In following the mantra of “it takes a village to raise a child,” Teresa Payne of Danville has spent many years applying that philosophy to all ages, using it to care for others.
As a wife, mother, child care provider, evangelist and volunteer, she has spent her life serving others and believes doing so goes beyond just helping another person, but is an expression of faith.
“I feel that God is first and foremost in my life. I want to share the experience that I have with him, with those that do not know him … there is no greater life to live than living a life with Christ,” Payne said, explaining that she wanted others to see that faith displayed in the way she lives.
The feeling of giving and sharing is displayed in the many facets of life for Payne. As an in-home child care provider for 16 years, she was able to use that time to minister, not only to the children, but to their families as well, showing new, young and single mothers how to adequately care for their children.
“Doing child care was a great blessing for me,” Payne said. “I always consider parenting to be a blessing. It is a gift from God.”
Payne also has helped counsel young women through the church her husband, C.R., pastors, Greater Harvest Ministry Center, helping them with areas of personal struggles.
“I feel that we have a lot of young women that are single parents; there are times we need somebody to give us a lift up,” Payne said. “I think it is important that they know that someone is out there, not to judge them but to help them.”
Payne stressed the importance of the ministry being willing to help others, no matter their denomination or beliefs, explaining, “If they are in need, if we can help, we will do what we can to be there.
“The struggles in life, they may seem hard, but through God, all things are possible,” she said.
Helping those who have fallen on hard times is something she believes is simply the right thing to do.
“Living is about helping those who sometimes can’t help themselves,” she said.
Her husband is co-director of Harvesting Hope, where she also volunteers each week. Being involved in such groups has taught her a lot about people, she said.
“I’m a people person,” Payne said. “It’s very interesting. I really enjoy it. It’s giving me a chance to do what I love doing, and that’s being able to get out and just be a help.”
Payne, who officially stepped away from her role as a child care provider in November, is enjoying the opportunity to spend more time with her own children.
Her daughter Andrea is in college, son Chris is in the National Guard, and her youngest daughter, Jessica, recently joined the Navy.
“That was hard, at first, but once I realized that this is part of their giving … I consider it a blessing that they were wanting to give service to our country,” she said.
Payne said giving back is a trait she learned from her grandmother.
“If she had to, she would give the shirt off her back to someone who was in need,” she said. Watching her grandmother taught Payne the value of giving and the blessings that come from it.
“When you give and you give it willingly and with a cheerful heart … God always gives it back,” Payne said.