Building a future in a creative access nation

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AIM is seeking to send a Training in Ministry Outreach (TIMO) team to study in a creative access nation. Why ‘studying’ and how will TIMO work in this location? The long term goal of this team is not just for its members to gain a Master’s in Business Administration, but to provide a way for them to build a future life and business for themselves there, enabling them to share the gospel as they become an integral part of the community.

Cultural integration

Although we can’t share too many specifics about the location, the team will be working in what is considered to be an unreached country, with Muslims forming 98% of the population. The influence that Christianity had in this area during the second and third centuries is long gone, and now there are at least 30 mosques across the city. Forward-thinking in the areas of technology, fashion, international trade, sports and education, this city also maintains a tight hold on Islamic religious traditions.


Open or closed?

We use the term ‘creative access nation’ to refer to countries where traditional mission work is not permitted by the government authorities. But what is working there really like? Amy shares her experiences:

Working in a creative access nation sounds pretty scary yet it turned out to be full of surprises.  Who would have expected everyone to be so welcoming, to help me in my language struggles, to invite me into their homes, to weddings and funerals? Who would have thought they would share their secret burdens with me and would let me pray for them in the name of Jesus? Who would have expected discussions in English class about how I am sure of spending eternity with God? This nation may be officially closed, but the people’s lives are wide open. So we seek to sow seeds widely – often through telling stories. We share with families in the hope that they will embark on what will be a difficult journey together. And we pray that the hearts which have been closed for so long will be opened up to the glorious light of the Father.

The TIMO team is scheduled to start in the summer of 2017, bringing together a group of people who will not only follow the TIMO curriculum, but will also earn their MBA at an international university. Being a university city with an existing foreign student programme, we believe the idea will be a great fit for the location because it will allow for excellent integration into the culture. The team will interact with fellow graduate students and professors in academic settings to build meaningful relationships with the intention of sharing the gospel.

Opportunities to share

While the MBA programme will be in English, team members will still be required to learn the local Arabic dialect, as we believe in the importance of sharing Christ in the heart language of the people. This will also give them opportunities to interact with people outside the university and build better foundations for relationships within the community.

At the end of the two years, as part of the TIMO curriculum, each student will prepare a business plan that could be launched either individually or collaboratively with other Christian students. The vision is to see businesses started in this city and country, allowing team members to be able to transition into full time work but also to provide opportunities for other people to come and join the work. Through these businesses more contacts will be made and more relationships built, opening the door to opportunities to share the good news.

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There are so many ways you can be a part of reaching Africa's unreached peoples with the good news of Jesus Christ.