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

It can be easy to feel anxious stepping out of your comfort zone to reach out to those who are different from you. Please pray that Christians and their churches would be willing to overcome this obstacle to build relationships with people in African diaspora communities near them. Please pray that they would form friendships where they are able to talk about what they believe and share their hope in Jesus. 

Sandrine is a short term missionary serving in diaspora ministry in Montreal, Canada. She is involved with weekly food and clothing banks, monthly children’s clubs and English classes for immigrants. Please pray that she will show God’s love to those she meets and be able to speak of the hope she has in Jesus. 

Refugees often don’t choose where they are sent to when they move on from refugee camps, and although they are grateful to be out of danger they still grieve the loss of family, friends, culture, language and home. On top of this, they can frequently feel excluded by their new host country. Please pray that Christians in host countries will show generous hospitality to refugees driven by our faith, and please also pray for AIM’s Diaspora workers who are working to reach out to refugees and encourage local churches in this ministry as well.  

One of our Diaspora workers in the UK has been encouraged by members of their local church wanting to join in their work of teaching English and befriending refugees. They hope to be able to develop a team next year. Please pray for wisdom in making plans for ministry next year. 

One of AIM’s Diaspora workers in the UK says that because of the Covid-19 pandemic, the crisis in Afghanistan, and increasing numbers of refugees coming to the UK by boat, the Centre they work in has become very busy. Those at the Centre have needed to prioritise meeting people’s immediate needs over building relationships with new arrivals. Please pray that this worker will be able to find time to come alongside those using the Centre and build friendships with them. 

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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