Jennifer Jackson

I'm Jen.  I'm a 34 year old missionary science teacher serving in Lilongwe, Malawi at African Bible Colleges Christian Academy.  I consider myself to be one of the luckiest people on Earth. 

Not everyone can take a leave of absence from their job for two years to serve as a missionary in Africa.  I've done it without winning the lottery or being the recipient of a trust fund.   I am blessed to be apart of a small community of people who want to change the world by providing high quality, low cost education and the gospel of Jesus Christ to those in need. It just so happens that I get to be the lucky team member living in Africa. Sound interesting?  Partner with us.


I grew up in a quiet small town in Illinois.  My family members were church-going Christians and I was introduced to missionaries at an early age. Likewise, I learned that God called ordinary people to be missionaries in Africa.  In turn, I prayed that God would NOT ask me to do such a scary and crazy thing. I must have caught His attention because years later I found myself listening to a group of missionaries share about how they were heading to African Bible College in Malawi to teach kids at the new academy.  A light bulb went off in my head and I realized that "I could do that."  Of course, I then proceeded to immediately dismiss the idea. 

More like, I tried to immediately dismiss the idea.  While most people have never even heard of Malawi, my life seemed to suddenly cross paths with all sorts of things related to Malawi.  My light bulb moment wasn't just a fleeting thought.  I became intrigued with the notion of teaching in Malawi and a few months later I eventually inquired into how I could go about doing so.  Unfortunately, I had a big monkey on my back, debt that made teaching in Malawi cost prohibitive.  I suppose in some ways I was a bit relieved, but I was also disappointed.

Not too long after that I landed a teaching position just outside of San Diego - my adulthood hometown.  Knowing that I wanted to eventually teach in Malawi at ABC, I made it a priority to pay down my debts.  Not an easy feat on a modest teacher's salary in California.  As it turns out, teaching science in a low performing school for five years equated to a sizable chunk of student loans being forgiven.  Coincidence?!!

So there I was, years later, with my ducks finally in a row.  I had to make a choice about which direction I wanted my life to go in.  Would I stay in my comfy teaching gig or venture elsewhere?   Did I really want to say good bye to my friends and family and put off getting married and having children?  I mean, I'm 31! {insert chuckle here if you're over 30}. It was so easy to say no to Africa when I had a bunch of excuses, but when the excuses were removed the choice was all mine to be made.  And so, I hesitated - for about a month. 

Truthfully, a bigger part of me was giddy with excitement for the chance to live in Africa.  I was just dumb founded that I was actually in a position to go.   I had no debts other than a small student loan that I didn't need to make a payment on for three years (strange, I know), I didn't have kids to worry about, or a spouse that didn't share my vision and to top it all off I had a job that allowed me to take a leave of absence for two years.  Who has that kind of opportunity?

So I made the leap and contacted ABC.  Wouldn't you know it but the President of ABC and his wife were going to be in S.D. that very next week meeting with prospective teachers.   Of course I gallivanted off to that meeting and learned that they were going to be in need of a science teacher and - wait for it - they had just built a brand new science lab.   New facilities, small classes, and kids eager to learn.  Really?!!

I can't say I immediately said yes. I had to pray about it and contemplated it for about another two months just to be sure.  For better or for worse, it's just not in my nature to make such big decisions hastily (if you haven't caught on, yet).  I then had yet another year ahead of me to prepare before the big move. 

So after residing in San Diego for over a decade and teaching for six years, I moved to Lilongwe, Malawi during the summer of 2010 to teach science to 6th - 12th graders at African Bible College's Christian Academy

All in all, I believe God's timing was perfect, even if perfect took a few years.  I gained valuable teaching and life experience during those preparatory years that I can't imagine trying to do all that I do now, otherwise.  Additionally, I needed time to transition from "Africa scares me" to "Africa excites me."  I can't say that living and teaching in Malawi is always fun or easy, but it has definitely been worth it.  God is amazing! 


This is the story of my journey in pursuing my calling and passions.  However, I am not in this alone.  This is ultimately the story of a small group of people changing the world together through education and the love of Christ.  This blog serves as a means to share what's happening in Malawi for those team members who are unable to physically serve alongside me and the other missionaries here.  I do pray that this blog piques your interest and inspires you to join our team even if you've "accidentally" stumbled upon it.

If you think you’ll enjoy reading more about what I do, please subscribe to my blog to stay connected.

Feel free to contact me by using the form below. 

Thanks everyone!





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