There are many excellent missionary organizations doing great work in Christ’s name, so why did we choose to serve with SIM?
Since the very beginning of our work in missions, we have been connected to SIM. It was SIM missionaries from America, Canada, and South Africa who hosted Tracy’s team to Senegal in 2001 and our team back there in 2004. It was those SIM missionaries who broke my judgmental assumptions about what missionaries were like and who stayed our friends, giving us an opportunity to watch the organization handle various challenges and crises. It was SIM that sent me to Mongolia in 2005 to do the same type of journalism that will take us to Cape Town.
We also share common values, including our faith in Christ, our reliance on prayer, and our conviction that loving our God and our neighbors means faithfully pursuing the Great Commission. We also admire SIM’s commitment to being interdenominational, international, and multiethnic, giving it a broadly informed perspective and helping it focus on transplanting Christ’s teachings rather than a particular Christian culture. As a family, we appreciate SIM’s well-demonstrated belief in the importance of taking care of its members as individuals and as families, not as resources to be squeezed.
SIM is a general mission with opportunities for everyone to use their gifts. Whether someone wants to serve God as an evangelist, translator, teacher, homemaker, doctor, pilot, writer, or well-driller, SIM either has or can find a way and a place to help them – and many others – do so. That breadth lends a flexibility to their operations and reflects Paul’s teaching about the importance of different roles in God’s kingdom.
Its perseverance and experience.
SIM was started in 1893 by three young men so dedicated to the Great Commission that they formed their own organization when no other would send them to people living beyond the coastlines of Africa. Thomas Kent, an American, and Canadians Walter Gowans and Rowland Bingham traveled to what was then called the Soudan Interior and became badly ill with malaria; Gowans and Kent died on the trip, and Bingham had to return home to convalesce. Undeterred, the organization continued, and Bingham made a second trip, again returning home ill. The organization’s third team was able to establish a mission 225 miles inland in what is now Nigeria; the believers they taught founded Nigerian churches that authentically reflect their cultures. SIM has expanded in size, mission, and territory, learning from each experience and merging with other organizations sharing their faith, values, and goals. It therefore understands how to pursue its work responsibly and capably, planning well what is necessary to increase the likelihood of success.