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Student Evangelism

August 13, 2019

The Student Volunteer Movement for Foreign Missions is an exciting chapter in the history of missions. In a short but significant research project titled, THE CREATION OF A STUDENT MOVEMENT TO EVANGELIZE THE WORLD by Timothy C. Wallstrom (William Carey International University Press, 1980) the stories of John R. Mott, Robert E. Speer and Robert P. Wilder are woven together to present the background of how 2000 college students committed their lives to serve the Great Commission from 1891 through 1920.

Familiar organizations like the YMCA and Mt Hermon along with names like Dwight L. Moody make the narrative come alive and deepen an understanding of the impact they had on the current reality of short term missions in the 21st century. Less than 100 pages this history makes no claims of being exhaustive but does include analysis of lessons learned from the movement in hindsight. Of special interest was the section on the “Spiritual Characteristics (pp. 56-58) which explored “three emphases-dependence on the infallible Scripture, on prayer and on the power of the Holy Spirit” (p.58)

This is not a light reading experience but well worth the time and effort to work through the density of the material if the subject matter is of interest. Well Worth a spot on your missions shelf!

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