Operation Mobilization traces its roots to the prayers of an American housewife. In the 1950s, Dorothea Clapp began to pray faithfully for the students in her local High School. She asked God to touch the world through the lives of those young people. And God answered her prayers!
Mrs. Clapp gave a copy of the Gospel of John to George Verwer, who later gave his life to the Lord at a Billy Graham meeting. Several years later George founded of Operation Mobilization.
- 1957 – George and two friends at college met regularly to pray. They became burdened by the spiritual needs of Mexico, sold some of their own possessions to raise money and gave up their summer vacation to distribute Gospels and other Christian literature in Mexico.
- 1960 – after graduating George and his friends traveled to Spain, sharing the Gospel and distributing literature.
- 1963 – George and his small team realized that God’s plan was to mobilize His church to reach the nations. 2,000 Christians joined summer outreach teams in Europe. At the same time, the first year-long teams moved into the Indian sub-continent and the Muslim world, committing themselves to reaching those who had never heard the Gospel.
- Mid 1960’s – work began in Communist Eastern Europe with teams smuggling in Bibles and small printing presses. About the same time, teams begin distributing literature in Iraq, Syria, Kuwait, Afghanistan & South Asia.
- 1970 – the OM Ships ministry began, expanding OM’s reach around the globe, with the ability to visit thousands of the world’s port cities.
- 1989 – over 7000 people join the LOVE EUROPE Summer Outreach. Of that group, hundreds join long-term.
- 1991 – OM began a focus on humanitarian relief, preaching a wholistic gospel in response to Gulf War.
- 2007 – OM celebrated 50 years of work and also appointed its first Asian International Director, Lawrence Tong.
- 2015 – the 20 millionth person steps aboard an OM ship for a chance to hear the gospel.
- 2016 – We adopted our current version mission statement: “We want to see vibrant communities of Jesus followers among the least reached”.
- 2020 – OM saw over 1000 new fellowship groups of Jesus followers established in partnership with others.
OM now has 5,000+ workers, representing more than 100 nationalities, serving in the OM family of ministries, bringing God’s unchanging truth to literally millions every year.
Today: OM believes no single organization can accomplish the mission alone. But unified behind a single vision, each believer doing their part and seeking God’s guidance, we are convinced the trajectory of the unreached can be transformed and the Great Commission fulfilled in this generation.