This is the day that … the Sudan Interior Mission (S.I.M.) was born, in 1898.
“On 24 May, 1898,” Rowland Bingham later wrote, “Helen E. Blair entered with me into life partnership … we were married three days before the mission was born …” (Flame of Fire, by J. Hunter, page 66).
In the previous decades an awakening of missionary interest had been stimulated by the preaching of D.L. Moody and the Student Volunteer Movement (of which John Mott became the leader for over 30 years).
Literally thousands of young people caught the vision of evangelising the world – in their generation. Among them was a young Englishman named Rowland Victor Bingham, who migrated to Canada … and then trained at A.B. Simpson’s Bible College.
With two other graduates, and without the backing of any Church or missionary society, Bingham sailed for Africa – the “white man’s grave”, as it was then known, and not without cause.
Bingham, suffering from attacks of malaria, was the only one to survive. He returned to Canada in February, 1895 … but that year of death, sickness and disappointment had not been wasted.
Other dedicated young men volunteered to go. The S.I.M. was formed, and by 1900 Bingham was off again – with two other young men – to take the gospel to the Sudan. Again the dreaded malaria struck – the mission was aborted.
But in 1901 another attempt was made … and success began to crown their efforts.
Less than a century later the S.I.M. has over 700 missionaries working under its banner. “Over 6,700 congregations have come into being through S.I.M. ministry, all self-sustaining and self-governing” (Sixty Great Founders, by G. Hanks).
In 1954 S.I.M. set up Africa’s first missionary radio station and daily the gospel is beamed out across the airwaves from Radio ELWA. And because its work now extends far beyond the Sudan, S.I.M. today stands for “Society of International Mission”.