Paul and Helen

Esme, Martha and Tabitha

Sent from St Clement’s Church, Manchester

Paul and Helen will be moving to the Sahel region in French-speaking West Africa in 2022.

Until mid-2020, Paul and Helen served in Karamoja, the poorest region in Uganda. The Karimojong who live there carry the stigma of having the lowest status among Ugandans. They live traditional cattle-herding lives in small communities scattered across a harsh landscape. The villages – manyattas – are surrounded by dense walls of sticks to prevent cattle raising and to keep outsiders out.

Paul and Helen lived with their team in Kotido, northern Karamoja, and worked with the Church of Uganda. Helen helped to run the church health centre in Kotido, treating and praying with patients, training and mentoring staff to deliver Christ-centred healthcare, as well as doing some admin. She was also involved with the youth choir and youth Bible study at the church in town, helping to inspire the youth to proclaim Christ in all they do.

Paul did a little medicine in the government health centre in town, but spent most of his time discipling rural church leaders and believers. This involved teaching the Bible in ways oral learners could understand, helping believers to create local Scripture-based songs and equipping leaders of small churches.

As they consider their move to West Africa, they are aware that their new region has few Christians, small numbers of churches and large numbers of mainly Muslim people groups. This is sadly combined with political insecurity, poverty and poor health infrastructure. With the few Christians and churches there are huge numbers of people in in those countries who have no access to the good news of Jesus Christ, many will never hear of him. However, there are some indigenous churches and Christians who are striving hard to share the gospel, and among some people groups they are beginning to see some fruit.

The task is big, with huge numbers without the gospel and exploding populations. Paul and Helen’s roles initially will be to begin to lay the foundation for AIM ministry. They will be listening to and building relationships with local churches and agencies on the ground, beginning to understand the history and culture, finding out what the Lord is already doing in the region and seeking to be led by his spirit in all they do. They will then be better able to partner with the local churches and begin to explore long term ministry options. They hope to continue to use their medical skills in whatever ministry they do.

In the meantime, before they reach West Africa, they will spend the 2021-2022 academic year improving their French at a language school in France. There is little English spoken in the region and they want to ensure as a whole family they can engage in the community from early on. In France, the girls are going to local school and Paul and Helen will attend language classes.

Could you partner with Paul and Helen in this work?

Latest Prayer News

While they wait to be able to study in France, Paul and Helen are working as doctors in local hospitals in the UK. Pray that they will show Christ-like compassion at all times to those they serve, and for opportunities to share the hope they have in Jesus with their colleagues.

Last week we asked for prayer for Paul and Helen and their children as they were expecting to move to France for language school. Because of changes in travel restrictions at the end of December they will now study remotely from the UK until visas can be arranged for them to study in France. Please pray for the whole family as they adapt to this unexpected situation and wait to be able to go to France.

At the end of December Paul and Helen moved to France with their children Esme (9), Martha (6) and Tabitha (4) to begin French language school in preparation for serving in West Africa next year. Pray for them as they settle in France and begin language learning, especially in light of changes caused by the UK’s exit from the European Union. 

“Finances – the Lord has been amazing in his provision! We were told by AIM that our finances needed bolstering during this time back because of everything involved in transition to/and stay in the location of our next assignment and to replace supporters who have been unable to continue. We were told we needed to raise an extra £1,500 per month. This seemed mammoth to us, but not to our God. We are now only needing around £500 per month – he has wonderfully provided and it’s been such an encouragement to us as he confirms his calling on us.”

Paul, Helen and the girls are currently in the UK preparing for a new assignment, after having finished their ministry among the Karimojong in Uganda. “Praise the Lord we attended our first in person church service for seven months yesterday, and what a blessing it was (Uganda only opened churches the day we flew out so it has been since mid-March). Obviously it was marred by the Covid restrictions of social distancing, no singing, masks and no proper socialising – however being with God’s people, hearing his word, praying together and praising in our hearts (rather than with our mouths) was a real encouragement. It made us long more for the day when we will all stand in heaven with people from every tribe and tongue and people and nation praising Jesus.” Praise God for this encouragement, and pray that the family’s time in the UK before they begin their next assignment will be refreshing for them.

West Africa

When AIM’s ministry began in East Africa the Lord was already at work in West Africa so until recently AIM was not engaged in ministry there. However, in the last few years, a concern has grown for the Muslim countries of West Africa, given that we are committed as an organisation to see Christ-centred churches among all African peoples. LEARN MORE

Outreach & Evangelism

We long to let all Africa's people know that they can have life, in all its fullness, for comfort rather than being in fear of breaking taboos or working to earn favour in the eyes of their gods. LEARN MORE
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