IMB missionaries say 'more workers' are needed in the field


Ask David Lee and Zoey Kim about the one thing that can push their ministry in Madagascar to the next level. The International Mission Board missionary couple will answer in unison, “More workers.” 

It might sound like a missionary cliché but Zoey contends the harvest is real and the workers are few.  

"Madagascar is an open country. This means you can proclaim Christ anywhere,” the veteran missionary explains. “We pray every day at 10:02 for more people to join us. We are desperately asking churches to send more people.” 

The island nation off the coast of Africa can be a hard place to live, especially outside the capital, Antananarivo. Travel is difficult from village to village. Education levels are low. The nation has one of the highest poverty rates in the world at 75%.  

David and Zoey have found most people are willing to hear the gospel. In fact, government statistics list Madagascar as 50% Christian. The majority of those, however, are cultural Christians. The couple say about 2% are considered evangelical and understand the gospel message.  

Due to the lack of education, many churches do not use a Bible. It’s hard to find someone who has read through the Bible. Many people will go to church their entire lives but do not know Jesus. So, the couple’s team works with local churches to bring evangelism training to all parts of the island. They do this in a wide variety of ways — teaching seminary classes, medical work, trauma counseling, Bible studies and university work. 

“We need leadership training,” Zoey says, pointing out one way U.S. churches can help. Even though the IMB team and national partners go out to share the gospel, there is no one equipped to disciple or lead a fellowship when they leave the area.  

“We are focusing on young adults and university students and trying to cast a vision to study the Word of God,” she adds. “We want to teach them the calling of God, so they become a generation of leaders.” 

Last year they hosted a young adult camp, inviting close to 350 university students and young adults. The majority had never heard a clear presentation of the gospel. By the end of the week, around 150 professed a faith in Jesus. Another camp is planned for this summer.  

This type of mentorship is an important step. Zoey remembers her home churches in South Korea, Canada and Texas teaching her how to do mission work and how important studying the Bible is. Now imagine, she continues, if you didn’t have that resource available. Without mentors discipling new believers or developing biblical leadership, how will the word of God take root and spread? 

“That’s why we need U.S. churches,” she says, thanking Southern Baptists for their support, generous giving and prayers. “Without you guys, it’s impossible to do all of this. Please think about going one step further and join us.”