Learn language and use your gifts and skills to build relationships and share the gospel with the unreached Acacia* people in Chad.
Chad is a landlocked country in central Africa. It is a secular state with freedom of religion, although Muslims are dominant in government, trade and the army.
The Acacia* people (we’ve kept their name hidden for security reasons) are the descendants of one of the original states of Chad, their sultans and traditional rules are still more influential than government authorities and they are a wealthy, merchant tribe. Along with another people group using a similar language, they live in an area between the shores of Lake Chad and the Sahara in mud brick houses. Their culture and clothing resemble Bible times, but they are still waiting to hear the good news of Christ.
Currently they practise a form of Islam, mixed with African traditional beliefs, and depend on a form of spiritism to meet daily problems. Spiritual leaders are often sought for their healing power or for their ability to communicate with spirits.
Despite their adherence to Islam, the Acacia* people have invited AIM to live among them and to share the gospel with them. We’re looking to establish a team based in a town in the centre of their lands. Initially language and culture learning will be a key priority for the team as they seek to establish relationships with their neighbours. Through these friendships the team will be hoping to encounter Acacia* men and women who are searching for truth and willing to engage in Bible study. We’re looking for a few extra people to join others who have expressed interest in serving in this way. Is God laying these people on your heart?
Vision & Strategy
The vision of this team is to see a Christ-centred, reproducing church planted among the Acacia* people of Chad, that is missionally engaging those within and outside Chad’s borders.
The team leaders have located a town to work from where they can learn the predominant language dialect and want to see a team of between 6-10 long term workers based there, engaging in various works of service to bless the community and take opportunities to share the Gospel.
The team works in partnership with the existing local church. Small local churches comprised of believers from Southern Chad can still be found in the less reached areas of Chad. These Christians are often there because they are government workers – teachers, nurses, doctors etc – who have been posted there. Traditionally these “transplanted” believer do not mix with the local unreached people groups but instead tend to form an insulated separate community. AIM will seek to participate in these churches and to provide missional opportunities for the local church to gain a vision for, and be involved in outreach to the peoples around them.
Ministry & Type of Work
Team members will serve in their local community, participate in the life of a local church, and be in fellowship with their team and follow a curriculum of practical and theological study together.
Chadian culture greatly values community, because of this we seek to live in community with and among the Acacia* people. For example, food is eaten from one common platter, water is drunk from a common bowl. Deaths, births and marriages are all community events where everyone is expected to participate. Relationships open the door for gospel proclamation and so forming these relationships is the key to our work. Each team member will seek opportunities to not only show the love of Jesus through their work practically, but most importantly, to share the message of salvation found in Jesus Christ.
There are countless opportunities available for workers to serve in this team, all of which would be carefully engaged in with the ultimate goal of blessing the community with both the love and message of Jesus Christ. A few examples:
- Local cultural centre – team have been invited to help teach and train young people in English, music, sports, drama etc
- Teaching English – English is in huge demand in Chad. Opportunities exist to teach in local schools including government-run and Christian schools.
- Community health – there is a great need in the town and surrounding villages to help local people become better informed and educated about their own health, and to enable them to deal with the constant threats of malnutrition, high infant/maternal mortality rates, and basic health issues such as diarrhoea and malaria. Community health teaching, especially for women, is a wide open door to helping local people practically, as well as providing opportunities to build relationships and talk about Jesus.
The team also seeks to help catalyse and mobilise the believers in local churches to think and live missionally where they are, among the unreached people groups around them. All workers will seek to actively participate in the local church – to encourage, challenge, teach, motivate and provide missional opportunities for the believers. Local churches are aware of and have welcomed the teams desire to come and do this work.
Qualifications & Experience
- You must have a heart for the Lord, and a heart for the unreached
- Language: you don’t need to be able to speak any of the following languages before you apply, but you must be ready and willing to undertake a significant amount of language learning: French: Initially you will need to have a Level 3 proficiency level in French before arriving in Chad. This can be undertaken as part of your preparation to go. Chadian Arabic: Once in Chad, all team members spend a period of time studying Chadian Arabic which is the local dialect of Arabic used in Chad. This is the trade language in the area of Chad you will be working. Tribal language: Finally you will be learning the tribal language of the Acacia* people, you will learn this as you are ministering among these people.
- You must have the support of their own sending church. If you are seriously considering overseas mission, speak to your church leaders and involve them from the outset.