By Barbara Yandell
Barbara is the SVM2 USA National Lead Facilitator and has discipled and mobilized countless young people to embrace their calling to “go.”
No Man Left Behind
Throughout the history of the world, soldiers, particularly special operations troops would go forth as a team that lived fought, and died together. Their universal motto was “no man left behind.” The team would advance and retreat together as a family.
If a man or woman or man was in trouble, they sacrificed to reunite that mate dead or alive with the team. Another “Special Force” operated this way, the Student Volunteer Movement.
The Student Volunteer Movement
From its inception at Mount Herman MA in 1886 when 100 collegiate men committed to become a “special ops force “among the nations, this generation of young adults volunteered together as a generational team.
The early leader of the SVM Robert Wilder left his own College education at Princeton University to call other college students with this invitation, “come go with us.” 100,000 signed the Student Volunteer Movement pledge card.
Whether theirs was to go overseas, raise funds for other students that were going, or to mobilize others for the movement, they did it with a sense of being responsible to and for each other.
Samuel Zwemer, the Apostle to Islam, joined the SVM at Hope College Holland Mi in 1887. In preparation for missions to the Arab world, he with 2 other students Phelps and Cantine and their Hebrew professor Dr.Lansing, formed their own mission The Arabian Mission.
The strategy of this team was to plan, raise support and go together. Zwemer raised support for fellow student James Cantine and James raised support for Sam. Zwemer also raised support for a fellow seminarian going to India as a medical missionary.
In part one of this series, we looked at the courage of “the greatest generation.” They like the SVM were a chosen generation fighting against incredible odds as a team.
Author Stephen Ambrose wrote that the young adults of 101st airborne trained and served with closeness unknown to others.
“Comrades were closer than friends, closer than brothers. Their relationship is different from that of lovers. Their trust in and knowledge of each other is total. They got to know each others life stories, what they did before they came into the army, where and why they volunteered, what they liked to eat and drink, what their capabilities were. On a night maneuver they would hear a cough and know who it was; on a night maneuver they would see someone sneaking through the woods and know who it was from his silhouette.” ( Band of Brothers, Stephen Ambrose, Simon and Schuster 2001, p.21)
Do we know each other’s stories? What is needed is a special force that trusts, knows and loves each other, not thousands of individuals that do as they please because they can with no sacrifice for the greater team.
What if by getting to know each other deeply, we find that our sister should go and we should stay and support her?
How might many more young adults be sent to the least reached if we sent each other not just ourselves?
What if the devastating societal malignancies of divorce, abuse, privatized irrelevant religion, and the superficial relationships of face booking and texting were neutralized by life long committed Acts 2 communities?
Student Volunteer Movement 2
SVM2 has as its core values, the formation of student mission fellowships on every campus. These committed groups nurture, train, care for, send, pray and live life together. These special ops forces became campus influencers seeking, discipling and making sure that their generation is realizing and responding to the purposes and plans of God in this unique time in history?
They make sure that no one the Lord has called is left behind. They stand together as one against the enemies of Christ that would rob them of this glorious destiny.
I have discipled, trained, sent into the field, and visited hundreds of young adults serving for two years or more in the least reached and hardest places in the world. The mission sending organization I mobilize for has just had its first two martyrs, one a young man of 26 years old inspired by the words of Christ that to live for Christ is to die.
I am convinced that special fellowships like the 101st are essential if one is to for the great end time harvest.
A generation sacrificing for the greatest cause and for each other is an undeniable witness that causes spiritual strongholds of unbelief to crumble!
There are too few many deeply satisfying, sacrificial intimate team relationships. There is too little joy and esprit de corps. The harsh conditions of the hardest places like Afghanistan, the slow growth of the indigenous church and isolation from the body of Christ are taking a heartbreaking toll on even the most resolute.
Take Courage! A special force, committed to the cause and each other, formed the Church of Jesus Christ:
The Fellowship of the Believers..Acts 2
42 They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. 43 Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. 44 All the believers were together and had everything in common. 45 They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. 46 Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, 47 praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.
Gather, grow and go together as a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation.
SVM2 can assist you in organizing such a special force for missions on your campus.
Leave no man or woman behind!