SIM is not your grandfather’s mission agency! We are in transition as is the whole world of cross-cultural ministry. Founded as Soudan Interior Mission in 1893, SIM has since merged with groups working in Asia and Latin America, as well as our former mission, Africa Evangelical Fellowship. With expanding territory, the name was changed to Serving in Mission. But a lot more than the name and areas of service has changed!
The various groups that became the modern SIM arose in the late nineteenth century. They were all Americans or Europeans taking the gospel to other countries of the world. From the West to the rest, as they say. No more. We now have more than 1600 active missionaries working in 60 countries. But the biggest change is where our missionaries come from—more than 30 nationalities!
As the church around the world has matured, the Holy Spirit has sent out workers and evangelists just as he did Paul and Silas from the church in Antioch in the first century. SIM is not only a church-planting mission; we are also a mission-planting mission, helping the churches we found to organize to send their own missionaries. You will find SIM sending councils in Korea and Guatemala. Daughter churches in Nigeria and Ethiopia, now millions strong, have started their own mission sending agencies. In several fields we face the challenge of organizing to both send and receive missionaries in the same country.
This week we transition to a new International Director. Malcomb McGregor, of Scotland, has completed two term, beginning in 2003. For the first time in our history, our international director with be from one of our receiving countries. Joshua Bogunjoko is Nigerian. He’s a medical doctor with years of cross-cultural experience with the Evangelical Missionary Society (EMS), the missions arm of ECWA, SIM's daughter church, which today sends more than 2,400 Nigerians cross-culturally. Most recently Dr. Bogunjoko has been Deputy International Director of West Africa and Europe for SIM.
My husband and I have spent nearly forty years in cross-cultural ministry. It has been an exciting time to be a part of what God is doing in the world. Saturday, June 1, will be a day of prayer for us in SIM, praising God for what he has done and looking to him to direct the coming years. Won’t you join us?
LeAnne Hardy has lived in six countries on four continents. Her books come out of her cross-cultural experiences and her passion to use story to convey spiritual truths in a form that will permeate lives.
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