In 1985, Millie Tengbom published a gripping account of the early years of the World Mission Prayer League. She titled the volume, The Spirit of God was Moving.
The book begins in 1929 with Weinhardt’s famous vision, penned in “the western Sudan of Africa” – what is today Cameroon. Weinhardt and his family returned to the United States in 1932, and there the story continues. Weinhardt’s vision took root on the campus of the Lutheran Bible Institute, Augsburg College, Gustavus Adolphus, and in several area churches – Trinity Lutheran of Minnehaha Falls, in particular. The vision impelled an adventurous community of friends into wide-ranging missionary prayer and concern – and eventually into service. Weinhardt himself returned to cross-cultural service in 1937, with John Carlsen of the Lutheran Bible Institute. They were off to Bolivia. This year we celebrate the 75th anniversary of their sending.
And the story went on. The South American Mission Prayer League that sent Carlsen and Weinhardt soon became the World Mission Prayer League, as its horizons grew. Work was undertaken in Asia, in Africa, elsewhere in Latin America – and in Eastern Europe, Canada and the United States as well.
Millie’s volume is an account of these beginnings: the Spirit of God was moving! I am happy to report that the Spirit of God continues to move today. In the years since Millie wrote her book, the broad fellowship of the World Mission Prayer League has offered countless prayers, given millions of dollars, sent hundreds of missionaries, and touched many, many thousands of lives with the good news of salvation in Jesus Christ. This is, in fact, Weinhardt’s original vision. It has reverberated throughout our fellowship ever since.
The Spirit of God is moving.