In 1957, 19-year-old George Verwer and two other college students traveled to Mexico during their summer break to reach Mexicans with the Gospel. That trip turned out to be the beginning of a worldwide ministry known as Operation Mobilization.
The response in Mexico was so encouraging that a Christian bookshop was opened there and evangelistic radio broadcasts were launched.
From there, the new ministry expanded rapidly to Western Europe in 1960, to the Middle East by 1963, and to India the next year. In 1970, the OM Ships ministry began and expanded the reach around the world with visits to port cities. See OM's Timeline History for more detail.
Today, OM has more than 5,500 missionaries from 95 nations who work in more than 110 countries and on board two ships. Approximately 61 percent of OM's missionaries are from non-Western countries.
During the years since 1957, millions of Bibles and other pieces of Christian literature have been distributed. (The OM ships alone have distributed more than two million Bibles and New Testaments.) Countless numbers of people around the world have encountered the Gospel through OM teams, and many have received practical help such as relief supplies, food, water, medicine, education, job skills training, and other assistance. And Christians around the world have gained experience in telling others about Jesus. OM has trained more than 125,000 people worldwide in evangelism, discipleship and cross-cultural missions.