Dave Morris shares, from his unique perspective as church leader, what it’s like to work with AIM in sending a family from Bunyan Baptist Church in Stevenage to the unreached Algawa people in Tanzania.
My association with AIM goes back more than 20 years, when as part of my Bible college course I was required to join a world mission prayer group. Having been to Africa on business in the 1980s, I joined the sub-Saharan Africa prayer group–reluctantly. In preparation, I read an AIM magazine. The needs of this part of the world were clearly presented, as well as how AIM was engaging in meeting those needs. This had a huge impact on my life and, as my interest and willingness to serve in Africa has grown over the years, AIM has been a constant companion.
“The partnership with AIM, with its acknowledgement and respect for the role of the local church, continues to encourage us in supporting the Pughs, all with the ultimate aim of planting an indigenous church amongst an unreached people group.”
Shortly after I returned from a sabbatical in Tanzania, the Pugh family started coming to the church I serve. They arrived with a burden for Tanzania that God had previously laid on their hearts, and for weeks afterwards all they heard about was my experiences in Tanzania! God was on the move. AIM was one of the first agencies we reached out to as together we started the process of discernment and, from first contact to sending out the Pugh family on TIMO Alagwa eighteen months ago, AIM have not disappointed. Our area rep, Steve Lancaster, gave constant – and patient – attention to their developing story, which took some years to come to fruition. We met with Steve and other AIM staff on a number of occasions, both locally and in Nottingham. Their information, wisdom and whole approach has been just right. The partnership with AIM, with its acknowledgement and respect for the role of the local church, continues to encourage us in supporting the Pughs, all with the ultimate aim of planting an indigenous church amongst an unreached people group. I can’t think of a more vital reason to join with others in Christian mission. What a privilege! The word “partner” has, to a certain extent, been stolen by our culture to mean something else, but the Greek word group it stems from is “koinonia”. It has been variously translated, but at its heart the word means a close, sharing and participatory relationship: “a unanimity and unity brought about by the Holy Spirit”. (J. Schattenmann) This sums up how I regard our ongoing relationship with AIM. This kind of relationship also takes time, especially when three parties are involved: the mission partners, the mission agency and the sending church. AIM has led the way and I am extremely grateful for the way that it has come alongside this local church to enable us to reach the unreached. By Dave Morris, Senior Minister at Bunyan Baptist Church