Today is our Founders Day, and we thank God for the blessing and joy of 128 years of ministry through SIM.

It was on 4 December 1893 that SIM’s three founders — Roland Bingham, Thomas Kent, and Walter Gowans — landed in Lagos, Nigeria to bring the hope and message of Jesus Christ to the millions living in sub-saharan Africa. Because no established missionary organisation had been willing to send them, they created their own in order to follow God’s call on their lives. Illness overtook all three, and Bingham alone survived to return to Canada, where he was encouraged by supporters to continue the work. His second trip similarly ended in illness, but a third team took root and survived.

A poster from ECWA’s headquarters in Jos, Nigeria in 2013; the center photo is of SIM founders Walter Gowans, Thomas Kent and Roland Bingham (photo by Brian Heffron).

From that persistent, faithful obedience to God’s call, both the Soudan Interior Mission and the Evangelical Church of West Africa sprouted, grew and bore so much fruit that each changed its name — the mission to “Society for International Ministries” and then “Serving in Mission” and now simply “SIM”, and the church to “Evangelical Church Winning All.” Over the years, SIM merged with several other missionary organisations, including South Africa’s own AEF (Africa Evangelical Fellowship), founded by Andrew Murray, Martha Osborn and Spencer Walton in 1889 as the Cape General Mission.

SIM now has about 4,000 workers from over 60 nationalities working on six continents in over 70 countries, serving the Lord alongside and in partnership with many churches and denominations of diverse backgrounds. Like ECWA, some of them represent fruit that the Lord chose to include SIM in planting or growing. We are humbly amazed at what the Lord has done through the organisation and ministries that we now steward, and we thank Him for allowing us to be part of His work.

Today especially, but every day, we thank those of you who continue to support this work through your prayers, financial contributions, encouragement and involvement. May the Lord bless each of you, and may He inspire more believers to get involved in meeting people’s spiritual and living needs.