By Dan Wooding, Founder of ASSIST News Service
LAKE FOREST, CA (ANS – October 24, 2017) – I recently mentioned in a story for ANS that when I am in Liverpool, England, a city I once lived in as a child after moving there in 1942 from my birthplace, Nigeria, I always head, with my wife, Norma, to Strawberry Field, a former Salvation Army children’s home, which was immortalized by John Lennon, with his iconic song Strawberry Fields Forever.
It is a place where John played as a child when he lived with his Aunt Mimi in Menlove Avenue, close to this former Salvation Army home for children. When John heard the band playing, he would climb over the fence into Strawberry Field and play with the kids there.
He is reported to have once told one of them, “When I grow up, I’ll have my own band,” which turned out to be true, and it was with them that he penned the famous song, and added an “s” to the title, making it Strawberry Fields Forever.
Sadly, the children’s home has long been closed, and John has left this earth, but now the Salvation Army has announced that Strawberry Field, where thousands of Beatles fans sit by its gate each year, is now to be turned into a Salvation Army center for mentally-challenged people and also a Beatles museum, which will feature pictures of John being there as a young boy. I hope to be one of the first visitors to the museum once it is completed.
Besides, featuring Strawberry Field, Mark Ellis, one of our Senior Correspondents, has just released an extraordinary story about how some underground Christians in North Korea have literally been conducting secret meetings — under the ground. They dig a hole, clamber in, study the Bible there, and quietly hum hymns together. This is not surprising as North Korea is the world’s most dangerous place to be a Christian, especially with the saber-rattling of its young and despotic leader, Kim Jong-un.
These are just two of the many stories we are privileged to bring you and I hope that you are both enjoying, and being challenged by them.
However, it does cost us quite a bit to run the ASSIST News Service, with the various expenses that we have to cover each month, like phone, Internet and travel costs, to name a few. None of our talented team of writers gets paid for their work, which is often extremely dangerous, for them, especially when they file stories from war-zones in the Middle East.
We have never charged for our stories, but for the past 25 years have trusted the Lord to touch the hearts of friends like yourself, to become a part of our support team with gifts (tax-deductible in the US) that allow us to continue our service to you.
So, dear friends, I am asking you to please consider a generous donation to keep us going, as at this time, we do not have the funds to pay this month’s bills. Any amount, large or small, would be deeply appreciated.
All you have to do is go to www.assistnews.net and scroll down the page to where it says DONATE TO ASSIST NEWS, and put in the amount you feel God is prompting you to give. If you prefer to send a check, just make it out to ASSIST and then mail it to us at PO Box 609, Lake Forest, CA 92609, USA.
Finally, Norma, my wife of 54 years, joins with me in thanking you in advance for your kind donation. By giving, you will know that you have played a vital role in keeping ANS going and, by so doing, you are making it possible for us to continue bringing you our many stories.
Photo captions: 1) Dan and Norma Wooding at the gate of Strawberry Field in Liverpool. 2) People in North Korea have to choose between the cross or Kim Jong-un. 3) Dan Wooding recording his “Front Page Radio” show at KWVE.
About the writer: Dan Wooding, 76, is an award-winning author, broadcaster and journalist, who was born in Nigeria, West Africa, of British missionary parents, Alfred and Anne Wooding, who then worked with the Sudan Interior Mission, now known as SIM. Dan now lives in Southern California with his wife Norma, to whom he has been married for some 54 years. They have two sons, Andrew and Peter, and six grandchildren who all live in the UK. Dan is the founder/president of the ASSIST News Service (ANS), and is also the author of numerous books. He has a radio show and two television programs, all based in Southern California. Dan lived in Liverpool for several years after arriving there from Nigeria, and his sister, Ruth, along with her husband, Allen Ross, still live in the city.
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