Posted on May 21, 2020 CEO Message for IM’s 206-Year Anniversary
We’re celebrating 206 years of global ministry! 


Greetings in the name of our risen Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,

Today, May 21, 2020, marks the 206th anniversary of God’s amazing provision and faithfulness to and through IM!

When I took on the role of Executive Director / CEO of the historic American Baptist Foreign Mission Society in 2016, I could not have foreseen that, in the fourth year of my tenure, the world would be facing a global pandemic of unprecedented proportions. Back then, I was simply responding to the call to lead IM’s third century of mission facilitating movement—no matter what it takes.

Friends, COVID-19 is not the first (and will not likely be the last) crisis our mission movement has had to face. But when we look back at over 200 years of God’s readiness to carry us through anything and everything, we can truthfully proclaim that God has already carried us through world wars, previous pandemics, and major economic downturns. Our God was and remains faithful, and we are still poised today, as we have been through the years, to respond to the call that God has placed on our hearts to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and to meet human need so that God’s will is done on earth as it is in heaven.

Now, as before, unexpected circumstances require us to do things in new and creative ways. (Watch for upcoming news on the World Mission Conference 2020 Livestream Event!) But the gospel has not changed. Jesus still longs to bring peace, joy, and renewal into every person’s life. So in the face of this current crisis, we at IM continue to focus on the basics: How can we be agents of God’s love, justice, and provision? How can the gospel come alive for others as a result of how I live my life? How do I answer God’s call—no matter what it takes?

You and I are members of the IM family in 2020. It is humbling and joyous to be entrusted with carrying on such a rich heritage, one that continues to be so vibrant after over 200 years. God continues to provide for God’s mission through IM, and God’s people continue to invest immeasurable prayer and resources into our expansive family. It is our deepest hope that, someday, those who come after us will count us as part of the same great IM legacy.

I am delighted to be serving with global servants who are truly remarkable in their faith and commitment to their calling. Thank you for your prayers and gifts. For over two centuries, your generosity and stewardship have played an indispensable role in changing lives and winning hearts for Jesus. For that, I am deeply grateful to you.

You are in our prayers and I invite you to pray for IM and IM’s global servants, as together we work towards God’s kingdom on earth as it is in heaven. (Matt. 6:10)


Rev. Sharon Koh

Executive Director / CEO


Photo Thailand, December 1978
Thra Thu Nu, secretary of the Mae Sariang Association, discusses church affairs with R. G. Johnson.