The Need

Johan Leach, Lesley Leach, Zambia, FeatureThere’s a forgotten people, living on a social island. It’s not physically surrounded by water, like a geographical island.

But it might as well be.

The crocodile infested Zambezi River slices through Zambia, just east of its western border with Angola. It swells with flooding in the spring, making crossing with a vehicle impossible for months at a time.

Johan Leach, Zambezi River

The Zambezi River

To the west, the border with Angola yields similar restrictions, further isolating the people of this area.

Without access to the rest of the world, life here is hard. They just survive…if they can.

Animism - the worship of one’s ancestors - is prevalent in this area. Many have heard about Jesus, but often simply add his name to their ancestor worship practices.


Johan and Leslie Leach are committed to sharing Jesus with this forgotten, isolated people. They equip and send teams to cross the river and share Jesus.

Johan’s passion for life and love for Jesus leak out from all sides as he welcomes you into his inner circle. Johan knows no strangers.

Johan and Leslie teach the teams to use the Genesis-to-Christ method of evangelism. "If you just tell them about Jesus and not about Genesis and why Jesus needed to come to earth, they will just accept Jesus and add him to their other ancestor worship,” Johan says.

Johan Leach, Zambia

Dynamic and passionate Johan teaches the gospel with the help of one of his teammates.

Johan Leach, Zambia

From his writing to his speaking to his life's decisions, Johan points to Jesus in everything.

Johan Leach, Zambia

The  teams are able to access this area even during the spring torrents in canoes, thanks to an ITMI supporter who helped replace their old canoes with sturdier, safer vessels.

Steve Evers, Jon Dekkers, Steve Lee, Zambezi River, Zambia

Steve Evers, Jon Dekkers and Steve Lee in the old canoes used by Johan's teams.

Johan Leach, Canoes

New, safer canoes donated by an ITMI supporter.

Johan and Lesley brought everything they own to Chavuma. They built a garage as temporary living quarters. They cook meat on a barbecue or an open fire, they make oatmeal and maize in cast iron pots in the front yard.

They split wood for cooking, repair their own vehicles, use a generator to produce limited electricity and boil river water to drink.

Johan Leach, Jon Dekkers, Steve Lee, Zambia

ITMI Board Member Jon Dekkers and Steve Lee with Johan at his home in Chavuma.

Zambia, Johan Leach, Steve Evers, Clean safe water

A boy from one of the villages Johan ministers to clings to his new-to-him clothes, delivered by Johan and Steve Evers. 

Johan Leach, Steve Evers, Zambia

A village listens to Johan share the gospel after receiving access to clean, safe water.

Johan Leach, Steve Evers, Zambia

Johan sharing the gospel with one of the villages he ministers to.

Johan Leach, Zambia

A village man celebrates a gift of new used clothing from Johan and ITMI.


  • Equip missionaries to share gospel truth using the "Genesis-to-Christ" model.
  • Declare and demonstrate God's Kingdom in an isolated and forgotten area.
  • Reach the area West of the Zambezi River for Christ. 


  • Prayer for protection for missionary teams crossing the Zambezi River.
  • Prayer for hearts and minds open to the gospel. 
  • Funds to equip and send more missionaries.

Who’s Involved

  • Local believers and their church located in a settlement called Chavuma on the East side of the river.

Latest News

An Inside Look at Life and Ministry on a Remote Flood Plain in Zambia, featuring Johan and Lesley Leach (Podcast Episode)

podcast, zambia, johan leach

ITMI’s Johan and Lesley Leach share how ITMI supporters have played a major role in spreading the Gospel among a least-reached people, their strategy for saturating an isolated area with the Gospel, what life is like for them in this unique location.

Stuck in the Black Forest: A Mission Adventure in the Zambian Bush

At the end of March, a young couple from Arizona did something many wouldn’t. Especially not with four school-aged kids. Jonny and Carrie Dekkers sold most of their possessions, rented out their home in Arizona and traveled to Zambia, where they plan to stay in a rustic abode, hours from any real grocery stores for six months. Last weekend, Jonny shared this story that demonstrates some of the challenges of working in this area and what the Lord taught him and his family.

How Giving Clean, Safe Water Does More Than Meet Physical Needs

Clean Safe Water, Zambia

The villagers dashed madly for their huts. They had caught one glimpse of the initial brownish-grey clean-out water spilling from the head of the newly drilled well. Moments later, they returned with the various makeshift containers, ready to collect the contaminated water.

6 Remote Zambian Villages Get Clean, Safe Water!

clean safe water zambia, johan leach

Early last month, ITMI’s Johan Leach and his team deployed south from their ministry base in Chavuma, Zambia to Lukulu, Zambia. Their mission was…

Photos: Visiting our Zambian Partners

Zambia, Steve Evers

We wanted to share a few snapshots of our time in Zambia. Thanks for praying us there and back! -Steve and Kent

An Expedition on the Zambezi: A behind the scenes look

Zambia, Johan Leach

They are terrified of the idea. A group of grown men, scared of getting in a boat. But you wouldn’t know it to look at them. They move intently as they ready the boat. They are focused on the tasks at hand. Concentrated on the calling they’ve accepted because they know it is of crucial importance. They steadfastly…

Accused of Witchcraft: Ruffling Feathers

johan leach, zambia

Mary Savu Mbi is a dedicated believer who lives in the remote Zambian village of Kanjachi. While Mary’s daughter was sick, she was unjustly indicted for witchcraft and trying to kill her daughter.

Swamp Water Finds an Unorthodox Use on the Luvale Plains in Zambia.

Johan Leach, Zambia

A four-man team ventured across the wild Zambezi River in canoes last month. When you set off into the secluded area with little contact to the outside world, you’re never sure what will happen. Only those up for an adventure need apply. This trip did not disappoint…

“I Needed to Repent, Which I Did, but the Lord Wasn’t Finished Yet” – A Christmas Greeting from the Leach Family

Johan Leach, Zambia

“So I needed to repent, which I did, but the Lord was not finished with me, for the ‘Song of Solomon’ lay ahead.”

5 MORE New Wells in Western Zambia!

Johan Leach, Zambia, Clean Safe Water

The elderly shook their heads in understanding. Teachers and evangelists from the east bank of the Zambezi River were visiting their village. The teachers traced back the dark past of ancestral and pagan worship of the villages to where they are finding themselves now….