John, Zaanya

Country: Zambia
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Serving At: International Leadership Institute of Zambia
Home Country: Nigeria

Zaanya John is an international Global Mission Fellow with the United Methodist General Board of Global Ministries, engaged in a two-year term of service.

The Global Mission Fellows program takes young adults ages 20-30 out of their home environments and places them in new contexts for mission experience and service. The program has a strong emphasis on faith and justice. Global Mission Fellows become active parts of their new local communities. They connect the church in mission across cultural and geographical boundaries. They grow in personal and social holiness and become strong young leaders working to build just communities in a peaceful world.  

With a Bachelor of Science degree in agricultural extension services at the University of Maiduguri, Nigeria, she learned to encourage farmers to adopt best-practice techniques to eradicate food insecurity, poverty and hunger issues through social justice.

Zaanya worked with the World Health Organization and the National Youth Service Corps.

A member of Beemang A. Mallum United Methodist Church, related to the Northeast Nigeria Annual Conference, Zaanya sings in the choir.

“Since the very day I got baptized as a Christian,” Zaanya said, “my spiritual life has never remained the same. It keeps growing every day because I made an outward confession of inward change in my life, and God has been faithful.”

Striving to enrich her spiritual life, Zaanya prays daily, spends time with God, fasts and meets regularly with other believers. 

“Prayer simply means communicating and talking to God,” she explained. “In everything I do, I always pray with confidence because I have faith that God will answer me. Every day, I pray and give thanks to God for my salvation. The greatest gift I received is finding  myself as a Christian.” Imitating Christ gives her peace of mind.

“I always thank God for his sufficient grace, mercy and favor,” Zaanya continued. “God has been faithful in my life. With my daily prayers, I am able to avoid some temptation.”

She loves spending time with God through Bible study.

“The Bible,” Zaanya said, “contains messages of love and hope of God. The clearest way to connect with God is by studying his word. Bible reading has become my daily priority because that is the easiest way to grow in faith.”

Zaanya fasts at least once or twice a week. “During that time,” she said, “I cease from anything that is not spiritual. Fasting has really helped my spiritual growth.”

She cherishes opportunities to gather with other believers to worship, commune, pray, build one another in faith and lead people to Christ.

“I feel called to mission work,” Zaanya said, “because my goal always as a Christian is to become more intimate with God in order to help myself and others to grow in Christ and teach people about Christ and the Christian faith.”