By Dan Wooding, Founder of ASSIST News Service
LAKE FOREST, CA (ANS – December 24, 2016) – First of all, Norma and I would like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
I thought you would like to have a short run-down on our past year, which has been very busy, but also a blessing to have been able to share with you so many stories written by our wonderful team of writers from all over the world. Please remember in your prayers our volunteer team, but also the courageous Christians we feature on the ASSIST News Service, many like Asia Bibi, who will spend Christmas Day locked up in a lonely prison cell.
A highlight for me each year is the Movieguide® Annual Faith & Values Awards Gala in Hollywood organized by Dr. Ted Baehr, and so, as I have done since its inception all those years ago, I reported on its 24th event. With the invaluable help of my cameraman/producer, Tim Hathaway, we filmed another “Inside Hollywood” TV show a series of interviews with celebrities like irrepressible Dolly Parton and British actress, Jane Seymour.
At Easter, Norma was delighted to be able to visit our family in the UK, and she spent precious time with our two sons, Andrew and Peter, and their families, as well as my sister, Ruth and her husband, Allen. Andrew lives in Sheffield and has a lovely son called Edward (our only grandson), who at 14, is growing taller by the day. Edward’s mother, Alison, is an Anglican vicar and has two daughters, Jade and Kate. Peter, who has just been appointed London Bureau Chief for the newly-formed Global News Alliance, is married to Sharon, and they have three daughters, Sarah, Anna Beth and Abigail. Peter will be joining me in Orlando for the NRB Convention there in late February, so I am really looking forward to that.
Living so far away from our family is very difficult, and so we are so pleased that modern technology allows us to talk with them on FaceTime from our Southern California home.
Andrew and Edward came over to stay with us for a couple of weeks in August, and we had a wonderful time together. I was able to get both of them onto the Red Carpet at Hollywood film premier, where I interviewed them for my “Inside Hollywood” TV show, and was also able to have them in studio for my “Front Page Radio” show, and also had them as guests on my other TV program, “Windows on the World.”
During the recent US presidential election, I was kept busy doing live updates for Premier Christian Radio in London, and Radio Rhema, New Zealand’s national Christian radio station. People in both countries were bemused with what was going on here in the United States and couldn’t get enough of it.
Norma has been working hard as our volunteer administrator at the ASSIST office, while, beside my work with ANS and on my weekly radio show and two TV programs, I record five stories a week for Radio Rhema, and I also do live updates each week via Skype for Perry Atkinson of Dove TV in Medford, Oregon, and also on the radio with Roy Hanschke and Denise Washington-Blomberg on KPOF — AM 91 — The Point of Faith, something I have done now for more than 10 years.
On October 15th, I again took Tim Hathaway to the 18th Annual Media Fellowship Praise Breakfast at the iconic Beverly Hills Hotel, where we again filmed our “Inside Hollywood” show interviews with veteran entertainer, Pat Boone, long-time broadcaster, Tim Berends, now based in Las Vegas, and Billy Davis Jr., the one-time member of the 5th Dimension group, who, along with his wife, Marilyn McCoo, run the Soldiers for the Second Coming Gospel Group, who performed at the breakfast.
In November 13, I spoke at Hosanna Christian Fellowship in Bellflower, California, on the occasion of the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church (IDOP). By the way, the church’s senior pastor, Dr. Garry Ansdell, is my new co-host on “Windows on the World,” on the Holy Spirit Broadcasting Network (http://hsbn.tv/), and then two days later, I drove to Palm Springs at the invitation of my former UPI Radio Network Colleague, Dennis Daily, to share my story at the local Kiwanas Club.
I ended the year with a great visit with my dear friend of some 50 years, Rick Wakeman, the legendary rock keyboardist who was in Los Angeles at the end of a tour with former YES colleagues, Jon Anderson and Trevor Rabin, who were playing an evening of YES Music Plus. We did an often hilarious interview for my “Front Page Radio” show, which you can hear right now at: http://oldassistnews.net/frontpageradiofiles/RickWakemanFPR20161211Mono.mp3.
Finally, I want to pay tribute to my amazing wife of 53 years, Norma, who has stood by me during the good and also difficult times, and without whom I could never have continued my media ministry for so long.
And she joins me in thanking you all for your prayers and faithful support over the past year, and we look forward to partnering with you again in this coming year.
Photo captions. 1) Dan Wooding on the Movieguide® Red Carpet with Dolly Parton. 2) Reunited; the Wooding’s in Sheffield. Left to right: Abigail, Peter, Norma, Andrew and Edward. 3) Andrew and Edward Wooding on the Red Carpet at a film premier in Hollywood. 4) Dan Wooding with Pat Boone at the Media Fellowship Praise Breakfast in Beverly Hills. 5) Rick Wakeman joking around with Dan after the interview. 6) Dan and Norma Wooding with Jon Anderson, the former lead singer with YES.
About the writer: Dan Wooding, 76, is an award-winning journalist who was born in Nigeria of British missionary parents, and is now living in Southern California with his wife Norma, to whom he has been married for more than 53 years. They have two sons, Andrew and Peter, and six grandchildren who all live in the UK. Dan is the founder of the ASSIST News Service (ANS) and he hosts a weekly radio show and two TV shows, all based in in Southern California. Dan also is the author of some 45 books, including Rick Wakeman’s official biography (https://www.amazon.com/Caped-Crusader-Rick-Wakeman-1970s/dp/1908728302).
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