“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.”