Immigrant Faith Stories: Season 2, Episode 6
Do missionaries live and serve only in jungles and other dangerous settings in faraway lands?
Who are second career missionaries?
What does modern missionary work entail?
How do missionaries endure hardships?
This latest episode of Immigrant Faith Stories clarifies all the above questions and more!
Meet Teresa Janzen, a missionary in South Sudan, the youngest and one of the least developed countries of the world.
Teresa felt called to be a missionary at a church youth camp when she was only a teenager. Though she attended Bible college to prepare herself for her calling, the events in her life took her down a different path.
Years later, her dream of becoming a missionary became a reality when she visited South Sudan with her husband, Dan. Together they now disciple and train Christians in Juba, South Sudan, and build the capacity of the local church so they can take the gospel to the unreached peoples in their country.
Some interesting nuggets from this episode:
- When Teresa lived in the rural part of South Sudan, she discovered a snake living in her bookshelf!
- She had to walk a mile to be able to access wi-fi in the bush country. In Juba, the capital of South Sudan, she survives (and thrives) on only 12 hours of electricity a day.
- South Sudan gained independence in 2011 and considers itself a Christian nation. In the recent past, the country has experienced famine, drought, locust invasion, and civil war.
- Hotels are a recent phenomenon in South Sudan. People stayed in each other’s homes when they traveled. Hospitality is one of the important values of the Sudanese.
I was inspired by Teresa’s courageous and passionate devotion to God. I aspire to be like her and other missionaries who hold on loosely to earthly pleasures and comforts, pursuing things that have eternal value. They can teach us to treasure the gospel, love God wholeheartedly, and love people from different cultures.
Other important takeaways from my conversation with Teresa:
- When serving people gets tough or stressful, remembering that we are actually serving God can reframe our perspective and help us persevere with joy.
- Trusting God to meet all our needs deepens our faith.
- God equips those He calls and He requires faithfulness, not perfection, from us.
Teresa’s writings have been published in several books and her children’s book, Little Mango in a Big World, illustrated by Samuel But Agot, won the AWSA Golden Scrolls award for Children’s Book of the Year 2022. She is also an international speaker, coach, and host of the podcast, Radical Abundance.
Learn more about her, buy her books, or support her work – https://teresajanzen.com/.
Subscribe to her podcast here – https://teresajanzen.com/radical-abundance/