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10 August 2012

International mission agency appoints first non-Western director

International mission agency appoints first non-Western director

An international mission organisation has appointed its first ever non-Western director.

Dr Joshua Bogunjoko has been named as the next international director of SIM, a member of the Evangelical Alliance.

He brings two decades of leadership and mission experience to his forthcoming role as the first African leader of this large international mission organisation. This is a historic appointment for SIM as Joshua comes from the ECWA [Evangelical Church Winning All] denomination in Nigeria, a denomination which SIM helped to plant.

Dr Bogunjoko will assume his five-year term on 1 June next year, and will succeed Malcolm McGregor, who has been SIM's international director since 2003.

Joshua and his wife, Joanna, began their mission careers as members of the Evangelical Missionary Society (EMS), the mission arm of the ECWA church, which today sends more than 2400 Nigerians cross-culturally. They were commissioned by the national ECWA church in 1993 and their home church in Lagos in 1995, where they were sent out as seconded associates of SIM. They have served at three mission hospitals in West Africa and became full members of SIM in 2001.

Joshua knows SIM well. Having served on the international leadership team since 2006, he has an excellent understanding of global issues related to mission and is well prepared to discern both the opportunities and challenges facing SIM at this time.

Malcolm McGregor said: "Having worked closely with Joshua for more than six years, I am excited by this appointment. Joshua and Joanna's love for God and His people, and their commitment to Scripture and its central place in their lives as a family and in their ministry of leadership is a delight to observe."

It is truly appropriate that SIM's first non-Western leader be from Nigeria. This is where SIM's work began in 1893. Rev Gideon Para-Mallam, IFESregional secretary, shared his reaction to Joshua's appointment: "120 years after three pioneer SIM missionaries set foot on African soil, God has chosen a Nigerian to be the first non-Western international director to lead SIM.

"This is to be highly commended for its bold statement of the future direction of the global mission movement. I first met Joshua in his university days where his leadership skills were formed as a NIFES student leader. His commitment to mission has grown from strength to tower."