‘Pioneer’ is not a term to be used lightly – it’s a term of respect and an acknowledgment of the challenges that must be overcome for those first to settle into new territory. A pioneer must break ground to carve a way forward for others that dare to follow behind.
TEAM’s work in the global Church in 2023 includes an increasingly globalized Kingdom workforce. God is raising up disciples from all over the world to take the Gospel message to the unreached. Asule and Neipe are beautiful examples of this. Born and raised in the Nagaland area of India, they are navigating new terrain not only in a new ministry area among unreached Chadians but also as the first two missionaries from the Global South to join and enrich TEAM Chad. To understand how these pioneering women came to ministry in Chad, perhaps its best to start at the beginning…
A Heart for the Nations is Born in Nagaland
The roots of the Gospel in Nagaland can be traced back to the partnership of western missionaries and local believers in the 1870’s. Today, the state of Nagaland is almost 88% Christian, and God is raising up faithful leaders who are hearing the call to cross-cultural missions. Coming from a people group only two generations removed from the first movement of the Spirit affords a unique viewpoint of the global Church. Asule and Neipe bring to the field a unique understanding of resource utilization. They also set an example for the believers in how to live out community, share the Gospel, and integrate culture and faith. TEAM Chad is richer and stronger through their presence; they stretch, challenge, and expand our perspectives.
Asule is a third-generation Christian, likely placing her grandparents among the first reached in the region. She began ministry as a youth pastor, but in 2008 followed the call to cross-cultural ministry. Asule spent ten years ministering in Sudan and South Sudan with SIM International. The war-torn landscape saw Asule forced to participate in numerous emergency evacuations.
Now serving in ministry in eastern Chad, Asule’s presence provides a depth of experience in Muslim contexts. Her calm, diligent spirit also provides stability and makes her an irreplaceable member of the small team. She has a passion for the women of the community and for the local church. To deepen relationships with the women of the church, Asule seeks to expand on the French she learned in Mali prior to her arrival in Chad.
Asule’s life and ministry are characterized by humble, resilient service, and a constant learning of culture. One of Asule’s supervisors in Sudan celebrates her in saying that, “in many ways, she is the ideal long-term worker because she bonds authentically with her neighbors whether she is living in Sudan, Mali, or Chad.”
Neipe also grew up in Nagaland. She is recognized by her cheerful and faithful spirit. Chad is Neipe’s first tour of cross-cultural ministry, but you would never know it from the way she has integrated into the culture, grasped the language, and thrived in the remote village setting. Coming directly from learning French for one year in Mali during Covid lockdowns, Neipe has thrown herself straight into acquiring Chadian Arabic. She shares, “I had to learn like a child just learning how to talk. I had to learn to fully immerse myself in their ways of living, adapting to their culture, and becoming like one of them to earn their trust. This helps them to open up to me. I have built many deep relationships.”
Ministry in Chad is almost entirely lived out through relationships that require a great deal of investment, particularly in the village context. Neipe can often be found spending her time with a group of young girls with disabilities who live close by. Her time is spent reading to them, drawing with them, and loving them as those created in the image of Our Good Father. As a young global worker, Neipe has the potential to become a stable fixture in TEAM’s ministry for many years to come.
A Shared Vision
TEAM Chad has a unique mission paradigm, with over half its members being seconded workers from other global organizations. This multi-generational, multicultural context invites us, and in fact requires us, to continually listen, watch, and learn as we adapt to and embrace the exciting shift in world missions.
Asule and Neipe are truly inspirational as examples of global mobilization. The nature of being a pioneer often means heading out alone and having experiences that are rarely fully shared or understood. As we celebrate these two exceptional workers, TEAM Chad acknowledges that we are imperfect learners of the new song. Nevertheless, we are so thankful to have been entrusted with the privilege to learn and grow together in the same Spirit as we seek to serve the nation of Chad for the glory of His Name.
Written and contributed by: Lucy Morrison and Eric Kroner
Do you see yourself as a pioneer for the Gospel? There are countless opportunities to serve others and further God’s Kingdom in Chad and beyond. Find out more and see where the journey takes you!