From our beginning in 1893, SIM has a rich history of planting gospel seeds in hard ground and putting down deep roots.
Walter Gowans, Roland Bingham, and Thomas Kent believed God had called them to make disciples among the 60 million least-reached people of sub-Saharan Africa.
Unable to convince established mission agencies — most said it was impossible — the three ventured alone into the west African interior. Illness overtook all three. Gowans and Kent died in 1894, and Bingham was forced to withdraw to Canada. This is a success story!
Illness preventing his return, Bingham sent a team who in 1902, planted a station 800 km inland at Patigi, Nigeria. From there, the plant began to grow, and SIM’s roots went deep.
Today, sub-Saharan Africa is bursting with approximately 650 million Christians. That number is expected to grow to 1 billion by 2050.
The church association that grew from SIM’s pioneer work in Nigeria is now a fertile sending church, contributing workers to the Faithful Witness Initiative around the world. Fruitfulness beyond Bingham’s wildest dreams.
God continues to call SIM to sow good seed in hard ground.
The Faithful Witness Initiative exists to stimulate and to encourage SIM entities to prioritize people, prayer, and resources toward establishing sustainable witness in least reached communities.
We send workers from anywhere the church already is to plant everywhere the church is not yet. We have sent faithful witnesses from regions as diverse as Peru, Nigeria, Rwanda, north east India, Ethiopia, Czechia, Germany, and Gabon… just to name a few.
So far, we have planted 65 workers from 22 nations in nine least-reached communities. These multi-skilled, multi-ethnic teams are putting down roots in South and Central Asia, the Middle East, North Africa, and among the Fulani of Northern Nigeria.
If today we can see the fruit of SIM’s founders’ sacrifice, we eagerly await what will grow from the labour of these 65 unique disciples. In faith, we always plant with the expectation of harvest beyond our wildest dreams.
This planting is just as costly today. This year, for a Nigerian member of the FW team in Mali, the cost was also his life. Our precious colleague succumbed to illness while making Jesus known among the Moor people.
In resurrection hope, the team buried his body in the hard ground of Kayes, Mali. We are convinced that God will raise our brother to glory along with Gowans, Bingham, Kent, and that great cloud of witnesses eagerly awaiting Jesus’s return.
In the words of SIM’s outgoing International Director, Joshua Bogunjoko: “My prayer for our mission family is that we become ever more faithful in waiting, faithful in worshipping, and faithful in witnessing. May our experiences of waiting — for the second coming, for answers to our prayers, for relief in times of hardship — form us into faithful worshippers. And may our faithful worship shape us into faithful witnesses.”
- For our team in Mali and for God’s provision and comfort for the bereaved family.
- That many more workers will be called and equipped to reach the Moor people in the Kayes region of Mali.
- Praise God for the countless lives transformed since 1893, as faithful witnesses have disregarded the cost of obedience and followed God’s leading to make Jesus known in least reached communities.