Sudan Interior Mission
- The Sudan Interior Mission (SIM), one of the early independent faith missions, began in 1893 when Walter Gowans (1868-94), Rowland Bingham (1872-1942), and Thomas Kent (d. 1894) set their sights on being the first Christian missionaries in the Sudan region of West Africa. They began work in Nigeria, where Gowans and Kent both succumbed to the climate and died in 1894. Bing-ham returned to his home in Toronto, Ontario, to regroup. With new backing, he was able to establish an initial station in Nigeria in 1902; from there efforts spread to Niger, Ethiopia, and Upper Volta (Burkina Faso). From Ethiopia, SIM personnel were finally able to reach today's country of Sudan in 1936. Subsequently efforts spread to Benin, the Central African Republic, Cote d'Ivoire, Eritrea, Ghana, Guinea,Kenya,Liberia, Malawi, Senegal,South Africa, and Togo.Meanwhile, in South America, an independent work that began in Bolivia in 1907 by a New Zealand couple evolved into the Andes Evangelical Mission. The mission grew to include work in Chile, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru, and Uruguay. This movement merged with SiM in 1982. Seven years later, SiM absorbed the work of the international Christian Fellowship in Bangladesh,China,India, Mongolia, Nepal, the Philippines, and Pakistan. Finally, after a century of working primarily in Central Africa, in 1998, SIM joined with the Africa Evangelical Fellowship, which brought with it work in Angola, Botswana, Gabon, Madagascar, Mauritius, Reunion, Mozambique, Namibia, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe.The Sudan interior Mission changed its name in the 1980s to Serving in Mission; it is now known globally as SiM international. As the new century began, SiM supported personnel in more than 40 countries. Much of its older work has matured into autonomous churches such as the Sudan interior Church in Sudan and the Evangelistic Church of West Africa in Nigeria.Further reading:■ Rowland Brigham, Seven Sevens of Years and a Jubilee: The Story of the Sudan Interior Mission (Toronto: Evangelical Publishers, 1943)■ J. du Plessis, A History of Christian Missions in South Africa (Cape Town, South Africa: C. Struik, 1911, 1965)■ W. H. Fuller, Run While the Sun Is Hot (New York: Sudan Interior Mission, 1967).
Encyclopedia of Protestantism. Gordon Melton. 2005.
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