Operation Mobilisation celebrates 60 years

 In God Stories

It was a night of moving speeches, tears, thunderous applause and a deep sense of camaraderie. On 20 February, over 400 pioneers, leaders and workers gathered for OM’s 60th anniversary celebration in Bangkok, Thailand, to commemorate God’s faithfulness in missions.

Throughout its six decades, OM has stood on the cutting edge of missions, known for its escapades in Bible smuggling, radical discipleship, distribution of Christian literature, pioneering movements in short-term missions, launching four gospel ships and using emerging technologies to spread the gospel in closed-access countries.

Since 1957, when a young George Verwer and his friends, Dale Rhoton and Walter Borchard, were inspired out of a prayer meeting to drive into Mexico to distribute the Gospel of John, God has grown the movement. Today, OM has over 3,400 workers sharing the gospel in 115 countries and through the ship Logos Hope.

OM Founder Verwer shared with deep conviction, “This is the greatest harvest period we have ever known. Hundreds of missionaries have laid down their lives to bring us to this time of harvest. The missions challenge may have changed today, but the basic message is the same: Here am I, Lord, send me.”

Honouring OM’s pioneers, OM International Director Lawrence Tong said, “We are deeply grateful for our pioneers who have paved the way for OM to be what it is today—a global movement serving the Lord Jesus Christ. With the legacy we have inherited, I pray that we will be found faithful in loving God and making Him known.”

The last two years have seen OM undergo renewal and restructuring—first, in understanding our core mission, and second, in innovating change in leadership and governance—in order to enable a more nimble organisation relevant and responsive to fulfilling the Great Commission. In that regard, OM workers are excited about embracing the new mission statement: We want to see vibrant communities of Jesus followers among the least reached.

On the formation of vibrant communities, Peter Maiden, former OM International Director, observed, “‘Vibrant’ speaks to me of life, of health, but vibrant communities will not form without first dying. Jesus says in John 12:24: ‘…unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds’ (NIV). We want to see that this dying in us is Christ-glorifying. It is all about Jesus; it is all about his life made full in us.”

The evening’s testimonies unravelled over the years God’s provision, salvation and amazing acts in OM fields across the globe with little or no gospel engagement, setting the tone for a most hopeful future.

“I am thankful for the tens of thousands of faithful OM supporters and prayer warriors spread across the globe,” Tong said. “Their partnership in our ministries has enabled us to continue transforming communities and making a difference in the lives of people we are called to serve. We are excited at what God has in store for us. By faith we claim the promises of Psalm 90:17: ‘May the favor of the Lord our God rest on us; establish the work of our hands for us’ (NIV)—yes, establish the work of seeing vibrant communities of Jesus followers among the least reached.”

Operation Mobilisation invites you to partner with God in His call to global missions. To find out about missions opportunities all over the world, visit www.om.org.

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