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when the first missionary was sent out from the church. Neither could the history be written without including the history of the Southwide Baptist Fellowship because the men who organized BIMI were prominent leaders in that organization. Since 1960 hundreds of missionaries, sent from their local churches through the ministry of BIMI, have circled the earth with the message of salvation. From the hot dusty sand of the Sahara Desert to the snow covered mountains of Iceland, they have gone with love and compassion to take the glorious Gospel of Jesus Christ. I have ridden with them down jungle paths, sat in grass huts and watched as they dedicated land on which native converts would build a place of worship and rejoiced at their dedication. I have sat in one of the largest churches in Japan that is pastored by one of the first converts of one of the first BIMI missionaries in the Orient and marveled at their steadfastness. I have walked the halls of Kansai Bible School and been grateful for those pioneer missionaries who saw the need to train national Christians to carry on the task of evangelism. I have sung the song of the redeemed with the converts of the missionaries who took the Gospel to the islands of the Caribbean and remembered the sacrifices of those dedicated servants of God. I have stood at the Wall of Faith in the BIMI World Missions Center and looked at the pictures of those who died while serving and felt inspired by their loyalty to their Master. I have read their stories. I have researched their lives. I have followed their footsteps. I have been challenged, encouraged, and inspired by these wonderful men and women who EMBRACED THE WORLD. Mary Ray has served with her husband, James, as a missionary with BIMI since 1969. Total numbers after resignations, deaths, etc. Chart does not reflect total number of missionaries approved. Example: between 2001 and 2009 there were 290 new candidates accepted. Through 50 years of history, more than 2,725 missionaries have been approved for service with BIMI. BIMI WORLD – Number 1, 2010 5