Africa Inland Mission/Nairobi: Hiram & Jessalyn Jobes
Jessalyn and I grew up in Christian homes in southeastern Minnesota. For Jessalyn, the call to missions came when she was in high school. A visit to Chad and a month-long stay with a missionary family there were enough to confirm that calling for her. After high school, she completed her degree in Intensive Care Paramedicine and went to work saving lives. She planned a trip to Tanzania to do medical work among the population around Lake Victoria, but was unable to go due to illness. Around that time, she also met the love of her life and decided to get married.
For me, the call into missions came later in life. After high school, I attended the same college as Jessalyn and completed my degree in Law Enforcement. Jessalyn and I were married in 2008 and later that year, I was hired as a patrol deputy for the Sheriff’s Office. After working in law enforcement for a few years, I also began to feel called to overseas missions. In 2011, we welcomed a son, Reno, into our family.
Jessalyn and I applied to and were accepted as full term missionaries with Africa Inland Mission and in November 2014, left for the country of Madagascar. The assignment was for two years in a program called TIMO, which stands for Training In Ministry Outreach. We lived among the Antakarana, a small tribe in northern Madagascar whose beliefs are a mix of animism and folk Islam. The Antakarana consider the island of Nosy Mitsio, where we were fortunate to live for fourteen months, to be their cultural birthplace and a place of religious importance. However, our time on Nosy Mitsio was a struggle in many ways. Our family faced ongoing sicknesses and we experienced not one, but two, medical evacuations by air.
In September of 2015, we discovered that our family of three was going to become a family of four. The pregnancy was full of complications and in October we nearly lost the baby due to hemorrhaging, but our God is the Author of life and He sustained the life of our child. In December, we began the transition from Madagascar to Kenya, where we were able to receive much better medical care. On May 26th 2016, we were blessed with the arrival of Holly Grace.
Our ministry has now changed from that of church planters among the Antakarana to something much different, but our mission is still bringing the life-changing gospel of our Lord to those who have never heard it. I was asked to return to Nairobi, Kenya, as the Assistant Crisis Consultant for AIM. My role is threefold. I am responsible for ongoing training in safety and crisis-related topics for AIM’s field personnel. I am also involved in the pre-placement work of opening up new locations for ministry. In this regard, my role is to identify the potential risks associated with specific ministry locations and to formulate risk mitigation plans in conjunction with those risks. The third part of my job is to be involved in the management and resolution of the different crises that arise for our field personnel. Our own experience with medical crises and evacuations has given us perspective and a heart of compassion for others who find themselves in crisis.
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