Peter B

More than a Treasurer

More often than not, when God calls someone into mission, He has more in mind than we could ever imagine.  That was certainly true of Peter Burke, former Business manager of Presbyterian Ladies College, Sydney. When he retired, he and his wife, Anne, headed for Nigeria in 2005 where he became financial manager of our SIM Nigeria office, and Anne fitted naturally into running the SIM guesthouse.Peter B with Nigerian workers

“There hadn’t been a qualified accountant there for almost six years” Peter said, “The office had book keepers who had good technical skills but struggled to apply them”.  So Peter encouraged them to think differently.

“Nigeria is a chiefdom-style society. The boss makes all decisions, but I‘ve tried to introduce another way, a collegiate style and delegation, so everything doesn’t go to the chief.” It’s been a huge paradigm shift for the team but after eight years people are coming to Peter with solutions.

But that wasn’t the only challenge. With electricity outages that could last for hours at a time or sometimes days and water that was just as spasmodic, Peter and Anne had to learn to cope with basic conditions.

Sadly, in 2010, Anne died suddenly from a ruptured Aorta. Peter chose to continue to serve in Nigeria where his ministry now spreads way beyond the role of training and mentoring others to take over the financial management of SIM Nigeria.

He is strategically involved in a number of projects including the redevelopment of ECWA Hospital, Egbe, founded by SIM in 1952. It is the only multi-service health care facility within a 100-mile radius that has a Doctor’s Postgraduate Residency Program and School of Nursing and Midwifery.

Peter is also involved with Bingham University and the Evangelical Church Winning All, the church that grew out of the ministry of SIM. “I help my Nigerian colleagues understand the difference between policy making and detail management and have the opportunity to present papers to accountants and auditors”, Peter says.

Peter has a passion for helping people develop their full potential and has embraced every opportunity in the last eight years to encourage and support people to do that. He’s discovered that when you take the skills and training that you have and offer all that you are to God, He opens doors to do more than you could ever have imagined.

(Courtesy of SIM Australia, Glenyss Barnham)

SIM has 15 positions available for people with accounting backgrounds throughout Africa, and Asia. To find out more check out the SIM website or contact their national office 02 9580 1422.