When C.T. Studd, founder of what became WEC International, set up camp at Nangara and then at Nala and Ibambi in the Congo, he had one aim - to share the liberating gospel of Jesus with people who needed to be set free. He said
Some want to live within the sound of church and a chapel bell. I want to run a rescue shop within a yard of hell.
Here we find the very beginning of what is today known as WEC International, founded in 1913. In total CT Studd spent some fifteen years in China and six in India followed by eighteen years spreading the Gospel message in Africa. In 1931, still labouring for the Lord at Ibambi at the age of seventy, Charles Studd died from untreated gallstones, but his vision for unreached people was maintained by Norman Grubb, who took charge of WEC.
One year after CT's death, some 7,000 Christians gathered for a conference where his vision spurred many more to commit themselves to Christ's service. The new mission spread to Latin America, the Middle East, Asia and West Africa. From there it has gone to Southern Europe and all across Asia.
The aim of the mission wasn't to go to the most responsive peoples but to the least evangelised - to give them the opportunity to hear why Jesus came and why He had to die. So at strategic times in WEC's history, a fresh survey has been taken to identify the least reached places, and a commitment made to go to them.
Over the years we have become involved in medical, agricultural and literacy work, as well as other humanitarian aid ministries. These are all vital parts of our ministry today. But, as one of our colleagues has said,
Going to bed hungry is not the worst! Waking up in hell is.
This is why WEC has become what we are today: 1,800 people from 50 nationalities in 101 teams with one purpose: Reaching People, Planting Churches.
That would CT Studd think of WEC today? Below is a video made by WEC in the UK with WEC's International Directors contemplating that question.