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We’re getting ready to send a Training in Ministry Outreach (TIMO) team to the Ik. As we share news of preparations, will you consider your part in reaching the unreached Ik with the gospel?
Arriving on the ridge
We are standing on the cusp of realising something that God has put in hearts across the world for a decade. Over the years, many from AIM have prayed for the Ik, who are perched on a mountain ridge on the border of Uganda and Kenya. Now, Jesus will be proclaimed to them through the Ik Training in Ministry Outreach (TIMO) team.
In January a prayer team travelled to the Ik to pray for them and the team who will live amongst them.
Nita, a prayer team member shares: “We spent two days visiting and praying on the ridge where the Ik people live. Terrill & Amber from SIL were our guides for our time there. They have been living there for a number of years learning Icet ód (Ik language) and have just published a formal grammar of the language. The Ik have been caught between the raiding of the Karimojong and Turkana peoples and so have retreated to the hills along the ridge. In general they have given up owning flocks and herds, but instead their lifestyle is supported more by hunting and gathering. This lifestyle is under duress due to encroachment on their lands and deforestation for firewood and building.”
Bruce, another prayer team member noted the “interconnecting pathways of people that God is [already] putting into place.” He prays: “May these partnerships go deeper so that we can walk these paths together, light great fires and so reveal the glory of Christ.”
Christoph & Heidi Rauch will be the TIMO team leaders. They’ve just arrived on the ridge to begin the intense work of building their own house, learning language and culture, developing relationships, and organising team housing and curriculum.
AIM and DIGUNA (a German mission agency) are now working to recruit a multinational team. As potential members apply, wisdom is needed to discern if this is the right placement for each individual. Conditions are harsh, and quite isolated, but stunningly beautiful. Last month the first team members were accepted from Uganda. Stephen & Rejina Embati and their adult disabled son, Peter, have been sent from M’adi West Nile Diocese. They bring a wealth of ministry experience, learners’ hearts and practical skills. A monthly wage for Stephen would be about £20. On this team the family need £20,000 a year! To help with these costs an AIM project has been started. Please consider whether God is nudging you to become more involved in the Ik team by contributing to this project or even coming as part of the team!
Some people love logistics while others simply endure it. The Ik ridge is remote and it is a challenge to get sufficient cement, timber and tools up the side of a mountain. But this is necessary if our team is going to have houses to live in when they arrive. Relationships are built as walls go up – even this has the potential to open Ik hearts to the gospel. What else would help open doors? Short term building teams? An Ik workforce? A Ugandan contractor? As we make decisions we are asking ourselves many other questions as well. Where should these houses be located? Which village gets the privilege and the responsibility of having an outsider live adjacent to them? Into which villages will team members first get to demonstrate Jesus? Big decisions are ahead as we all seek to do this to God’s glory.