Within the history of our ministry, the US Center for World Mission, we have a little known story of how God used a man named Erik Stadell to pray that the campus where we and many others now serve, would be used as a Center for World Missions- focused on unreached peoples.
At the time of his prayer, this place was an empty Nazarene Bible College campus that was up for sale. Many offers were made on it by many different types of people, but it wasn’t until God moved on the heart of Dr. Ralph D. Winter to step out in faith to purchase the campus that it would become the place it is today. This is another story in itself.
Above is Stadell’s testimony about the season of prayer God led him to in 1974. This testimony was recorded in the early 80’s. Sorry for the poor quality of the video, but if you pay attention to the whole story, you will see how God led him and spoke to him through the Scripture, Isaiah 24:16. You will one example of what a life of prayer and faith lived out looks like.
You will see how he had the quality of faith that, even though it could not see it in the natural, he was tenacious before God to pray through till he sensed the breakthrough.
On this video you will also see our soft spoken but wise founder, Dr. Ralph Winter, testify about how Stadell helped to bring the breakthrough through prayer.
Dr. Winter goes on to reflect on the destiny of the campus of the US Center for World Mission and prays for those listening to have a faith that can “jar, destroy, and fix new directions” for us from day to day. He seemed, to me, always ready to move forward with God.
I love stories like this because they give us something to reflect on in our own lives.
- How many times have we sensed God leading us to do something that seemed absurd at the time?
- How many times have we felt to keep going after something in prayer though we didn’t really understand the full implications of our prayers?
- How many times has our obedience potentially opened the door for other’s obedience to God?
- How many times have we made decisions by faith, not knowing that our choices can still reverberate decades later?
About 39 years later, the same prayer that Stadell prayed would be prayed by crowds of young people at the recent “Wilder” conference led by Lou Engle and held right here on the campus of the US Center for World Mission.
Isaiah 24:16, “Glory to the Righteous One”
God is doing something special in this season here at the US Center for World Mission.
Could another student volunteer movement for missions be brewing in America?
Could the new prayer movements and the frontier missions movement together be a powerful new force in our generation?