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OM's History


historyhighlightsOperation Mobilisation traces its roots to the prayers of an American housewife.

In the 1950’s, Dorothea Clapp began to faithfully pray for the students in her local high school. She asked God to touch the world through the lives of the young people, and God answered her prayers.

Mrs. Clapp gave a copy of the Gospel of John to one student, who later gave his life to the Lord. That young man was George Verwer, who would become the founder and former international director of OM International.

At college, George and two friends met regularly to pray and they became burdened by the needs of Mexico. In 1957, the three friends sold some of their possessions to raise money and spent their summer holiday distributing Gospels and other Christian literature in Mexico. The friends returned the following summer and the next.

After graduation in1960, George and his friends traveled to Europe. They began work in Spain, sharing the good news about Jesus and distributing literature, however the task seemed overwhelming.

George and his small team realised that God's plan was to mobilise His church to put their faith into action. As they began to share their vision, hundreds of Christians responded. Thus, Operation Mobilisation was born.

By 1963, 2,000 Christians had joined summer teams in Europe. At the same time, the first one-year teams moved into the Indian sub-continent and regions with few or no churches.

Such simple beginnings have shaped OM and today over 5,500 OMers work in 110 countries with the commitment to share the good news of Jesus and demonstrate His love in action in order to see lives and communities transformed.