Compelled by Christ’s love for Africa’s Unreached People Groups, TIMO trains gospel centered teams from the global church to plant reproducing churches
“There are still places in our world where Christ is not yet known. It is places like these, of lesser comfort and greater resistance, that the message of the gospel has been delayed. Here it takes harder labor and greater endurance to realize a harvest for the Kingdom of God.”[Ray, a missionary with Africa Inland Mission for over 40 years]
A ministry initiative of Africa Inland Mission (AIM), TIMO is a two-year mission program designed with a focus on three priorities: To equip new missionaries with a foundation for a lifetime of ministry, to share Jesus Christ with Africa’s least-reached peoples, and to eventually see Christ-centered churches established among them.
The opportunity to share Christ with another soul is a beautiful and profound privilege.
But speaking truth into someone’s life does not come without a cost. The privilege, more often than not, must be earned. This is particularly true in Africa where relationships interplay with every aspect of life, no matter how small. Before we can share the Gospel, we often have to share more menial things, which in the end turn out to be very meaningful. Things like a common language, a local custom, or the ebb and flow of life on this mountain or in that city. We need to share meals, laughter, and tears. We need to share our stories and our very lives.
Because we loved you so much, we were delighted to share with you not only the Gospel of God, but our very lives as well. [1 Thes 2:8]
This calls for humility above all.
It asks us to become a learner even if we think we are ready to be the teacher. It takes time and patience. And it calls us to trust in a God who delights in opening hearts and crumbling defenses through humble obedience. It is this kind of incarnational living that AIM has found to be most effective in cross-cultural ministry in Africa. A life lived with genuine interest and compassion toward others produces genuine friendships, and through these the Gospel has an opportunity to take root. Relationships are the foundation for meaningful discipleship which, in turn, lays the groundwork for a Christ-centered church.
But immersion on such a scale can be incredibly hard if you go in alone, especially when the culture you are crossing into is so vastly different from the one you are coming from. That’s why AIM has embraced a team approach to ministry. Teams bring together men and women of diverse backgrounds and abilities, foster interdependence, and give synergy to the work. Team members share a common goal in proclaiming Christ, but they also share in a rich array of uncommon experiences as they learn and minister in a new and foreign culture.
TIMO is a training program.
And the learning goes deep – from the daily lessons in stumbling through language and life’s incidentals, to focused curriculum and training that inform the present challenges while building a foundation for future ministry. Culture, language, discipleship strategies, timeless interpersonal skills, prayer, patience, spiritual growth – These are some of the themes of your education on a TIMO team. But perhaps the greatest lesson is one of love.
As a team member, you will likely come to love the place where God planted you for a season. You may even come to love the strange food and the simplicity of a life less cluttered. You will undoubtedly grow to love and appreciate your teammates as fellow sojourners along the way. And in the end, you will love the people you came to serve. The “love for the lost” that first brought you to Africa will now be manifest in names and faces and memories – memories that will stay with you well beyond the years you spend in Africa; and faces that just might follow you into eternity.
Team Members and Team Leaders needed.
TIMO has placed dozens of teams in some of the most extreme environments – from desert nomads to urban centers. From Muslim areas to jungle peoples. But there are so many people in so many places in Africa that still have no opportunity of hearing about Jesus Christ. You can play a part in changing that.
Connect with one of AIM’s Mobilizing offices to explore opportunities.