You’re not ready for this. That’s OK.
Today, there are still millions of Africans who are unreached – with little or no access to the gospel of Jesus Christ. Barriers of false religion, cultural isolation, fear, and suspicion present formidable challenges. And whether people live in a distant mountain village or the center of a city, for the good news to truly impact them it will need to first cross cultures, speak their language, and be powerfully manifest in the lives of the messengers. Messengers who patiently and lovingly enter into the stories of those they seek to reach. Messengers who are called and prepared to come near, stay long, and go deep. There’s a beautiful simplicity in that calling. But it’s also an immensely complicated task.
learn and do missions
Born out of Africa Inland Mission’s heart for reaching Africa’s unreached, TIMO, or Training In Ministry Outreach, is a 2-3 year training program designed to equip men and women for long-term ministry in places like these.
TIMO brings teams of 3 to 12 new missionaries into places of engagement with Africa’s unreached people groups. With the guidance of an experienced team leader, and at times, working with national church partners, each team sets out to learn language and culture as they work through TIMO’s specialized curriculum. With an emphasis on church planting, TIMO provides practical hands-on training while engaging in real, transformational ministry: what you learn in the books you read and the papers you write is reinforced in your day-to-day life as you engage with your community.
COMPELLED BY CHRIST’S LOVE for Africa’s Unreached People Groups, TIMO trains gospel-centered teams from the global church to plant reproducing churches.
TIMO is about training cross-cultural workers in context.
Some teams are in towns, some are in cities, some are rural, and some are really off the beaten path. While many teams serve among a specific people group, others live in crossroads-communities where multiple people groups can be impacted. Depending on the context, a team may focus on pioneering church planting among unreached people groups, or work with a greater emphasis on mobilizing and partnering with nearby churches to accomplish this work. Every TIMO team is seen as a strategic part of AIM’s greater work.
TIMO is about foundations.
Through deep relationships and active discipleship, teams lay the foundations for reproducing churches where they minster. And in the process of learning and doing ministry, team members themselves gain a foundation of knowledge and experience for long-term engagement with Africa’s unreached peoples.
For over 30 years, TIMO has been a doorway to long-term ministry for those who feel called to go, but don’t yet feel equipped for the task.
Go with a heart for planting churches among the unreached. Become a vessel shaped and refined for the Great Commission…
We start from a place of deep and personal relationship with Christ, and consistently return to this place in the daily unfolding of ministry. Everything flows from this. Communion with Christ, commitment to his Word, reflection, repentance, prayer: these nurture the roots of our outward expression of ministry to those around us.
Compelled by Christ’s love, we love, pray for, and proclaim the gospel to Africa’s Unreached – those who have little or no access to the good news. Through pioneering ministry efforts and partnerships with African churches, our desire is for reproducing local churches to spring up as agents for spiritual growth and the advance of God’s kingdom.
We remember that our sufficiency comes from Christ. We serve by his grace, and submit to his will. At times, our service will call us to sacrifice – and even suffer – for the sake of the unreached and the glory of God. Filled with the Spirit, we present ourselves as empty vessels, putting aside our dreams and desires for the cause of Christ.
Teams are the heart of how we function. We never go alone, acknowledging the value of dependence and the beauty of fellowship laid out for us in God’s design. We need one another: For living and learning, for encouragement, to sharpen, carry burdens, and share in the triumphs. We not only rely on our teammates; but also the local church and the host community. Our love and unity testify of the One we proclaim.
We show up, stay long, and go deep. Seeking to reach people in their context determines where and how we live. We come ready to embrace a simpler lifestyle and are committed to learning the language and culture – that we may reflect Christ as we dwell, invested and sincere, in the midst of a people who need to see Him.
Ministry is always centered on people. We seek meaningful relationships marked by love, compassion, and trust – with teammates, national church partners, and in the friendships we foster among our host culture. We offer more than just our gifts or knowledge. We make ourselves vulnerable and offer our whole selves.
We come as learners – humble, patient, with open hearts and minds. From the daily lessons in stumbling through language and life’s incidentals, to focused curriculum that informs the present and prepares us for future ministry – we are eager students of all that God, our teammates, and the host culture have to teach us.
A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Our faith is courageous and contagious, spilling over into a life that speaks the gospel in words, actions, and everyday life. Our motivations, attitudes, relationships, steadfast presence, team dynamics, and inner life reflect the light of our redeemer and hope, Jesus Christ.
three timo stories
Ashley, a Social Worker from urban America, served for two years among the very remote Lopit people of South Sudan.
Shawn and Angie answered God’s call to join a team on the island of Nosy Mitsio, off Madagascar’s northern coast.
Mark is a photographer who made the long and unlikely journey from America’s northwest to the mountain kingdom of Lesotho.