The Training In Ministry Outreach team (TIMO) returned from holiday to learn that it had not rained in the area near MurKuzhen, 'Tall Mountain', since they had left – a total of 19 days. The community east of the mountain decided that the white people had put the rain on a plane and flown it back to America.
The TIMO team were first alerted to the judgement at the end of one of their clinics. Singing and horns resounded in the air as fifty to a hundred people entered the compound singing and waving leaves. David, the team leader, was called out to talk to them. The rest of the team prayed for grace and wisdom while David and two team members were forced to go to the elders for a trial.At the trial, the elders of the villages accused:
You took the rain on a plane . This is your fault. We will decide what to do with you.
David received the verdict: bring two bulls the next day for sacrifice. If not he would die. The elder’s decision was final, despite David advising he did not own one bull, let alone two.
The team had no choice. In the middle of the night, leaving most of their possessions behind, they began a 6.5 hour trek to the airstrip (a walk that usually takes about 3.5 hours). They didn’t dare to use torches in case it alerted people to their sudden exit. MAF rearranged the flight schedule in order to collect the team and fly them to safety.
We don’t know what the spiritual battle will bring next, although we know that the community has threatened to curse us, amongst other things. We also know that it will take a miracle for us to be able to return, but we know that God is bigger than all of it.Deborah, one of the TIMO team
Late June, Phil Byler, AIM country director, flew back to Napep to speak to the elders about the incident. Ironically, it rained very heavily- so heavily it took three attempts for the pilot to land the plane. The meeting went fairly well, though its anticipated that more meetings will be required before the team returns.
Africa Inland Mission seek to spread the word of God in unreached areas. Their work includes: youth ministry, medical care, community development, community health, leadership development, aviation and support services.
AIM founded the two year TIMO programme in the mid 1980s. Its purpose is to train future missionaries in areas of cross cultural ministry. Their ultimate goal is to develop a working and ministering church. Twenty two-year teams have been trained so far. They operate in over thirteen areas in six African countries.
Mission Aviation Fellowship
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Registered Charity Number 1064598 (England & Wales) and SC039107 (Scotland)