The vision of SIM is “to see a witness to Christ’s love where He is least known, disciples of Jesus expressing God’s love in their communities, and Christ-centered churches among all peoples.” This vision includes caring for and showing God’s love to those who often cannot care for themselves, the vulnerable. (Psalm 68:5).
We believe that all people, including children, are valuable and worthy of respect and care because they are made in the image of God. The Lord Jesus himself expressed the value of children and our responsibility to protect them (Matt. 18, Mark 9).
Children are vulnerable, and therefore require special care and attention to prevent them from being harmed. We recognize that harm may lead to serious injury, whether physical, emotional, or sexual. Harm may be intentional or unintentional, may come from a parent, another adult, a child, or even from a child’s own actions.
SIM USA’s passion is to bring the good news of Jesus Christ to hard places. We value being biblically grounded, kingdom-focused, and intentionally relational. Being intentionally relational includes seeking excellence in the care, nurture, and protection of children and young people.
Therefore, SIM believes that it has a responsibility as an organization, before God, to safeguard the welfare of all children within its care by earnestly striving to protect them from harm, and seriously addressing concerns and reports of possible Child Safety issues regarding:
• the children of SIM USA workers.
• any child who may have been harmed by any SIM USA worker, ministry or project, occurring in the past or present.
SIM USA will not tolerate child abuse of any kind.
SIM USA will seek to reduce the risk of harm to children under the care of SIM USA and to reduce the risk of misconduct towards children by its workers.
To achieve these objectives, SIM USA will implement the SIM USA Child Safety Principles and Practices which outlines its Child Safety Program, including the following:
• Prevention Strategies that incorporate safe recruitment procedures, awareness training, a Code of Conduct to provide clear expectations, and monitoring of SIM USA workers
• Response Strategies that include guidelines for reporting and responding to Child Safety concerns, disclosures, or allegations.
Revised May 27, 2020
As a father of two adult daughters who experienced the challenges of living in difficult places where my wife and I served, this is both an organizational and a personal letter. Experiences growing up as the child of an SIM missionary are diverse and varied – some children had a wonderful experience with rich memories and others faced very difficult challenges which impact their adult lives in challenging ways. Furthermore, the experiences my children remember might be different than what I imagine.
I want to respond as part of SIM internationally and as SIM USA. We want to acknowledge and respond to those who have faced difficult and sometimes traumatic experiences. We want to share with you a heartfelt apology from SIM International Director Joshua Bogunjoko. We at SIM USA are wholeheartedly entering into this time of apology, listening, and action together with our international director and the global family of SIM entities.
We also want to understand the broad range of experiences children have had in accompanying their parents serving with SIM. For this purpose, we invite you to share your thoughts at any time, now or in the future, via a questionnaire. This can be filled in online at the following link (ACOM survey) or, if you prefer, there is a PDF version (ACOM survey .pdf version) you can download, complete, and return. This questionnaire will help us to care for adult children of missionaries and learn from them as we seek to care well for children of missionaries currently on the field, and those who will go in the future.
Trained, trauma-informed people are available and would be honored to listen to any story you’d wish to share. They will also seek to understand how you wish to move forward at this time. More information about this is found in the FAQ section of Joshua’s letter. If you’d like to be contacted by the SIM USA listening team, you can email directly to US.Listeners@sim.org. If you’d like to share your story with someone who is outside of SIM, that option could be arranged through these contact points as well.
If you have adult children who spent time overseas with you while serving with SIM USA, we would appreciate it if you would share this letter with them. If you are aware of any others who lived overseas as children of SIM missionaries, please share this letter or a link to this communication with them as well.
Thank you for taking the time to consider this.
Grateful to God for each one of you,
Randy Fairman, SIM USA director