WEC International

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WEC International
Founded 1913
Founder C. T. Studd
Type Evangelical Missions Agency
Focus where there is no church
Location
  • International HQ in Singapore
Origins Belgian Congo
Area served
over 80 countries
Members
over 1,800
Slogan reaching people - planting churches
Website WEC's international site.

WEC International (WEC) is an interdenominational mission sending agency of Evangelical tradition which focuses on church planting, childcare programs, Christian education, missionary education, TEE (theological education by extension studies) and literature production.[1] WEC emphasises the importance of shared life in a local church as a vital expression of Christian life. WEC prioritises the planting of churches among indigenous people groups and unreached people groups, who have little or no access to the gospel of Jesus Christ.

History[edit]

WEC was founded in 1913 by Charles Studd (CT), the cricketer turned missionary. Studd was one of the Cambridge Band also called Cambridge Seven—seven members of Cambridge University who offered themselves for service under the China Inland Mission as a result of a visit by the American evangelist D.L. Moody to the campus in 1884.[2] Studd spent several years in China and a time in India before going on in his fifties [3] to establish and lead the "Heart of Africa" Mission (HAM).[4] Although broken in health, Studd said, "If Jesus Christ be God and died for me, then no sacrifice can be too great for me to make for Him."[5] The Heart of Africa mission, changed its name to Worldwide Evangelisation Crusade.[6] Later, recognising some misunderstandings with using the word "crusade", the mission was renamed as Worldwide Evangelisation for Christ (WEC International). The Heart of Africa Mission/WEC International was started as part of what missiologists call "The Second Wave—Interdenominational missions to the continental heartlands (1865-1910) (the First Wave being denominational missions to the continental coastlands (1792-1865)[7]

The Heart of Africa Mission was changed to Worldwide Evangelization Crusade (WEC) in 1919 when Mr. Gilbert Barclay, who married Studd's daughter Dorothy, became Home Overseer. He took the position on the condition that the organization have a worldwide title, scope and work.[8] Recruitment of missionaries began immediately and in 1922 WEC entered Amazonia. WEC was the parent organization and individual fields were permitted to retain their own subtitles, so the new field became Heart of Amazonia. By the time of Studd's death, the Amazonia field had 16 missionaries with headquarters and mission stations in three tribes.[9] Central Asia was entered next, then Arabia, followed by West Africa (Spanish Guinea), and then Colombia, South America[10]

A branch of WEC International was formed in the U.S. in 1939 and is located in Fort Washington, PA.[11]

The Heart of Africa Mission was begun in northern Congo in 1913 by Charles Thomas Studd and A.B. Buxton, beginning at Niangara on the banks of the Uele River.[12]

After the death of the founder in 1931, his missionary colleague Norman Percy Grubb was appointed General Secretary (leader). Grubb built the mission up from 30 missionaries to 800 in 20 countries and encouraged the establishment of the Christian Literature Crusade as a sister mission in 1941. After retirement in 1965, Grubb lived at the WEC US headquarters in Ft. Washingon, PA, writing extensively and traveling from there until his death in 1003.[13][14]

In 1941 the Christian Literature Crusade was begun out of the ministry of WEC by Kenneth Adams. It aimed to open Christian book centers in all lands where there was a call for them and to serve existing churches and missions with Christian literature, as well as Gospel Literature Wordwide, Radio Worldwide, and a Survey and Research Department.[15]

WEC has been influential in the movement for countries once known as 'missionary-receiving' lands to become 'missionary-sending' lands. WEC International missionary Leslie Brierley visited Brazil in 1962 to survey that land for its missionary-sending potential. Later, in 1972-73, he and Bob Harvey, also of WEC, began touring Brazil giving seminars promoting the idea. The idea has since matured in Brazil and spread to many other countries. Many indigenous mission agencies were formed as a result, and Brierley formed a "global strategy for lauching mission movements in non-Western countries."[16]

Another WEC missionary, Phyllis Kilbourne, launched a sub-ministry of WEC called "Rainbows of Hope", geared to children at risk around the world. This grew out of her seeing the devastating effects of the 1990-1997 civil war in Liberia on the children of that country.[17] She later started Crisis Care Training International as another department of WEC to offer training for Christian workers dealing with children in crisis.[18]

WEC today[edit]

WEC International is a Christian mission agency committed to seeing Jesus Christ known, loved and worshipped among the peoples who have yet to hear the gospel. Most of these 'remaining unreached peoples' are also the world's poorest and sometimes the most marginalized. WEC's aim is to redress this imbalance – serving the last, first.

