Peter Youngren, a native Swede, founded World Impact Ministries (WIM) in 1976 to bring the gospel to large population centers in countries and cultures where the message of Christ is not well known. He has held massive Gospel Festivals in 350 locations, often preaching to 20,000 to 600,000 people in a single service.
As a boy, Youngren was deeply stirred by testimonies he heard from members of the Full Gospel Businessmen’s Association. He longed to go to America to train to preach the Gospel. In 1973, Youngren left Sweden to attend Zion Bible Institute in Providence, Rhode Island, and embarked on a spiritual adventure that would take him around the world for the cause of Christ. After his first year of Bible school, he began preaching in various churches. At a Bible study in Toronto, Canada, in July 1974, the pastor invited the nineteen-year-old Youngren to hold a three-week revival meeting.
Youngren was passionate to see souls saved, but he hungered to see supernatural healings and miracles. He also found himself drawn to preach to people of non-Christian cultures. Youngren listened to T. L. Osborn preach to multitudes in overseas crusades and wondered what made Osborn’s ministry so effective. “When I asked the Lord, the answer arose in my spirit – this man believes every word he preaches.” Youngren said later, “I asked God that I would never just quote charismatic clichés, but when I would declare that Jesus saves, Jesus opens blind eyes and makes the lame to walk, it would be in full assurance and confidence that it was so”.
MAJOR GOSPEL EVENTS
That began a miracle ministry that has touched more than sixty nations, with Youngren preaching to large crowds in places like Punjab, Assam, Uttar Pradesh, New Delhi, Baluchistan, Almaty, Bandung, Karachi, Faisalabad, Sumatra, and Zanzibar. Early on, he began to hold pastors’ seminars parallel with each festival. This goal intensified after a divine encounter in 1996. More than 365,000 pastors and leaders have attended his Gospel Revolution seminars. Youngren also planted the Celebration Church in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, and World Impact Bible Institute, with campuses in Indonesia, Kenya, and Tanzania. More than 3600 students, including many of the Canadian campus, have taken the two-year training program. Many graduated ow run their own festivals, Bible schools, and church plants in places like Ethiopia, Indonesia, Russia, Kenya, and Tanzania.
Christ’s love has propelled WIM to the front lines of evangelism. While Mikhail Gorbachev was still president of the Soviet Union, Youngren held an open-air stadium crusade there. In 1991, around 200,000 people attended Youngren’s meeting in the Central Square in Sofia, Bulgaria. In Quetta, near Afghanistan’s border, more than 50,000 people, including many Taliban supporters, gathered nightly. Newspapers and government leaders threatened to arrest Youngren and his team, but after notable miracles government leaders began to support the outreach.
Youngren believes in a “front-door approach” to bringing the message of Christ to the highest office in the land. This has put him in contact with presidents and prime ministers, starting when he shared the Gospel with the late Prime Minister Indira Gandhi in New Delhi, India, in 1980. WIM frequently holds friendship dinners with leaders of non-Christian religions to share the Gospel.
Peter Youngren and World Impact Ministries continue conducting gospel festivals with a special focus on areas where the gospel light is still dim.
Youngren is joined in ministry by his wife, Taina. Together, they are committed to sharing God’s love, revealed in Jesus, to the furthest regions of the earth. – Article taken from the Azusa Street Revival, SPECIAL CENTENNIAL EDITION.