Simon and Miriam are preparing to serve in Antananarivo, Madagascar, after having studied Biblical and Intercultural Studies at All Nations Christian College. Before this, Simon was a secondary school teacher, and Miriam was a nurse. Simon has taken up an exciting opportunity in Diaspora ministry in the East Midlands, and Miriam is volunteering alongside him.
Taking the good news of Jesus to Africa’s hardest to reach people does not always mean a move to Africa. Today, millions of Africans live outside Africa. Reaching out to these populations is called diaspora ministry. AIM’s Diaspora workers serve in strategic communities where significant populations of ethnic Africans live, and we seek partnerships with Christ-centred, biblically-based churches. Working in cooperation with these churches, AIM missionaries such as Simon and Miriam have a unique opportunity to build relationships and share the hope of Christ with people groups we would not normally have the opportunity to work among.
When they serve in Madagascar, the Desboroughs’ primary role will be to mobilise Malagasy Christians for God’s mission. They are convicted of the need to invest in Malagasy churches in the capital and encourage them to send missionaries to preach the holistic gospel of Christ in other areas of the country and overseas. By developing partnerships with a range of churches and organisations, they aim to raise awareness of the need for mission. It is then vital to ensure that churches and prospective missionaries have high quality mission training, and that their deployment is well facilitated.
A core tenet of AIM is to minister among Africa’s least reached peoples, therefore they are resolved to engage the unreached Gujarati people that reside in Madagascar. Through business, the Gujarati have amassed a large proportion of the wealth in Madagascar. The Desboroughs hope initially to network with existing Christian businesses in order to connect and develop relationships with the Gujarati, seeking creative ways to proclaim the gospel.
With her healthcare expertise as a nurse, Miriam aims to serve vulnerable women in Madagascar. Working with existing charities, she intends to offer the hope and restoration found only in Jesus to the many trafficked and trapped women working in the sex industry.