Operation World

I have a long-standing appreciation for the book, Operation World. As a young Christian, I remember hearing other Christians speak enthusiastically about this remarkable source of information about the nations of the world, gathered with the particular purpose of encouraging and enabling Christians to pray specifically for the nations of the world with a focus on mission. The author was Patrick Johnstone of WEC. At that time, I had no particular awareness of WEC. That would soon change! It wasn’t long before I was able to purchase my own copy, and I found the information fascinating, challenging, and encouraging, although I struggled to use the book consistently as a prayer guide. The research was so thorough that it was rather overwhelming.

Some years later, WEC made the decision to produce a version of Operation World for children. By that time, I had ‘married into’ the WEC family. My mother-in-law, Daphne Spraggett (with Jill Johnstone, until Jill’s death), wrote what would eventually be published as Window on the World. This book was much less detailed than the original book, which made it much more usable for families and church prayer groups. The carefully researched content, combined with colourful illustrations, ensured that this book has been greatly valued by many adults, as well as by the families and young people for whom it was designed. Though much has changed in the world since this book was first published, I would still commend it warmly to families.

The work initiated by Patrick Johnstone has been continued by Jason Mandryk. A range of physical Operation World resources is available from Inter-Varsity Press.

Now, in the era of digital communication, Operation World has been made available as an app for both Android and Apple operating systems. Each day, the app introduces one or two nations, providing maps, the national flag, and some brief details that explain the state of evangelical Christianity in the relevant nations. I have been using the app for several days and I have found it very helpful. The level of detail is suitable for reading in a short time.

It is very good to see this marvellous resource enter a new phase of usefulness to the global church. I hope that the app, along with all the other Operation World publications, will be widely used and will lead to more consistent and well-informed prayer for the nations and the global church by individuals and congregations.