I Will Go: Janice’s Story
Meet Janice! She’s an International Worker serving in Ghana. Since January 2020, she’s been partnering with a local church and working with the village school ministry. Read on for an interview with Janice, where she shares her story, her experience in Ghana, and a little bit about how we can better support her as a global church family!
Q: Tell me about your faith journey. How did you sense a call to serve in Ghana?
Janice Jabab: “I grew up as a pastor’s kid, and my dad was really heavily involved with international work. Growing up, we would go on family vacations, but they almost always served a purpose. My dad would bring our family overseas to meet with different International Workers, so the value of serving across the world was instilled in me from an early age. My parents really developed that heart in me to realize that there are other cultures and other people groups around the world who are similar but different from us here in Canada … the similarity being that we all need Christ.
My first missions trip was with my dad, and he took me to Ghana in 2009 for a couple of weeks. After that, I just kept going back every summer. Over the years, I just had an inkling in my heart that God was calling me cross-culturally, but I didn’t really know what that practically looked like. At the time, I was in University completing my education degree, and I felt really conflicted … I wanted to work in Ghana, but I also wanted to finish my degree.
In 2017, I participated in a discipleship class at FAC and we were working through the Gospels. At this time, God was really strengthening the desire in my heart to go overseas, and so as we were reading, we came across the passage in Mark 10 where Jesus had an encounter with a rich man asking about how to enter eternal life. As we processed through that passage, I really believed that a relationship with Christ is everything and that everyone should have the opportunity to respond to God.
I began to ask myself what it would look like for me to give up everything … what would the cost of discipleship actually look like for me? I sensed God calling me to go, and so I asked Him to confirm this by giving Mark 10 to someone to speak into my life. A week later, while sitting in the church service, Pastor James spoke on Mark 10. My heart started pounding out of my chest, I began crying, and I just felt in that moment that God was calling me to go. He had been so faithful and gentle in His calling, and answered my prayer.”
Q: What do you enjoy in your work?
Janice Jabab: “Having been going to Ghana since 2009, I have had the privilege of building relationships and watching some of the kids grow up. Kids who were four, five, or six years old are now in (or almost in) University. I love seeing how those who follow Christ have matured in their faith.”
Q: What are the biggest challenges you face serving in Ghana? How do you address these?
Janice Jabab: “A big challenge comes from the fact that while Ghana is mostly Christian, many of them are cultural Christians, and don’t have an individual relationship with Jesus. You tend to be born into a religion in Ghana, and it is not so much a personal decision. If, for example, someone was born Muslim, it can be a big challenge to decide to follow Jesus because it is seen as a rebellion against your family.
It’s also a challenge not to endorse the prosperity gospel. Many people in Ghana want to believe in God so that they will have nice things and won’t experience sickness or live in poverty. This has made it difficult for pastors to retain congregations and teach the true Word of God. Unfortunately, many of our most vulnerable people are prone to going to “prophets” who set up prayer camps in the middle of nowhere, charge a large fee, and promise that they can pray over them to have wealth, health, fertility, or whatever they’re struggling with.”
Q: How can we in our local churches better support you as an IW?
Janice Jabab: “The biggest support has been the prayer support. Even in this last year with many difficult things happening in our personal lives, it was so encouraging to know that there were people praying for us in times when we didn’t know what to pray. It was so great to know that there were people in all corners of the world, praying for us. That’s the greatest gift that people, churches, supporters, can offer.”
Did you know we’re celebrating International Weekend on Oct. 28/29? Join us as we have guest preachers from the Alliance International Mission and learn more about our role in God’s mission to reach the nations!
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