(Christianity Today) Bob Bland, an evangelical pastor who trained and sent tens of thousands of teenagers on short-term mission trips, has died at the age of 92.
Bland founded Teen Missions International in 1970 after a 14-year-old girl at a Youth for Christ event in Southern Ohio broke down in tears because she had been rejected by a missionary organization. She said she didn’t want to wait. She “wanted to do something for the Lord now.” Bland, moved by her passion for Jesus and lost souls, conceived of a program expanding the then-new concept of short-term missions to high school students.
Today, Teen Missions is a $3.7 million ministry that has sent more than 42,000 American teenagers to 19 countries. In 2021, the organization is planning trips to build classrooms in Zambia, a missionary house in Uganda, a security wall in Malawi, and a training center in Ecuador.