World Outreach was established in 1932 by Dr Len Jones. He constantly emphasised two priorities: a tenacious faith in a God who can do great things, and an expanded vision among people who dare to believe. Len left a great heritage – today on five continents World Outreach missionaries and co-workers walk by faith with a vision to fulfil all that God has for their lives.
World Outreach International – Dr Len Jones
Dr Len Jones
Len Jones’ father was a coal miner in the Rhondda Valley of South Wales, in Britain, who emigrated to the gold-fields of Australia in the belief that gold was more valuable than coal, and therefore it must be more remunerative to mine gold rather than coal!
Len was born and raised in the mining area of western Australia. He served in the Australian Army (where he was in full charge of the Australian YMCA during World War II) and was discharged at the end of hostilities with the equivalent rank of Lieutenant Colonel.
He converted to Christianity in a Methodist Church in South Melbourne in the early 1920′s, where he was working as an accountant. Soon after his conversion he attended the Melbourne Bible Institute.
Len preached in most Methodist Churches in Melbourne, and was sent to Tasmania to preach for the Presbyterian Church. Then followed ministry overseas for some years in New Zealand (where he met his wife), USA, Canada, and Great Britain.
There is a church today because of the sacrificial death of Jesus. World Outreach was also born because of death – the death of Dr & Mrs Jones’ son, Bedford John, that brought Len back to Australia and New Zealand where the mission was founded.
World Outreach was raised up to minister to refugees in Eastern Europe during the Great Depression in 1932. The political situation in Eastern Europe (including Russia) was difficult, to say the least. Because of this and other factors there were thousands upon thousands of displaced people in Eastern Europe. And so the Russian and Eastern European Mission – as World Outreach was first known – was born. Because of the prevailing political situations, it became impossible to continue ministering to the Russian people, so the name was changed to the Eastern European Mission.
At the conclusion of World War II, General Douglas MacArthur issued a call to the western church to help with the rebuilding of Asia. Dr Jones responded to that call. After some time the name was changed to the Slavic and Oriental Mission to better reflect the scope of the ministry.
Eventually opportunities came to minister in Africa, so the name changed to World Outreach.
As well as being an outstanding statement, Dr Len Jones was also an inspiring author. His most popular book, Confess It, gives a greater account of this life story. He also wrote Sleuth Hound of Heaven, Ignorance is Not Bliss, and Blooded but Unbowed.
These books are still available from World Outreach New Zealand on request.