This is an article from the May 1982 issue: Virgil A. Olson

From the Director

From the Director

Dear Friends,

This Center vs. the kangaroo! What is the parallel?  That strange animal and this bustling, burgeoning center? We are alike because only God could have invented the kangaroo.

  1. We're not big  These 35 acres, 100 buildings (mostly residences), 500,000 square feet of floor space, are smaller than most college campuses. However we are trying to be a servant to 500 mission agencies in this country. Yet our space is a small percentage of all theirs.
  2. We're not small  At least 500 people live and/or work on this set of properties, not counting students. That leads me to say...
  3. We're not a college  although we occupy a former college campus, and in fact operate a small specialized university. (see p. 8)
  4. We're not a mission agency  at least not the usual kind which must forever raise money to operate. We will be completely self sustaining 1) once our property payments cease in two years, and 2) once no one on our staff is raising personal support in our name. (Our goal is for all personnel to be on loan to us from other missions. Already 42 agencies contribute personnel here.) We are, and always have been, self sustaining except for these two items. This fact leads us to the next point...
  5. We are not trying to create thousands of new frontier mission donors for ourselves As already mentioned, we do not foresee the need for any permanent donor base. Temporarily, yes, we must get the property paid for. Even for the property we hesitate to compete for funds against the very agencies we are trying to serve. If the Frontier Fellowship movement catches on (Pray!), it will bring $40 million per year to the other mission agencies (of which $6 million may come to us) and by the end of 1984 $100 million per year.
  6. We don't exactly send missionaries  We do allow our staff members to "escape" if they really feel God leading overseas. And almost 50 of our staff  and hundreds of our students  are now all over the globe, working under many different agencies. Our purpose in Pasadena is to keep enough people home so as to make sure no Hidden People group (out of over 16,000) is overlooked, and to make sure enough funds and recruits are alerted and sent that way.

Alas, how about you? No one on our staff has yet succeeded in neatly, simply, explaining what we are. Yet it's awfully important to do so. Write me a note if you have an idea. We can't sell ideas if we can't name them!


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