Timo and Laura

Having previously worked for Mission Aviation Fellowship in Bunia and Nyankunde, DR Congo, Timo (from Finland) and Laura (from the USA) are now serving in Finland among the Congolese refugee population, sharing Jesus with them, and equipping Christian refugees to reach out to the Finns they live among.

In DR Congo God showed Timo the enormous need for solid, thorough, biblical teaching. Timo enjoyed teaching in a rural Bible school, and by the time God moved Timo and Laura out from northeastern DR Congo, a learning centre was being constructed where pastors could be given additional training.

As often with God’s timing, it was a surprise when God brought them back to the USA to work at MAF headquarters. Then, when Laura left full time ministry to raise their family, a switch to AIM whose ministry in DR Congo matched Timo’s interests was natural.

Planning to return to Africa, it was yet another surprise when in 2020 God suddenly routed them back to Timo’s home country, Finland. Thinking it would be temporary, Timo and Laura were again surprised when God showed an enormous need in Finland, for which they were uniquely suited.

One of the main refugee populations in Finland is Congolese, and they were desperately in need of help in many ways. Because of their time in Congo, and Timo being Finnish, they can come alongside the Congolese and bridge the two cultures. Finland is only about 2% Christian. The other refugees are largely of Muslim background.  This makes the Congolese one of the main Christian people groups in Finland. However, they bring with them many of the same needs there are in Congo – for discipleship and solid Bible training. 

With this in mind, Timo and Laura are seeking to equip the Congolese (and others) to reach Finns and Muslims with the gospels. The language and cultural barriers are immense. The Congolese and Finns couldn’t be more different! Timo can help the two groups start to work together. When serving in DR Congo, Timo loved to come alongside the Congolese pastors, seeing where they felt their needs were, offering them a listening ear and support, and teaching. In Finland, Timo plans to teach, encourage, and equip future pastors, missionaries, and church leaders primarily among African people. Timo desires to equip, encourage and disciple African Christian churches and groups to reach out to their unreached diaspora neighbours. 

Laura is able to connect with the Congolese and other diaspora as she too is a foreigner, seeking to learn Finnish. As well as focussing on their family, Laura plans to focus on relationship building with African women and other women’s groups.

Could you partner with them in this work? 

Latest Prayer News

As well as meeting over videocall to sew and read the Bible together, the international women’s sewing group run by one of our UK Diaspora workers continues to serve its community through the Covid-19 pandemic and has recently been sewing eye masks to help patients sleep in a local field hospital. Please pray that these women will see God’s love for them in the Bible passages they read, even as they show love to their community.

One of AIM’s Diaspora workers in the UK serves in a Refugee Day Centre, which has been keeping a socially distanced food and clothing service going most of last year. Please pray for the Centre as they offer much needed services within current Covid-19 restrictions.

In October Annemarie returned to DR Congo after several months in the Netherlands: “I stayed in Bunia for a bit more than a week and talked with several people, including the current church president of CECA and his predecessor… In Bunia I stayed with Tom and Abbie… They are now the Unit Leaders for DR Congo, and I talked with Abbie about my next term. At the end of October rebels entered Nyankunde and Bunia and fighting took place. Please pray for security to be established and for the protection of God’s people in both places. And for wisdom whether to stay, or leave temporarily and find a place of rest elsewhere… Please pray for protection for Bunia and Nyankunde, and for wisdom for the missionaries.”

AIM’s missionaries involved in Diaspora ministry in France share on PrayAfrica.org: “Pray for the Covid cases to lessen and no further restrictions. This city is one of two with the highest cases in France and more restrictions clamping down on activities have been put in place. Continue praying for opportunities to proclaim truth and hearing well with the mask challenges.”

“In the midst of social-distancing restrictions, we are grateful for online technology… I have been encouraged to see how God is growing the international women’s sewing group in the midst of lockdown. The team of helpers now meets weekly by Zoom to pray and plan. In addition, ladies are inviting friends to join the 2-hour online sewing sessions. Not only do the ladies learn to embroider but the group also discusses a Bible verse while they sew. This month, we talked about things that make us fearful using 2 Timothy 1:7. Please pray that the ladies would come to know ‘God who gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.’”

United Kingdom & Europe

Ministry in the United Kingdom & Europe ranges from being a part of mobilising offices, to teaching in Bible colleges to being involved in work among the African Diaspora across the continent. LEARN MORE

Diaspora

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 of Africa: in North America, Europe, and around the globe – the African diaspora. LEARN MORE
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