church and friends at home, but the walk God has put me on is pretty freaking cool.
Follow Jayne’s African Adventures by visiting her Facebook page where she posts regular updates or on twitter using the hashtag #adayinthelifeofteneil.