Africa (MNN) — Have you ever wondered if God has called you to missions? Sometimes it’s hard to tell, but the fact that you’ve spent time wondering might be a calling itself.
Africa Inland Mission offers several month-long internships every year. They work not only as a time for people to minister where long-term missionaries are working, but as a way for people to explore that calling.
It is called Training In Ministry Outreach Quest. Stephanie Ward of AIM says, “TIMO Quest for us is a 30-day internship giving singles and couples the opportunity to serve alongside our full-term missionaries among Africa’s least reached people groups.”
These missionaries the interns serve with are on two-year terms. The internship is not limited to college students, though many university students go on these trips. Anyone 19 years and older is eligible. AIM finds that many retirees take advantage of this opportunity because they’re not ready to retire.
Most of these opportunities take place during summer months.
“In 2015 we have an exciting number of TIMO Quest opportunities. We actually have six coming up in 2015. And these teams will be to Kenya, South Sudan, Madagascar, Tanzania, the Indian Ocean Islands,” Ward says.
Some of these areas, particularly South Sudan, are areas of volatility. Ward explains, “Safety is really something that is of utmost importance to us. First of all, we acknowledge that we serve a very sovereign God and that He is in control of every square inch of this earth He’s created. And we put total confidence in that fact.”
Their organization is over 100 years old.
“We have full-term missionaries on the ground in every location we serve […] and we really keep a tight watch on the political situations, unrest that may be happening.”
If something is going to endanger their workers, they make careful plans to get them out.
Part of God’s sovereignty involves the salvation of people AIM reaches out to.
“At Africa Inland Mission, our priority is truly the unreached people groups. There are more than 900 unreached people groups in Africa still today and our desire is to see a viable Gospel witness and a church planted among every people group in Africa,” says Ward.
She explains that TIMO Quest participants are a big part of this effort. “When our 30-day interns go out to join our full-term teams, they are fully absorbed into the life of that full-term mission team.”
This includes relationship building, Bible studies, chronological storying, one-on-one relationships, and learning the culture.
“So the Gospel is a priority in each of these places. Often…through these one-on-one conversations, through chronological storying, through small groups of people meeting, the Lord uses these opportunities to grow interest. And over time, the Lord tends to draw small groups of nationals together who desire to learn more and more about his Word, and then small church groups are formed,” Ward says, noting that many nationals become believers through this experience.
AIM recommends that if God is nudging you toward this, spend a 4-6 month period of time praying and going through the application process and then to begin raising funds.
And for those who are certain this isn’t for them, they can minister in prayer.
Ward says, “We would greatly appreciate it if people would pray that as the Lord begins to stir hearts, that people would be obedient to follow through and to take even that first step of filling out a form on the website and opening the door.
“We are asking that the Lord would provide Great Commission believers who are really willing to take that leap and explore what the Lord has. And we’re looking for people who are willing to be bold, who are willing to sacrifice, who are willing to trust fully in the Lord, believing that He is sovereign.”
AIM is excited to see how God works in the lives of people who go on trips with them. They are looking for full-time missionaries but are so excited to expose people to this opportunity as a part of God’s shaping of them.