1986: Threshold Year for a New Movement?
From Roberta Winter's soon to be published book I Will Do A New Thing
One hundred years ago, the famous evangelist DL. Moody invited 251 college students to a month¬long Bible conference on the grounds of his newly established school for boys in western Massachusetts. The event marked the bum of the Student Volunteer Movement for Foreign Missions.
Over the next 25 years 20,0(X) young missionaries pointed the way to new life and hope in Jesus Christ, establishing hundreds of universities, thousands of hospitals, and hundreds of thousands of elementary and secondary schools in every portion of the globe.
It is odd to draw comparisons between 1886 and today, but they are there. Today, after the disillusionment of two world wars, the depression arid the rebellions of the sixties, once again the mood in America is amazingly upbeat
Unashamedly, the Statue of Liberty is once more a national symbol of hope and tremendous optimism. And despite terrorism abroad, hundreds of thousands of Americans travel and work overseas, invited by foreign business enterprises and governments.
As Christians u ymg to reach the peoples of the world for Christ, we have so many more opportunities and advantages than the Student Volunteers did back in 1886. We have the tremendous benefit of major radso stations operated by missions beaming the gospel into hard to reach places.
We can cross the ocean in a few hours; it took them months.
We have international telephone service, satellite television, even overnight express mail to major cities of the world.
If those students back then were optimistic about being able to reach the world for Christ by the year 1900. why shouldn't we be able to make plans to penetrate every unreached people group by the year 2000?
It is a thousand times more possible to finish the task of world evangelization by the year 2000 than it was for them to believe in 1886 that it would be possible to do it by 1900. Yet they believed it! We can honor their faith, and share today in circumstances that are a hundred times more optimistic.
The more we read and the more we pray. the morn we are convinced that we are living in the end of history. If the Church does her job now, Christ may return very soon, within ow' lifetime.
Our heart answers, 'Even so, come quickly, Lord Jesus!" (Rev. 22:20). In the meantime, the harvest is ready, waiting fee reapers.
Fall 1986: Ten Years of Vision
It has been ten years since we started the U.S. Center for World Mission, These years have been unbelievably busy and incredibly exciting. They have also been remarkably grueling in the things we have had to team and in the tests we have had to go through. The chief test among these, perhaps, has been the ever present, never ending mortgage payments. And now the final balloon payment is upon us within one short year October, 1987.
Whenever lam tempted to worry, God brings another verse to my mind, a word which He gave to another long ago who tended to fret when he couldn't see God's answer:
"The vision is yet for the appointed time; it hastens toward the goal and it will not fail. Though it tathes, wait for it; for it will certainly come, it will not delay" (I lab. 2:3),