Passing the torch
First Annual Missions Festival
"I'm going to keep this candle for the rest of my life. " Holding their lit candles, students symbolically received the vision for frontier missions from nearly 100 Student Volunteers for Foreign Missions, now in their 70's and 80's. Those watching sensed the tremendous responsibility under God now placed on new shoulders.
The passing of the torch was a dramatic ending for the first Southern California Annual Missions Festival. More than 1,000 attended, honoring at least 100 retired missionaries. One Volunteer was 96; he came supported by his son, now a retired missionary from Iran. Dr. Samuel Kamaleson (World Vision, Int.) spoke, representing something new for these old volunteers - the more than 600 mission agencies which are completely non-Western. Larry Poland, also speaking, represented a new Western mission agency, the Agape movement of Campus Crusade.
Adding a touch of color and sound were the Chapel Brass, the International Children's Choir in costumes from around the world, and a huge torch which was lit to dramatize the theme of passing on the torch.
The elderly Volunteers had come from all over the greater Los Angeles area. Preceding the program, the present day missionminded students gave a reception in their honor. There, Dr. Everett Harrison of Fuller Seminary recalled for them all fond memories of Volunteer conferences and events in the early part of this century and spoke of the glory and demise of the Volunteer Movement.
It was an exciting evening, worth repeating. But the Festival was only the beginning of an even more exciting week, the first Christian Leaders Institute of International Studies, also held on the campus of the US Center.