PEACHTREE CITY, GA – The reckless obedience of the Christians involved in the outreach ministry of Africa Inland Mission (AIM) may have grown out of the passion of its founder, Peter Cameron Scott.
He had the vision to establish a network of mission stations from the southeastern coast of Africa all the way to Lake Chad on the northeastern borders of Nigeria and Cameroon. He set out with a party of six others to fulfill that vision on August 17, 1895. (The distance from Mombasa, Kenya, where the group ported, is more than 2,000 miles.)
With the help of another group of 15 people from the U.S. and Canada, four mission stations were established in Kenya over the next year. A task of such magnitude in 1895 could have been fueled only by a group of people with reckless obedience to share the Gospel and plant churches in the inlands of Africa.
Having gotten off to a good start, Scott, unfortunately, contracted blackwater fever and died in Africa in December 1896 at the age of 29. More workers died. A few resigned, succumbing to the ravages of the continent rather than disease. But the vision survived, and the work grew.
In his book, We Felt Like Grasshoppers, Dick Anderson described the story of Africa Inland Mission.
“This is a story of power. God honored the faith of frail people. He used them to launch a movement which has swept millions into His kingdom.”
Today, AIM supports missionary endeavors in more than 20 African nations, including Kenya, Tanzania, Chad, The Central African Republic, South Sudan, Uganda, the DRC, Angola, Namibia, Mozambique, Madagascar, and in locations across the northern part of the continent.
The agency’s website shares,
“We go to some of the hardest places, but we are ordinary people, transformed by Jesus and called to an extraordinary journey, privileged to be caught up in God’s great redemptive work in Africa.”
The “inlands” of the 21st century, however, are markedly different than those of the 19th. The obstacles are no longer primarily geographical. They are primarily cultural and ideological.
Deeply rooted animism and the spread of Islam are two of the biggest obstacles faced by AIM missionaries. Despite the relentless efforts of AIM and other evangelical missions, only about 2,700 of the 3,700 people groups have been reached with the Gospel.
Like other developing countries, Africa’s population is growing rapidly. In fact, Africa’s population is the fastest-growing in the world. By 2050 African residents are expected to comprise a quarter of the entire global community.
The vision of AIM remains virtually the same today as it was when the first party of seven landed.
“Overcoming obstacles to make inroads and make disciples among Africa’s remaining unreached, wherever they may live.”
The reckless obedience of 1,000 Africa Inland missionaries is sharply built on an uncompromising love and a courageous obedience to Christ.
“We go wisely, but in faith – knowing that the One who calls us is faithful. Knowing that we are merely participants in an unstoppable work of God to bring the nations unto Him.”
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