The Deep Roots of the U.S. Center for World Mission
I. The Electrifying Past
Charles B. Fuller's wealthy family wanted him to understand the real world, so they sent him off as a young man to work for the summer in the mining camps of middle California.
Years later, as a devout Bible teacher, he cared so much for those "little people' squirreled away in mining and lumber camps that he started the 'Old Fashioned Revival Hour," the first religious radio broadcast. Eventually, it was to reach a listening audience of 10 million.
Late in life, in 1965, still concerned about the "little people," he called together some key mission leaders and asked them to set up a special school for missionaries.
The Fuller School 0f World Mission took a unique turn. Not candidates, but experienced missionaries began to flock to the feet of Donald A. McGavran, Alan It Tippeit and others' men of immense experience and erudition.
Between 1965 and 1975, a thousand missionaries came from the far corners of the earth to study and share, bringing news not carried in the usual channels.
A thousand missionaries came from the far corners of the earth to study and share, bringing news not carried in the usual channels.
Evidence mounted to undergird a surprising discovery that in country after country, often in ways far beyond people's wildest imaginations, the transforming power of the Gospel had taken root in individual lives, in towns and villages and cities and governments to an extent without parallel in history.
For me, a former missionary, and one of the professors at Fuller between 1966 and 1976, the breakthrough came when Dr. McGavran helped me retliie that, due to this tremendous advance of the Gospel across this planet, the unreached peoples, the "little people," were now more reachable and the remaining task was now more do able, than ever before.
The missionary task was no longer a "valiant but futile" effort, It was now a distinctly feasible task.
In view of the great size of the evangelical movement worldwide, 17,000 unreached peoples is a small number, In fact, there are at least 150 active, Bible-believing congregations. 15,000 Christians per unreached people group!
II. The Exciting Present
By 1976, recognizing the future potential of the Church worldwide, a handful of missionaries felt led to found a major mission center designed to call Christians to involvement in the great, final opportunity of history the completion of the Great Commission before the return of their Lord.
Miracle after miracle has occurred, making this 35 acre, $25 million former college campus the busiest, bustlingest, burgeoningest concentration of mission activists in the world.
Three hundred people work here. They have backgrounds in over 70 mission agencies and experience in over 40 different countries.
Last fall, the largest gathering of U.S. mission executives in history, measured by the number of organizations represented, was held right here. It was quite symbolic. This campus is wholly dedicated right down to the very last office both of the Center and University to serving the mission cause: students, congregations and mission agencies.
Well, since the USCWM began in 1976, 52,000 people have joined the team. Fifty two thousand people have given one time gifts of $15 or more to help pay for this strategic property.
Virtually by word of mouth, without any fund raising department or direct mail expense, millions of dollars have come in to help pay for this important mission base now words $25 million.
We owe only $8 million more. If we pay that soon, we will be through with fund raising forever, We will be able to operate on a self sustaining basis. (Except for property payments, we have always been in the black.)
So what does the future hold? Will (fie word of mouth process work fast enough?
III. The Stunning Future
Of course, the future is yet to be written, but just think: in the next eleven years it is possible, literally, to begin work among every remaining tongue, tribe, people and nation on the face of the earth!
The Mission 2000 campaign, with all of out prayers and efforts, can be a joyous, victorious, global testimony to the majesty, the power, and the glory of our living God!