ATLANTA — The death has been announced of George Verwer, who founded the global Christian mission agency, Operation Mobilisation, and directed it for 45 years. He passed away peacefully with his family by his side at his home near London, England, on the evening of Friday 14 April. He was 84 years old. This video looks back at his remarkable life.
George Verwer – Founder of OM:
It started there in the Billy Graham meeting. When I came to Jesus, I felt immediately that night that I must share Jesus. It was the greatest experience of my life. And so it really started in that high school a little more than 60 years ago. In fact, one of the earliest meetings, 125 people stood to believe in Jesus. And then started evangelizing New York City.
I was still in business selling these fire extinguishers, so I went across the state setting up agents and giving out gospels of baby Christian. And then I went to Maryville College, and that’s where I met Dale, who was really a mentor.
It was then I went for this day of prayer. Different things were mounting up that I’d seen, that I’d felt, where I thought Western Europe has to be much more in the equation. The church has to be much more in the equation. And in this day of prayer, God gave me this name, Operation Mobilization.
I shared that when I got back to Spain in another prayer retreat in the mountains, and the Spaniards agreed, “Let’s go for it.” And Operation Mobilization was born.
Our general vision wasn’t for people to stay with us very long, but to be with us for a while, to catch our burden about the nations of the world, represented by this globe, and of course my global jacket. But our passion was to see people transformed, discipled, built up in Christ, and then sent into all the major missions of the world and back to their home churches. 150,000 people have had that experience since three of us went to Mexico in 1957. Isn’t that amazing. Because one woman believed the word of God. One woman prayed from Matthew 9 to the Lord of the harvest to send forth workers.
Yeah, there were many times of different doubts. Keep in mind, I was coordinating the whole work at the same time, so I couldn’t give that much time. But I visited various ships. And the great practical moment of increased faith when I realized old ships– we were into old vehicles. We repaired them ourselves. We didn’t have hardly any money. And living by faith, selling our possessions just to keep going.
Somehow, if a character like me with my weaknesses and struggles can persevere, and now at 82 years of age, be serving him full-time across the world, then I believe anyone can persevere. And if I can be of any help, I read every email personally, firstname.lastname@example.org. I’m happy to pray for you, and happy to send you also our gift book packet.
Dale Rhoton – Co-founder of OM:
So we got together, we had prayer together often, and I remember he had a ministry in the jail, and I remember one time him coming back from the jail and saying, “Praise the Lord,” all the prisoners have accepted Jesus, “now we have to pray for the guards.”
What’s the thing that you think, thank you God, as I’ve lived my life so far, this is what I’m most thankful for when it comes to OM.
Well, I think it’s firstly my wife and the people that I’ve been privileged to work with. That’s why I’m crying because people are so important. So I thank the Lord for the team, the people, including you new people. And I thank the Lord for Dale sticking with me and others. So many people, completely loyal, including Peter Maiden, especially. And then from 1985 on, without Peter Maiden, and when, I’m not sure I would have made it. It’s just growing so fast, and so many complexities. And of course, we all celebrate now that that mantle is on Lawrence Tong to press on, you know, so much to be thankful for.
But I just, with all my heart, want to affirm OM today. And I’m 100% committed to all of you to serve until he takes me.
About Operation Mobilisation (OM)
Operation Mobilisation started in the summer of 1957 when George Verwer and two friends sold their possessions to raise money for a trip to distribute Christian literature in Mexico. From this first trip, the small team began to share their vision to mobilize Christians from around the world to reach the nations. As hundreds of Christians responded, the Operation Mobilisation movement was born.
Today, over 3,300 OM workers, representing over 100 nationalities, are bringing God’s love and truth to millions every year.
Source: Global News Alliance, Tribute To OM Founder George Verwer