By Dan Wooding, Founder of ASSIST News Service
LAKE FOREST, CA (ANS – December 11, 2016) – As the birthday of Jesus fast approaches, we are holding our first weeklong Christmas ASSISTNEWS-A-THON, and I would like to encourage you to join in — and also spread the word about it amongst your many friends.
While we will continue to bring you fresh news every day, we will also be bringing you messages each day about ANS from some of our most well-known readers, such as this inspiring one from Operation Mobilization Founder, George Verwer.
Also during this week, you and your friends, can partner with us in a deeply meaningful way, especially as your support will continue to empower us to bring news stories from a Christian perspective and vital updates on the persecuted church. These are stories you will often not read anywhere else, and we are honored to bring them to you!
Your gift of $25, $50, $100, or more, will help us in our goal of raising $10,000 to allow us to keep this vital news service free to all of our global subscribers. (See details below for how you can support ASSIST today).
This effort is extremely timely as our brothers and sisters around the world are facing unprecedented attacks from murderous groups in the Middle East like Islamic State (ISIS); Boko Haram and the Islamist Fulani Herdsmen in Nigeria, as well as from radicals in Iran and Pakistan. In view of this, we are pledged to continue to bring you stories about these courageous believers who need the world to know of their plight.
Our featured friend today is the extraordinary “World Mission Adventurer,” George Verwer, founder of Operation Mobilization (OM), one of the world’s largest short-term mission groups, and also OM ships, which ministers the love of Jesus in port cities around the world via its latest ship, Logos Hope. So here is what American-born George Verwer, who now lives in London, has to say about the ASSIST News Service:
“I have known Dan Wooding for nearly 50 years now and first became acquainted with him when I was invited to speak at his father’s little church, The Sparkbrook Mission, in Birmingham, England.
“It was then that I discovered that Dan was actually born in Nigeria to British missionary parents, Alfred and Anne Wooding, both from Liverpool, and due to illness, the family moved to England in 1942. It was then the height of Second World War and they travelled as part of a convoy of 28 ships, many of which were sunk by German U-boats, but they miraculously survived. His father eventually became a pastor in Birmingham for some 30 years, as well as being a missionary to the Jewish population in the English city, many of whom were Holocaust survivors.
“Peter Conlan, who became one of my closest associates in OM and OM Ships, also attended the same little mission church, and eventually became a link between the two of us over the years.
“It wasn’t long after I had spoken at The Sparkbrook Mission in the English Midlands, that Dan became a journalist, and in 1968, he moved to London, with his wife, Norma, and their two sons, Andrew and Peter, and he became a reporter with Billy Graham’s UK newspaper, The Christian. He eventually became its chief reporter and even interviewed Coretta Scott King at St. Paul’s Cathedral before she spoke at her husband’s memorial service.
“Unfortunately, the paper, which, at that time, was the oldest evangelical newspaper in the world, closed after a year, and Dan moved into the world of secular journalism, working for a whole succession of top British newspapers. (In later years, Dan renewed his friendship with Mr. Graham and had the joy of working as a writer for Billy Graham’s historic Moscow crusade in 1992, and later at crusades in both Essen, Germany, and San Juan, Puerto Rico.) He also wrote the cover story for the Saturday Evening Post about Billy and Franklin Graham.
“It was in 1975 that I, again, met up with Dan, this time in Dhaka, the capital city of Bangladesh, where I was speaking at a Bible study. Dan had just slipped in and sat at the back of the room, and later told me he had just interviewed Mother Teresa in Calcutta, and then had flown to Dhaka, to interview Mansur Ali, the then Prime Minister of the country, who shortly afterwards, was assassinated along with his family, by a group of military officers. (However, Dan could never have known about this shocking massacre at that time.)
“It was in June of 1982 that Dan and Norma, his wife now of some 53 years, along with their two sons, Andrew and Peter, moved to Southern California. Initially, Dan worked as a writer for Dutch-born adventurer, Brother Andrew, the author of God’s Smuggler, and he then ultimately began the ASSIST News Service (www.assistnews.net), which is, in my view, an amazing news service, which features insightful stories about persecuted Christians in war-torn countries like Iraq, Syria and Nigeria. He also runs many stories about world missions, a topic that is so close to my heart.”
“ANS carries many stories of fascinating and of courageous believers who are making a difference in our ever more violent world. I particularly enjoy reading these stories as they inspire me — in fact us all — to do great things for God.”
George went onto say, “Since we first met a half-century ago, Dan has interviewed me on numerous occasions for his ASSIST News Service and also for his ‘Front Page Radio’ show, and continues to be a huge supporter of OM and our ship ministry.
“We miss him here in London, but California gets the blessing, and I hope many more people will support the ministry as Dan, Norma and his dedicated team, walk by faith.
“I have no hesitation in recommending ANS to others, and so I ask you to please go ahead and make a generous donation to ASSIST at this time. It will make a world of difference to the news service, those he writes about, and will allow this unique service to be able to continue with its vital work. I urge you to give generously to them today, so they can continue to grow and expand their important media ministry.”
How you can help:
All you have to do is log onto www.assistnews.net and then scroll down the page to where it says, DONATE TO ASSIST NEWS, and there you can put in the figure you wish to give. Some of you may prefer to send a check, and so just make it out to ASSIST and mail it to: PO Box 609, Lake Forest, CA 92609, USA. Remember, in the US, all of your gifts are tax-deductible.
In closing, Verwer said, “I know that Dan and Norma Wooding, and the talented team of ANS writers, will be so appreciative of your generosity during this, their first Christmas ASSISTNEWS-A-THON, and I thank you in advance for supporting ASSIST, which means Aid to Special Saints in Strategic Times. I believe that title says it all for what they do.
“I have no hesitation in endorsing ANS, and I hope that today you will join the support team for this invaluable and important ministry.” (By the way, you can contact George Verwer by e-mail at: G.V@om.org).
Photo captions: 1) George Verwer. 2) Logo. 3) Dan Wooding chatting with Billy and Ruth Graham at their home in Montreat, North Carolina. 4) Dan with Mother Teresa in Calcutta back in 1975. 5) A wonderful caricature of George Verwer made by Graham Donald Kennedy. 6) Norma and Dan Wooding.
About the writer: Dan Wooding, 75, is an award-winning author, broadcaster and 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. He is the author of some 45 books and has two TV programs and one radio show in Southern California.
** Please feel free to republish this or any of our ANS stories with attribution to the ASSIST News Service (www.assistnews.net) and tell your friends about ANS.