We ask Africa Inland Mission’s new International Director, Luke Herrin, why AIM’s priority is for the unreached.
In 1895 a young British man, Peter Cameron Scott, visited the tomb of David Livingstone, in Westminster Abbey. On his tombstone, he read: “I have other sheep, which are not of this fold; I must bring them also” John 10:16. He felt the Holy Spirit stirring his heart, and accepted the call to service in Africa. Africa Inland Mission was born. The founding of AIM was part of a new wave of mission to the interior of distant lands. The gospel had reached the coastlands, but there were vast, uncharted, and unreached regions beyond, where millions knew nothing about Jesus Christ. It was the Lord’s call to Scott, and to AIM, to bring the gospel to these regions.
“Today, among that isolated Muslim people, there is a church. A small, struggling, persecuted, poor church. But loved and treasured by her Lord.”
Scroll forward about 80 years. The work had been wildly successful. Jesus, working through AIM, her sister missions, and many devoted and courageous African believers, had planted huge churches across sub-saharan Africa. AIM was working with the local church in 6 African countries. Another young British man, Dick Anderson, felt the stirring of the Holy Spirit. “Fire in my bones,” he called it. As the leader of AIM, he began a push that continues, moving AIM into new countries and among new peoples. One of those, a virtually untouched Muslim people, was where the Lord called me and my family. Anderson had led the charge years before, challenging AIM workers to move to unreached nations and peoples. Many responded, leaving behind familiar ministry for unfamiliar, reached areas for unreached. Today, among that isolated Muslim people, there is a church. A small, struggling, persecuted, poor church. But loved and treasured by her Lord. Today, as we look back to these two pioneers, and at the current situation in Africa, we must consider what our Lord wants us to do now. I believe that His call to AIM has not changed. Our goal remains: “With priority for the unreached, Christ-Centered Churches Among All African Peoples.” To accomplish this, we will focus on four areas:
- Direct outreach to unreached African people groups (including diaspora),
- Mobilising Africans for this same task,
- Equipping of African church leaders, and
- Serving those who are doing these tasks.
By the Lord’s grace and power, through the prayers, gifts, and sacrifice of his people, his kingdom will come among all African peoples!