|Founders||Peter Cameron Scott|
|Type||Evangelical Missions Agency|
|Area served||13+ African Nations|
|Website||AIM International site, AIM USA Site, AIM Canada Site, AIM Europe Site|
Established in 1895, Africa Inland Mission (AIM) is a nondenominational Christian mission organisation focusing on Africa and islands in the Indian Ocean. Their stated mission is "seeking to spread the good news of Jesus Christ to the Peoples of Africa".
History of AIM
Africa Inland Mission had its beginning in the work of Peter Cameron Scott (1867-1896), a Scottish-American missionary who served two years in the Congo before being forced to seek medical care in Britain in 1892 because of a near-fatal illness. While recuperating, he developed his idea of establishing a network of mission stations which would stretch from the southeast coast of Africa to the interior's Lake Chad. He was unable to interest any churches in the idea (including his own), but managed to captivate several friends in Philadelphia. In 1895 they formed the Philadelphia Missionary Council.
More important than specialized training, AIM found acceptance among tribal people based on Christian commitment and moral standing. The Council was headed by Rev. Charles Hurlburt, president of the Pennsylvania Bible Institute, the organisation which provided most of the mission's workers in its very early years.
First mission party
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On August 17, 1895, AIM's first mission party set off. The group consisted of Scott, his sister Margaret, and six others. They arrived off the east African coast in October, and in little over a year they established a network of mission stations which would eventually stretch from the southeast coast of the continent to the interior's Lake Chad.
In December 1896, Peter Scott died of blackwater fever. The mission almost disbanded the following year when most of the workers either died or resigned. The Council began to take more responsibility for the work and appointed Hurlburt director of the mission. He and his family moved to Africa and for the next two decades he provided strong, if not undisputed, leadership for the headquarters, established in 1903 at Kijabe, Kenya.
From Kenya, the mission expanded its work to neighboring countries. In 1909, a station was set up in what was then German East Africa and later became Tanzania. In 1912, Theodore Roosevelt pulled some strings, persuading the ruthless Belgian government to permit a mission station in colonial Congo. Work began in Uganda in 1918; in French Equatorial Africa (Central African Republic) in 1924; Sudan in 1949; and the islands of the Indian Ocean in 1975. Besides evangelism, workers of the mission ran clinics, hospitals, schools, publishing operations, and radio programs. The Rift Valley Academy was built at Kijabe for missionary children. Scott Theological College in Kenya helped train African church leaders. The churches founded by the mission in each of its fields were eventually organised into branches of the independent Africa Inland Church which continues to work closely with the mission today.
Africa Inland Mission's stated mission is "to declare the Glory of God to the peoples of Africa". Their goal is to introduce those who have never heard to the One who died to save them – Jesus Christ. AIM seeks to help new believers grow strong and healthy in their faith and to see new believers enfolded into a maturing church. The organization aims to invest in the lives of current and future church leaders so they can effectively affect the lives of others who can in turn reach out to the vast population of Africa and beyond.
AIM's goals include establishing maturing churches through the evangelization of unreached peoples, and through the effective preparation of church leaders.
- Rift Valley Academy
- AIM AIR, an aviation branch of Africa Inland Church (Homepage)
- TIMO, two-year Training in Ministry Outreach (Homepage)
- Synergy, is the name given to the Aim International (Europe) short-term mission programme (Homepage)
- D. Anderson, We Felt Like Grasshoppers, Crossway Books, September 1994. ISBN 1-85684-106-5.