Dear Hope family,

Thought for the Week


Mark 1v17  “I will make you to become fishers of people.” (RW literal translation)

When I was about 9 or 10, there was a lady in my church in South London whom we called ‘Aunty Joanne’. My particular memories are grinding her coffee and feeding her tropical fish. A woman of God, she arranged for me to receive a regular prayer letter from Operation Mobilisation (OM). I was enthused by its use of the ships “Logos” and later “Doulos” to spread the gospel in different ports around the world. OM had been initiated by George Verwer in the 1950’s and has to-date encouraged hundreds of thousands to go on global mission.

When I was 17, a guy in his twenties, seemingly randomly (I can’t even remember his name), invited me to the OM Leadership conference in Birmingham. I went. Thousands of us slept on church hall floors across Birmingham – yes, there were “male” churches and “female” churches! I was impacted by the worship – I can even now recall singing, “All hail King Jesus” in the conference hall for the first time. I was also impacted by George Verwer’s inspirational call to mission. The result was that the following summer I went on an OM mission trip to the French Alps. It was a test of faith in several dimensions: seeking God’s financial provision; working as an international team; and selling Christian books door-to-door in French! God provided in every dimension and we had an amazing response. Who knows what fruit those seeds may have brought.

I have had several further interactions with George Verwer over the years. Always inspirational, always passionate for the Lord, often wearing a map of the world, and always ready to go the extra mile for the lost: he embodied sustained sacrificial service. He died in April this year, aged 84, having served on mission to the last. This faithful man of faith is now in glory.

I encourage you to be inspired by a documentary of George’s life story here (55 mins).

With love and blessing,