John & Alma Baker
with Anya and Micah
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.
Mayotte is a small tropical island located in the Indian Ocean. It became an overseas department of France in 2011 and has since become the home of many immigrants from Africa and neighbouring islands. The language of the majority is Shimaore, the second most widely spoken native language is Kibushi. The vast majority of the population is Muslim.
Find out more about the Indian Ocean Islands and the opportunities to serve there.
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 servine with AIM in 2020.