|Type||Evangelical Missions Agency|
|Slogan||transforming lives and communities|
|Website||www.omusa.org, www.om.org, www.omships.org|
Operation Mobilisation is a Christian organization founded by George Verwer to mobilise young people to live and share the Gospel of Jesus. OM, as it is known, started in Mexico and had spread to Europe and India by 1963.
OM currently has more than 3,000± people working in more than 110 countries around the world, seeking to "demonstrate and proclaim the love of God." In every situation OM teams attempt to adapt to the local culture and situation, endeavouring to find the best ways to share the Gospel using literature, the creative arts, friendship, Bible studies, video and cassette tapes, correspondence courses, relief and development work as well as other methods.
The people working for Operation Mobilisation tell people how their lives have been changed and how others can also come to "personal faith in God through Christ."
Wherever possible, Operation Mobilisation works in partnership with the local church, encouraging and supporting local communities. Where there is no church they seek to establish one.
George Verwer, OM’s founder and leader until 2003, received a Gospel of John from a local woman while still in high school in the 1950s. In 1955, Verwer became a Christian at a Billy Graham meeting at Madison Square Garden, and made a commitment to global missions and spreading God’s Word on a massive scale.
Operation Mobilisation started in 1957 when Walter Borchard, Dale Rhoton and George Verwer traveled to Mexico to distribute Christian literature and Gospels. The Gospels were very important to the men and the beginning of OM’s long history.
The trip in 1957 was the first of three summer trips to Mexico. By 1960, the men turned their attention to Europe, focusing on “mobilising” the national churches to global missions. Verwer’s vision for global mission was that leadership would come from the local Christian community, wherever possible, and not led by foreigners (Randall 2008).
In Summer 1962 the first short-term missions teams moved into Europe, coming from the UK, Spain, Germany, Netherlands, Switzerland, the USA and elsewhere. In the summer of 1963 – over 2,000 people – blanketed Europe to encourage Christians and to carry God’s Word throughout the continent, and to find creative ways of getting it behind the Iron Curtain.
Teams were also starting in India and the Middle East in 1963, but getting to those countries overland was becoming more expensive and slower, due to border closings and holdups, and mechanical problems with the vehicles, among different problems (Randall 2008).
OM and Verwer’s vision for spreading the Gospel expanded to the seas and a ship with the purchase of the MV Logos in October 1970. OM expanded its ships ministry with the MV Doulos, MV Logos II and MV Logos Hope. The MV Logos II stopped sailing in late 2008.
Back in Europe, the summer conferences were continuing but the number of participants was dwindling. In late 1987, a renewed vision for reaching Europe was borne, which led to the “Love Europe” outreaches that started in July 1989, just prior to the fall of the Iron Curtain. OM planned for 5,000 young people from 50 nations to participate; in fact, about 7,000 from 76 nations came. With this first “Love Europe” conference, the vision of OM – birthed in Europe – had been renewed (Randall 2008).
OM’s expansion in Europe today includes ministry in over 30 countries. Throughout the world, over 5400 OMers are working in over 110 countries and on two ships. In August 2003, Peter Maiden, who served as Verwer’s associate international director for 15 years, became the leader of OM during a ceremony attended by over 2,000 OMers and friends (Randall 2008).
On 7 March 2013, OM appointed a new international director, only the third in its nearly 56-year history. Lawrence Tong, from Singapore, takes over the OM leadership from Peter Maiden, from the UK, who has served and led in the role since 2003. Lawrence, who has served as director of OM’s ship Logos II, assumed responsibility on 1 September 2013.
Core Values as described by OM
Core Values of OM are Knowing and glorifying God, Living in submission to God's Word, Being people of grace & integrity, Serving sacrificially, Loving & valuing people, Evangelising the world, Reflecting the diversity of the body of Christ, Global intercession and Esteeming the church.
Currently, OM Ships operates one ship serving destinations around the world, the MV Logos Hope. The first ship, MV Logos, ran aground on rocks off Tierra del Fuego, Chile, in atrocious weather conditions. Although the ship could not be saved, not a single crewmember was lost or even injured. The skeletal hulk of the ship is still visible and has become something of a tourist attraction over the years. Over a 17-year period, more than seven million people visited MV Logos during 250 ports of call in 102 countries.
Later that year, the former Antonio Lazaro became MV Logos II.
The MV Logos II was retired in February 2009.
The MV Doulos, previously held the record for the oldest ocean-going ship still in service; she was retired at the end of 2009.
MV Logos Hope was launched into service in 2009. Twice the size of the MV Doulos, it provides much greater capacity to serve communities.
The OM ships visit port cities throughout the world, supplying literature, encouraging cross-cultural understanding, training young people for 'more effective life and service', providing relief and sharing a message of hope in God wherever there is opportunity.
Since 1970, OM's ships have visited over 480 different ports in 150 countries and territories around the globe. On average, 1 million visitors are welcomed on board every year.
In total, over 30 million visitors have come aboard to purchase from the selection of 6,000 titles available. Titles cover a wide range of subjects, such as science, sports, hobbies, cookery, the arts, philosophy, medicine and children's books, as well as faith and life. The books have been carefully chosen to be of interest to every member of the family, and with the educational, social and moral needs of the local community in mind. Books are on offer at a fraction of their retail value, while in certain ports, books are also donated.
- Teenstreet, an annual international week-long congress for Christian teenagers presented by OM.
- Randall, Ian. Spiritual Revolution, The Story of OM, Authentic, 2008. ISBN 1-85078-766-2