No one understood the momentous nature of the event that occurred that evening. It was the winter of 1961. The annual missions conference was in progress on the campus of Pillsbury Conservative Baptist Bible College, then in its fourth year of existence.
On this particular night, Dr. Viggo Olsen had given a presentation for his field of service which was East Pakistan (now Bangladesh). He told the student body how God had called and burdened him for that country. In the middle of the meeting, and before the speaker of the evening began to preach, it happened.
Dr. Monroe Parker was the president of Pillsbury, and the growing student body numbered about 300 at that time. Dr. Parker stepped to the pulpit and asked an impromptu question. "Students, how many of you would be willing to go to the mission field if you knew God was calling?" He qualified his question, saying: "I am not asking how many are now called, but how many would be willing to go if God were to call you. If you will make that commitment, stand to your feet."
One hundred of us stood that evening! We could recount wonderful stories of faithful, sacrificial, fruitful service for the Lord that came from the lives of young people who participated in that service. Numbers of those people did go to the mission fields of the world to win people to Christ and plant New Testament churches. Others of us have served the Lord on the home front and helped by supporting the work of missions through prayer and finances. Many of us who were in that meeting remember it vividly. Lives were permanently impacted that night.
But something else happened that evening, and the telling of that story is the theme of this book.