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 one of those students, who later gave his life to the Lord at a Billy Graham meeting. That young man was George Verwer, the founder of Operation Mobilization.
At college, George and two friends met regularly to pray. They became burdened by the spiritual needs of Mexico. In 1957 the three friends sold some of their own possessions to raise money and gave up their summer vacation to distribute Gospels and other Christian literature in Mexico.
The friends returned to Mexico the following summer, and the next... The response in Mexico was so encouraging that they opened a Christian bookshop and launched evangelistic radio broadcasts there.
When they graduated in 1960, George and his friends traveled to Europe. They began work in Spain, sharing the Gospel and distributing literature. But the task of reaching the whole of Europe seemed overwhelming.
George and his small team realized that God’s plan was to mobilize His church to reach the nations. As they began to share their vision, hundreds of Christians responded. So Operation Mobilization was born.
By 1963, 2,000 Christians had 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. They had committed themselves to reaching those who had never heard the Gospel.
In 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.
Today, over 6,800 workers, representing 100 nationalities, serve in the OM family of ministries, bringing God's unchanging truth to literally millions every year.