Serving those who serve in difficult places—

Recently the International leadership of SIM began working on revising our Purpose and Mission statement. The International Director, Dr. Joshua Bogunjoko, encouraged us to go back to the vision of the founders of SIM.  In 1893, three young men headed into the interior of an area reaching from Senegal on the West, Ethiopia on the East, and Liberia, Nigeria and Congo on the South—an area called The Sudan at that time. These three young men were called to bring the Gospel to the least reached. Two of them died within the first year.

With this background, this statement was developed:
SIM’s Purpose and Mission
Convinced that no one should live and die
without hearing God’s good news,
we believe that He has called us
to make disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ
in communities where He is least known. 

If you stop for a minute and think about where these communities are located, or why people there have yet to hear God’s good news, you’ll realize that our missionaries are serving in very difficult places. You may never hear about some of the locations where our people are, but then again others are living among the people who frequent your news feed. Some live in areas of political instability, social unrest or lawlessness. Some live in harsh climates, or are subject to repeated natural disasters. Some serve in highly oppressive cultures while others are in highly sexualized environments and see the faces of exploitation daily. All are in places where Jesus is least known. And these are the places where God’s good news needs to be heard, people need the opportunity to believe and be discipled.

Take another minute and think about the affect of living within this kind of environment, and the toll it will take on an individual, a couple and their marriage, families, and cross cultural teams. While they may become fluent speakers of the local language (or two or three!) and capable communicators of the Gospel, they still face extreme stress and respond at times in unhealthy ways to their daily challenges. And it’s to these missionaries we are called to serve in SIM USA.

 I (Faith) am privileged to lead the SIM USA Member Care Team. We work to prepare and equip missionaries before they head to their field of service. When they face challenges in that country, we are available to walk through those with them from a distance, to provide resources and to connect them to regional care-givers. When they return to the US from their overseas assignment we spend time listening to their stories, and help them consider how to be prepared to return and flourish in their next term of bringing God’s good news to the least reached.