Tim grew up in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where his parents served as missionaries. He remembers skits put on by men from a village near the mission station for visitors from America depicting the traditional poison ordeal for identifying and dealing with witches. The idea of these skits was that “witchcraft” was a thing of the past now that the gospel had taken root. Tim and his wife Susan subsequently worked in the DRC from 1982-1996. During those years issues related to “ulozi” (the Congolese Swahili word for “witchcraft”) came up with some regularity, belying the notion that these challenges were a thing of the past.
Since 2005, Tim has returned to northeastern Congo numerous times to teach at Shalom University (in Bunia) and the Christian Bilingual University of Congo (in Beni). Together with his students and other church leaders, he is currently working on a research project that will seek to identify “best pastoral practices” for addressing the problems arising in the context of the fear of witches.
He has published “’The Modernity of Witchcraft’ and the Gospel in Africa” in Missiology (2010) and “The Existence of Witchcraft in Africa: Continuing the Discussion” in the Evangelical Missions Quarterly (2013).