Mobilizing Missionaries for the Francophone World and Beyond
In 2019, four individuals found themselves at a Leadership Matters Course (LMC) Training in the Ivory Coast, discussing missionary training concerns and desires that had been on their hearts. Through further discussion, they realized that their ideas could work together to bring something exciting to fruition.
After more planning and hard work, Dr. Bob Bagley, associate executive director of Global Partners, Dr. Augustin Longa, an evaluation coach for Western Africa with New Generations, Rev. Dieudonne Dambej, the national superintendent of Congo and Carl Gilles, Global Partners missionary for French countries, have been able to see the Institue Missionaire Wesleyan pour l’Afrique et les Caraibes (Wesleyan Missionary Institute for Africa and the Caribbean) – or IMWAC – come alive.
At its core, IMWAC’s vision is “to mobilize, train and deploy 600 missionaries by 2023 to plant churches among unreached peoples and communities in the Francophone world and beyond.”
The hope, Carl said, is to do this by setting up IMWAC campuses in various French speaking countries, beginning with the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Cameroon and Haiti. The institute will train coaches who will then implement and train other indigenous leaders, to act as “pastor-planters” within their respective communities.
IMWAC Congo was launched one year ago on September 1, 2021 in Likasi, marking it the first campus of many to come. “This was possible mainly because of the tireless work of Dr. Longa, Rev. Dambej and his team,” Carl added.
Though the original plan was to start this program in Haiti and in the DRC simultaneously, political unrest in Haiti has delayed the Haiti program for now.
“IMWAC uses an interactive learning approach with modules and workshops to transfer skills, not just information. Thus, IMWAC is an equipping center and not just a teaching center – where students are more than observers, (they’re) participants; and teachers are facilitators,” Carl said.
In fact, students spend as much time in class as on the field, applying what they’ve learned, he added. They’ll spend two months in the classroom followed by two months on the field, and so on.
While spending time on the field, they’ll work to complete assignments such as evangelizing to specific areas, leading church services/Bible studies and by the end of the first year, they are to plant a church.
Students are able to finish with a certificate after one year at the institute. From there, they might be invited to join students from neighboring countries/districts for six months of further training, earning them a diploma. If they wish to continue, they have the possibility of being invited to travel to the DRC for one year of training, where they’d complete the program with a license in either Intercultural Studies, Islam and Apologetics, or Leadership and Urban Missions.
So far, the students at IMWAC Congo have helped revitalize a few churches during their field ministry, Carl reported. They have also planted a new church where more than 100 people attended during the first service.
“My prayer is for God to continue to send workers to His field, and for Him to use IMWAC as an efficient tool to reach countries especially in the 10/40 window. I pray the Lord will provide all the necessary tools and partnerships to prepare effective workers for a breakthrough harvest among countries plagued by secularism and/or Muslim religion,” Carl shared.
This project and mission is also made possible by Amplified Leaders. Amplified Leaders is a way to equip pastors globally to multiply disciples and churches! To learn more about Amplified Leaders or how you can get involved, click here!