A ridiculous prayer?
"It was 1936 that I became seriously ill. Douwe Tamminga, an elder in my church, came to visit me at the Roseland Community Hospital in Chicago. He prayed that my life might be spared and that henceforth I would be directed into the service of Christ.
This appeared to be a very strange prayer. Why should God be asked to give me health and strength for such a purpose? What could I possibly do for Christ?
I came to the conclusion, shortly after Mr. Tamminga left, that this certainly was a ridiculous prayer.
But as the hours of the night wore on toward morning, it became increasingly apparent that the elder’s prayer could not easily be forgotten. It was then that my commitment to God was made.
If He would restore my health, I would give the strength of my body and mind in any avenue of service to which God would direct."
These are the words of our founder, William Chapman.
In 1938, Chapman and his wife purchased 1,000 Bibles in faith and went door-to-door in Walkerton, Indiana. They gave a Bible to anyone in exchange for a promise to read it.
Chapman could not have imagined the impact across the globe today as a result of his humble service. He could not have comprehended that God would use Him to launch a worldwide ministry more than 70 years ago.
Each year, we measure the impact people like you make through your gifts and prayers. Since documented reports from 1989, we have reached more than 700 language groups, seen nearly 37 million people complete a Bible study, and led 5 million into church membership through evangelization training.
From underground churches, house churches, and indigenous culture churches gathering under trees, one thing remains true—spiritual transformation is happening across the globe. The great commission ministry of William Chapman that began more than 70 years ago is alive and well today.