Celebrating 125 Anniversary
Looking back at God’s faithfulness to SIM over the last 125 years, we are reminded of the ups and downs of the ministry. There were many inspirational accounts and record of sacrifices, even to death, among those who had faithfully followed God’s call upon their lives. There were also decisions and events that seem innocuous and uneventful, yet they turn out to be momentous turning points of our missionary enterprise. One such event occurred in 1957.
“Up to that time, the general director was, in effect, answerable only to God. Guy Playfair, who had been general director since 1944, served from his station in Nigeria. He was in his 70s, and it was clearly time for a transition-but no one knew how to make the change.
In truth, the mission was at a point of crisis. It had grown tremendously since the end of World War Il. There was a lack of cohesion, and SIM could have easily fragmented.
To deal with the crisis, an adhoc committee was formed with representatives from the US, Canada, Britain, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and full representation from the mission family. Meeting in New York, they wrote up what they called a “Memorandum of Agreement” That memo became the constitution of SIM.
The memorandum created a General Council to which the general director was answerable. The new General Council named Dr. Albert Helser, 60, as general director and set a mandatory retirement age of 65. Dr. Helser brought in Ray Davis, the West Africa field director, as his deputy.
From that decision point in 1957, the vision and spirit which had always characterized SIM was undergirded by a stable organization and well-developed leadership.”*
SIM East Asia will be celebrating the 125th Anniversay of SIM on 11 Nov 2018 night. Do keep a lookout for the emailer on this event.
*Excerpt from SIMnow centennial issue, written by Dr Ian M. Hay, General Director (1993)
回顾过去一百二十五年来上帝对 SIM 的信实和恩典，让我们不禁想起在服侍过程中的高山和低谷。在那些忠心追随上帝呼召的仆人中，有许多鼓舞人心的记载，包括牺牲，甚至死亡的记录；还有一些决定和事件似乎微不足道，但它们却成了我们宣教工作的重大转折点，其中一件就发生在1957年。
“一直到那个时候，SIM 总主任实际上只需对上帝负责。自 1944 年以来，Guy Playfair 就一直担任 SIM 的国际总主任，他也在尼日利亚的广播电台服侍神。他已经七十多岁了，现在显然是到了让位的时候，但是没有人知道应该如何走下一步。
事实上，自第二次世界大战结束以来， SIM 的宣教工作得到了迅速的发展， 但是也处在了一个危机之中！在发展迅速的同时，如果没有足够的凝聚力，SIM 很可能走向分裂和解散。
为了应对这个危机，来自美国、加拿大、英国、澳大利亚、新西兰和南非的代表组成了一个特别委员会，连同其他的宣教伙伴代表们召开了一个大会。此大会在纽约召开，代表们写下了『协议备忘录 』，这备忘录也成了 SIM 日后的章程。
按照这份备忘录，SIM 设立了一个理事会，由总主任负责。 这个理事会委任六十岁的 Albert Helser 博士担任总主任，并规定六十五岁为强制性之退休年龄；而 Herser 博士则委任西非的禾场主任 Ray Davis 为副主任。
1957年的这个决策，为 SIM 的组织和发展定下了美好的基础。”*
* 摘自宣教异象（英文版 SIMNOW）之一百周年纪念刊，由时任总主任 Ian M. Hay 博士撰写（1993年）。