When Christoph and Heidi Rauch, leaders of the team to the Ik, first gave their lives to the Lord, they felt stirrings toward global mission. Yet it was only after decades of quiet, internal preparation that they finally boarded a plane for Africa.
Christoph explains that God was working in them for years, even as young parents consumed by the bustle of raising four children. All the while, God was preparing them to step out of their familiar lives and into mission work in Uganda. With grown children, Christoph and Heidi have the rich experience and wisdom cultivated from raising a family, seasoned by decades of discipleship.
Christoph and Heidi couldn’t shake this pull toward people who had never heard the gospel.
After serving for seven years in Arua, north Uganda, God once again asked the Rauches to leave a town that had grown familiar to them, this time to follow him to the remote Ik people of north east Uganda. “When we came to Uganda our mission leader said, ‘There are still unreached people groups in Uganda, perhaps you could join a church planting team?’ And we said in the beginning, ‘There’s enough work in Arua.’ But later on it was still in our heads.”
Christoph and Heidi couldn’t shake this pull toward people who had never heard the gospel. They scoured a map of Uganda for the least-reached areas, pinpointing the Sogwas Mountain in the north east. In their Bavarian language, ‘Sogwas’ means ‘tell something’; perhaps God was asking them to share his good news here? They had no idea this region was home to the Ik, nor that AIM had spent years praying for someone to lead a team there.
But God knew. After much prayer and clear leading from the Lord, Christoph and Heidi moved to the spine of the Ik ridge. Ministry there was rife with challenges, but the Ik welcomed the Rauches and their team. And because most African cultures deeply revere their elders, people listen intently when Cristoph and Heidi share something of the gospel.