John & Alma Baker

Anya and Micah

Sent from Christ Church Leyton

John and Alma were engaged in church planting on the island of Mayotte. They also worked alongside the local ex-patriate church.

John and Alma left their jobs as Primary School teachers in 2010 to serve with AIM on a TIMO team in Mayotte. When the team ended, they returned to the UK, where John completed the Cornhill training programme in Bible handling and preaching, and Alma taught English and maths to women in London’s East End.

They returned to Mayotte in 2016. The Bakers lived near the capital, in an area where lots of different immigrant populations live alongside the local Mahorais population.

The people of Mayotte have been very resistant to the gospel. They live in communities which are outwardly harmonious and comfortable, but in reality are full of discord, family breakdown and confusion.

There was a dual focus to the Bakers’ work. Ultimately, they were in Mayotte because the population were almost entirely without the gospel of Jesus Christ. There are over 250,000 people living on the island, and you could have counted the number of Mahorais believers on your fingers. Therefore they were in Mayotte as evangelists, and, hopefully, church planters. They wanted to see local congregations of believers spring up all over the island.

There are a few small evangelical congregations there. These are largely Malagasy, African and European ex-patriate churches, and so John and Alma have a second, related focus to their ministry of service to the church which God has brought to Mayotte.

John and Alma believe strongly that God works in the lives of his people, and in the lives of people he draws to himself, by speaking to them by his Word. So they looked to spend their time opening the Bible, explaining it, proclaiming it, defending it and living in obedience to it among the people of Mayotte.

The Baker family returned to the UK in Autumn 2019 for their final Home Assignment and formally finished service with AIM in 2020.

Latest Prayer News

Please pray for a number of retired AIM missionaries who are currently in hospital; especially for Netty Sinclair who has just received a difficult diagnosis and is very ill.

On Tuesday 10th April a number of us from the office attended a thanksgiving service for the life of Colin Molyneux who served with AIM in various capacities for over 35 years, including in Kenya, Madagascar, Chad and the UK. During the service Peter Maclure, a retired AIM missionary, read out a tribute to Colin’s work with AIM which you can read here. Please pray for Colin’s wife, Rosemary, and the wider family as they continue to mourn a much loved husband, father, brother and grandfather. Give thanks for the ways in which God blessed and used Colin throughout a life which has been characterised as “a life lived for Jesus”.

Our church’s women’s group went on a trip to La Réunion at the end of April, hosted by the Réunion Church’s Women’s group. Réunion is another French island in the Indian Ocean; it is more developed and has a greater mixture of cultures than our island. Alma and our team mate Sarah [Power] were able to join them on this trip, and they had a great time. Alma had the opportunity to lead an afternoon’s session on the gospel and our Muslim neighbours, which went down really well. Please pray for the Christian women on our island, that they would grow in their knowledge of the gospel and in their love for their Muslim neighbours.

John writes: “In November I was able to sit with two men, explain the gospel to them, call them to commit to follow Jesus and then lead them into a new life in Christ as they confessed sin and said the wanted to follow Jesus from then on. What they both have in common is that they have had years of Christian influence in different countries, and I was the one who was here at the end of all the good build up play by previous Christians to score the tap in – stick the ball in the back of the net (sorry for the football metaphor – it’s a struggle not to use more of them!). This is obviously a massive answer to prayer – this is why we are here – so please praise God for what he did in those two young men’s lives.

John writes: “Alma, Anya and I are doing well at the moment. The last month has been busy but very successful in terms of getting set up [the Bakers have been working to sort out getting a house, car, and setting up electricity and water in their new home]. But we are also quite tired (not helped by Anya’s sleeping patterns!). We are also very aware of how hard it is going to be here to do Christian ministry and we are faced with many unknowns about what life and ministry here is going to look like. We need prayer and we need strength to pray. We simply won’t be able to do it in our own strength. We are going to need wisdom, love, patience, boldness, and regular refreshment – spiritual and physical.” Please pray for John, Alma and Anya as they continue to settle in to life and ministry on Mayotte.

Indian Ocean Islands

These beautiful tropical islands are 99.9% Muslim and for security reasons we refer to this area as the ‘Indian Ocean Islands’ rather than naming individual islands. Islam is deeply rooted on these islands and to be an islander is to be a Muslim. There are a small number of believers on each island but many follow Jesus secretly for fear of rejection and persecution.

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Church Development

We hope that our church development work with local African churches will lead them to be centres of hope and love that draw more people to Jesus. LEARN MORE
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