“In my mind’s eye I could see a world map, alive and moving!” recalls Loren Cunningham. “Waves crashed onto the continents, advancing inland until all the nations were covered. As I watched, the waves became young people of all races. They were my own age and even younger, talking to people on street corners and outside bars. Going from house to house. Helping the lonely and the hungry. Caring for people everywhere they went.
Suddenly the scene was gone. What could that be? I wondered. I was barely out of my teens when I experienced that mental movie of the waves. What did it mean? Then I remembered an experience that I had as a 13-year-old, when one day in church the words of Jesus had spoken very directly to me: Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation. That was the vision. Young people fulfilling the Great Commission of Mark 16:15. An idea began to grow: God wanted to release the resources of youth for lay missions.”
Others objected: Youth were unreliable, uncommitted and inexperienced, they said. But God had used Joseph, David and Esther as teenagers. And some of Christ’s disciples were very young when He had sent them out on short-term missions in Luke 10.
So in 1960, Youth With A Mission began and the waves became reality. Hundreds of thousands young people went out. Today, because of God’s power and grace, Youth With A Mission has become the largest Mission organization. We have more than 10000 full time workers all over the world. Each year tens of thousand young people, business people, retired people and whole families are joining us for short term programs in more than six hundred ministry locations in 135 countries.
Youth With A Mission believes that the Gospel is not only God’s Word, but that it has to be put into everyday practice. Using different means and tools of evangelization, we go out and share the Good News. Founder Loren Cunningham has set some goals for Youth With A Mission:
Until the year 2000 we hope to establish 1000 training locations and 3000 ministry locations (evangelism, mercy ministry and training) all over the world. We especially hope to raise non-Western missionaries, their zeal and different cultural background will benefit the furthering of the Gospel.