Tanzanian Advisory Board

Jennifer VanderGalien – Founder and Executive Director (Biography on Board of Directors page)


Shannon Farthing grew up in Washington State.  She attended college studying Therapeutic Recreations and worked in a long-term care facility for a number of years as Therapeutic Recreation Director assisting the elder population in maintaining active lives.  She switched careers and worked for a company that produces special orthotics for shoes.  During this time, God opened doors for her to visit Tanzania in 2007 on a mission trip.  This trip was eye opening and she knew that she needed to return.  A year later, on another mission trip, it was confirmed that Tanzania would be the next chapter in her life.  She moved to Tanzania in 2009 and joined Youth with a Mission working in the children’s sponsorship program as well as the program coordinator, accountant and administrator for the ministry.  In 2012, God brought her to Shining A Light.  God is using her education, skills and work experiences to enhance and further the work of Shining A Light.  She is amazed and in awe of her opportunity to serve God in Africa.  


Lois Nyayika was born and brought up as a Christian.  She attended Mission schools, government Secondary school, and college where she received a Grade A teaching certificate.  Lois worked for the government for twenty years then joined the Training College for Development working there for seventeen years teaching Swahili to foreigners which is where she met Jennifer.  Lois is now retired and provides private instruction to missionaries.  In addition to being on the Shining A Light Advisory Board, she is on the board of the Imara Foundation.  She and her husband pastor a church and preach the Gospel.  Lois loves what she is doing for the Kingdom of God.  She thanks God for meeting Jennifer.


Elisha Alex Taiyai – is a native Maasai.  Elisha is the workshop manager for the Women to Work program.  He also works at his father’s church as manager of the new primary school.  Prior to Shining A Light, he worked as a construction assistant and driver for another ministry.  Elisha attended technical college for 3 years and received a certificate in mechanical engineering.  Working with Shining A Light has provided him much experience in many areas as he plans to start his own English Medium School in his village.  Elisha has purchased land and is looking forward to building the school.  His heart is for children and adults to become educated in his country.


Esther R. Obed Lyimo – is a pastor’s wife with a heart for health education.  She has a diploma in medicine as a medical assistant.  She has held several different jobs in the health care field working as a clinical officer in pharmacies, mental health, family planning as well as training trainers in HIV/AIDS.  Esther currently works at Imara Ministries as a coordinator in HIV/AIDS programs and palliative care home based training.  She leads seminars in the community and counsels women with HIV/AIDS.  In 2012, Esther joined Shining A Light to teach leadership skills and principles.


Eva Boazi – following secondary school education, attended college to become a clinical assistant.  She continued her education in HIV/AIDS awareness and community health evangelism.  Eva currently works for Imara Ministries in Arusha, overseeing a home based care program for persons living with AIDS.  She leads seminars in churches and other community settings educating and training church based health workers on the practical aspects of health care related to HIV/AIDS.  Eva teaches the women of Shining A Light about women’s health care issues.


Amelia Downs – is from England having received her education at Cambridge University.  She has been teaching music at an International School in Arusha.  Amelia has a huge heart for Tanzania and the women and children.