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

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….

Insights Gleaned from Zambian Birds

johan leach, Zambia

Early this morning while sitting next to the Zambezi River, these two Hawks decided to perch in the tree above me. Slowly I brought my camera up and started shooting away. As my camera clicked away the hawks graciously took off now having broken twigs in their beaks. It was not long when a crow arrived on the scene, and with some audacity started stealing the twigs from the nest that the Hawks were building.

4 Things You Should Know About Life in Remote Villages

Africa, Villages

“I used to think, ‘All for one and one for all,’ is what village life is all about, right? That the villages are populated by the “noble savage” and lead a connected, unified community life,” says ITMI’s Timothy Keller. But unfortunately, this version of village life may be popular in Hollywood and children’s tales, its simply not what Timothy has found after over a decade of ministry in African villages. “Rural Africa is

Roaring Lion: Everyone Needs to be Saved

johan leach, Zambia

It’s 1:30am. Traveling through the Kafue Game Park in central Zambia, I become aware of the most beautiful lion I have ever seen. Saying that I’m isolated in the middle of the night in the middle of the African bush, is an almost humorous understatement.  I’m approaching fast. This beautiful lion is on the outer parameter of my vehicle’s headlamps. Black-maned and still young, this full grown male is unaware or is intentionally ignoring my approach. It is intent on something on the opposite side of the road….