WEC International has over 1,800 active workers from over 50 nations working in multi-cultural teams[19] in over 80 nations. WEC's international headquarters are now in Singapore, and the current International Directors are Louis and Susan Sutton.

Policy[edit]

C.T. Studd, the founder of WEC, said their objective is "The evangelization of all the unevangelized regions of the world."[20]

More recently, the purpose of the organization was listed as "To bring the gospel to the remaining unevangelized peoples with the utmost urgency, to demonstrate the compassion of Christ to a needy world, and to inspire, mobilize and train for cross-cultural mission."[21]

WEC states that it only knows two 'strategies': love God, and love your neighbour. WEC workers cross cultures as servants, as learners, as friends. They receive much from the people among whom they serve. They seek to demonstrate, in deed and word, the Love of God and present an invitation to follow Christ and know His transforming power within their lives.

WEC International states that it believes that God can provide for their needs without standard fundraising, and that He is able to tell his servants to give the needed money. Hence, their policy is to ask only God, and not people, to supply their needs, a policy laid down by their founder, C.T. Studd, who gave away his considerable wealth before beginning missionary work.[22]

Norman Grubb the successor to C.T. Studd in Congo, wrote that the mission made no appeals for funds, took no offerings at meetings, guaranteed missionaries no fixed salaries, and incurred no debt from the beginning. Funds that were received were divided equally among the missionaries. Neither C.T. Studd nor his wife ever took any money from the mission.[23]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Dodtsey Welliver and Minnette Northcutt, Eds., Mission Handbook 2004-2006, p. 267
  2. ^ Kenneth Scott LaTourette, A History of the Expansion of Christianity, Vol. 6 (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing, 1944), p.330
  3. ^ Norman P. Grubb, With C.T. Studd in Congo Forests, (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1946), p. 12.
  4. ^ LaTourette, p. 330
  5. ^ Grubb, With C.T. Studd in Congo Forests, p. 13 This was reported in an interview with C.T. Studd by G. Percy Lister and published in the 'Methodist Recorder" on January 9, 1913. It has become one of Studd's most famous quotes.
  6. ^ WEC International website.
  7. ^ Patrick Johnstone, The Church is Bigger Than You Think (Geanies House, Fearn, Ross-shire, IV20 1TW, Great Britain), pp.97-98
  8. ^ Norman Grubb, C.T. Studd, Cricketer and Pioneer, Fort Washington, PA:Christian Literature Crusade, paperback 1972, p.201
  9. ^ Grubb, C.T. Studd, Cricketer and Pioneer, p. 202
  10. ^ Grubb, C.T. Studd, Cricketer and Pioneer, p. 203-204
  11. ^ Mission Handbook, p. 286
  12. ^ Peter Falk, The Growth of the Church in Africa, (Grand Rapids, MI:Zondervan Publishing, 1979) p.383
  13. ^ http://articles.ochristian.com/preacher-586-1.shtml Accessed May 4, 2015
  14. ^ http://www.bu.edu/missiology/missionary-biography/g-h/grub-norman-percy-1895-1993/ Accessed May 4, 2015. (From Gerald H. Anderson, Biographical Dictionary of Christian Missions, 1998)
  15. ^ Norman Grubb, C.T. Studd, Cricketer and Pioneer (Fort Washtington, PA:Christian Literature Crusade, 1978) p. 258.
  16. ^ Patrick Johnstone, The Church is Bigger Than You Think, p. 137
  17. ^ Patrick Johnstone, The Church is Bigger Than You Think, p. 253
  18. ^ Phyllis Kilbourne, Ph.D., and Andy Sexton, Offering Healing and Hope for Children in Crisis, Fort Mill, SC:CCTI/WEC
  19. ^ Patrick Johnstone, The Church is Bigger Than You Think, p. 139
  20. ^ Patrick Johnstone, The Church is Bigger Than You Think, p. 146
  21. ^ Mission Handbook, p. 286
  22. ^ Grubb, With C.T. Studd in Congo Forests, p. 13
  23. ^ Grubb, C.T. Studd, Cricketer and Pioneer, p. 203-204