Bob Finley preached to crowds of 10,000 daily in Seoul in 1950.
In 1948, Finley found himself in China, preaching the gospel to crowds of more than 15,000, fulfilling the missionary desire the Lord had placed in his heart. His progress was interrupted, however, when the communists took over China the following year and Finley was forced to leave.
Not one to give up easily, he headed to Korea. Along with Bob Pierce, who later started World Vision, Finley became the principal evangelist in a great evangelical awakening there.
Yet communism infiltrated the Korean peninsula in 1950, and all foreign missionaries were expelled. Finley still persisted, remaining in Asia as an itinerant evangelist. With support provided by Billy Graham, he conducted great crusades in major Asian cities and ministered to groups of Christian university students in Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong, India and the Philippines.
Soon after his return to the United States, Bob Finley was a commencement speaker at Houghton College (N.Y.). Following his address, Dr. Stephen Paine, president of the college, presented him with an honorary doctorate degree.
In 1953, with encouragement and assistance from Navigators founder, Dawson Trotman, Finley started International Students, Inc. (ISI) to reach foreign university and college students all over the United States and Canada. He also started a division of ISI to provide financial assistance for indigenous ministries in poorer countries, especially those led by men of God whom he had known as foreign students in America. In 1972, that division was spun off as Christian Aid Mission, with Finley serving as president. Since then, Bob Finley has presided over the growth of Christian Aid, the premiere and foremost supporter of indigenous missions worldwide.