Recently I attended a church meeting with George Verwer, International Director Emeritus and Founder of Operation Mobilization (OM), a summer short and long-term mission with thousands of missionaries worldwide.
The pastor of the church called on me to introduce George since I knew him personally and had served with OM in India from 1966 to 1968.
As this request was completely unplanned, I made my way slowly to the podium and silently prayed, “Oh Lord, please help me introduce this great man of God in a way that will honor him, glorify Your Name, and be an encouragement to those here today.”
I began my introduction with a story of the time when I traveled from India and across Pakistan to Afghanistan in a small pick-up truck with several single men, a family of four, and George’s family of five. What a trip this was!
When we arrived in Kabul, Afghanistan, various members of the team went to several planned places of ministry. I was planning to travel by plane after a few days with George and his family to Brussels, Belgium, but George received a telegram and needed to fly immediately to Brussels. He caught the next flight, leaving his wife Drena and three children in my care as we flew to Brussels the next day. George had purchased “el cheapo” tickets on a Russian airline and when we arrived at the airport the next day, we were told the tickets were absolutely no good!
Now there I was in a fanatical Muslim country with my director’s wife, his children (one who promptly broke his arm) and NO money!
After two weeks of doing everything but selling used cars, as well as George’s children, I was able to obtain funds from several Christian business people in Kabul to purchase tickets. We then flew, via several long layovers, to Brussels, and I delivered his family safely to George.
As he profusely thanked me, I said, “George, you are welcome; however, you owe me big time!”
George Verwer HAS paid me back big time. In fact me, as well as hundreds if not thousands of God’s people throughout the world have benefited from his generosity, prayer, encouragement, books and materials for ministry, and especially the example of the zeal of a man sold out to Christ and His glory!
My wife said she felt God answered my prayer to be able to honor George Verwer in a way that glorified God. The Word of God says, “Render to all what is due them … honor to whom honor” (Romans 13:7, nasb).
May I close in saying, “Thank you Lord, for the ministry of George Verwer (and Operation Mobilization) in my life and in the lives of thousands of others for Your glory!”
The following is an excellent article by George Verwer:
Why are there not more workers? Church and Mission agencies all over the world have one thing in common — they need WORKERS. Most are even praying for those who would come short-term to help in the task, but the bigger demand is for long-term workers of some level of maturity. The need in the 10/40 window is for thousands of workers, including those who will go as tentmakers and most people expected many more to be there by now. Some of the obstacles are: (1) Lack of vision — a few seem to actually have the vision, both of the need as well as the amazing opportunities and others don't have vision to send out workers, especially from the church. (2) Lack of prayer — despite statistics about prayer and prayer movements, one has to admit that the average church is not a praying church. Few leaders, believers and even missionaries have a disciplined prayer life. Furthermore, some prayer movements have been invaded by ridiculous and extreme ideas bringing division. (3) Apathy among God's people — Brother Andrew once said, "It's easier to cool down a fanatic than to warm up a corpse!" (4) Lack of Biblical generosity — the lack of funds is hindering God's work and hindering the sending out of missionaries. Surveys show that a tiny percentage of money goes outside of one's own church and then one's own nation, except for relief and development in a disaster. (5) Biblical compromise — ignorance of the Bible in evangelical and biblical communities is allowing Universalism in various forms to invade causing missionaries and leaders to drift away from the basics of God's Word. (George Verwer, Operation Mobilization)