Fr. Jerry Sesto, SDB began directing the program in 1989. He found that more and more enthusiastic young men and women were expressing an interest in serving in the missions. Under his leadership, the screening process for lay missioners was more formalized and streamlined, making it a true vocational discernment process.
In the following years, Lay Missioners joined Salesian Communities in Chile, Ecuador, Bolivia, the Philippines, Papua New Guinea, Japan, Ethiopia, Sierra Leone, and St. Petersburg, Russia. Additionally, the program accepted lay missioners from other countries to work in the United States. Missioners from Mexico, Lithuania, the Czech Republic, and Slovenia began service in New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Florida, and Alabama.