24 Dec 2014 by Adeline Lum CM-
Rev George Verwer, founder of Operation Mobilisation (OM), graced Glad Tidings Petaling Jaya on 14th of December with his fervor and upbeat.
“What a privilege to be back in this church, which I have prayed for many decades! We thank the Lord for his work in our midst,” said Rev George as he continued to share the life nuggets in his life.
While we think the world is increasingly degrading, Rev George shared that the world has not changed much since Cain killed Abel. In our century, we see segregation, slavery, and crime. But what stands true is the Light of Christ has rapidly travelled across ten of millions around the world!
“There are 40,000 different denominations today. Each feels they are the best. God is a God of enormous variety. He wants different cultures, languages, and races,” said Rev George, whose world-map-jacket reverberated with his conviction.
“Anyone who wants to do anything gets criticized. The most criticized Christian I know is Billy Graham, one who is said to be the anti-Christ. So, if you want to live for Jesus and you want to be a radical disciple of Jesus, get ready for criticism,” said Rev George.
He recalled how God showed him that he would have a ship for the worldwide ministry. At that time, they reached the people by hundreds of vehicles crisscrossing around the world. The idea was too farfetched to believe. But God did what He said! OM had their first ship, LOGOS, within three years after his vision, followed by DOULOS, and then replaced with LOGOS 2 and now Logos Hope (a 12-thousand ton ship with 400 people living inside).
“But guess what? We need more people. Some of you here are looking just bored. But I tell you, if you join the Logos Hope, you will not be tired. Spend time in the engine room, especially when there’s a fire. Or when you get a storm, that’s why people don’t join. Jesus never promised an easy road,” said Rev George.
More than 200,000 people have volunteered for OM. It started with a lady who prayed. When God does His Work, He raises up men and women of prayer!
May God be gracious to us and bless us
and make his face shine on us—
so that your ways may be known on earth,
your salvation among all nations.
May the peoples praise you, God;
may all the peoples praise you.
May the nations be glad and sing for joy,
for you rule the peoples with equity
and guide the nations of the earth.
May the peoples praise you, God;
may all the peoples praise you.
The land yields its harvest;
God, our God, blesses us.
May God bless us still,
so that all the ends of the earth will fear him.
(Psalm 67 NIV)
The psalms encapsulated all the nations on the earth. Rev George stopped in his sermon to pray for the nations of the world including Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, southern Sudan, northern Nigeria, Tunisia, Maldives, Morocco, and Turkey.
“There are about 40 nations that have less than five percent of the amount of witnesses of Christ, less than what we have in Malaysia. I want you to make a commitment tonight to pray for the workers that are needed, especially for some of those nations we prayed for,” said Rev George quoting Matt 9:35-38.
Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.” (Matt 9:35-38 NIV)
At only 18 years old, Rev George was touched by the Lord and became a missionary to share the gospel in Mexico. Exposed to 50 different mission agencies at that time, he thought that starting another mission agency was unnecessary. But upon talking to esteemed missionaries, he realized that a large part of the world was left out. He started mobilizing young people to reach the world and OM began. In the year of 1962 and 1963, they reached 25 million people in two summers in the whole Western Europe.
But unlike many spiritual giants, Rev George shared he did not have any spiritual legacy. His grandfather was an atheist. His other grandfather was an alcoholic. Nevertheless, Rev George had a delightful childhood. Although his father was not a believer, he loved George and held on to strong family values.
“So, I was doing fine until this Holy Ghost interfered in my life! A woman of prayer who lived across the road from my school … This woman got my name. And she put my name in the Holy Ghost hit list. She prayed that not only I will become a Christian, she prayed that I will be an ambassador of Jesus,” said Rev George.
At that time, pornography came into Rev George’s life that shook him. But this lady with many people continued praying. God sent Billy Graham to New York. Having mistaken Graham as a hypnotist and getting a free bus seat from a businessman right into the heart of the city, he went to the event with a girl.
“And I heard the gospel. I didn’t understand but I trusted that Jesus as my savior. So, I took my first step, that baby step. I went forward to all those people. And then I began to leap as the Holy Spirit broke me. God began to show me there’s a whole new way of life on a totally different level,” said Rev George.
Thinking back, he struggled in his fear of leaving his newfound faith, hearing stories of people leaving but returning to their faith later in life. But due to God’s grace, he never left and had the joy of seeing thousands of people returning to Christ from the midst of lukewarmness, wavering, and secret sins.
“Operation Mobilisation was not first born as a missions movement. OM was born as a revival movement, quickening people out of lukewarmness, quickening people out of churchianity, and youth fellowships into radical discipleship,” said Rev George.
“Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.” (Matt 16:24 NIV) How do we deal with our time, money, sexual emotions, and romance emotions?
Paul says, “…but I buffet my body, and bring it into bondage: lest by any means, after that I have preached to others, I myself should be rejected.” (1 Cor 9:27) We are called to be discipline with our prayer, food, emotions, and the way we think.
The greatest challenge for Rev George is the sin of lust when he fell into the world of pornography. Although he accepted Christ during Billy Graham’s evangelical event, he still had many struggles.
“So, if you’re a Christian and you have a lot of struggles, it’s normal. I didn’t know that there were so many rules. Dancing is my favorite thing. I was from the day of Elvis Presley, dancing is in my bloodstream.
“If I can’t find a girl, I will dance with the broom sometimes or three girls at once. I once met a Christian who said, ‘You are not allowed to dance with anyone anymore.’ It’s a miracle I ever made through the jungle of legalism. And at the same time, of course, I grew in God’s grace,” said Rev George.
With an interest in romance, Rev George decided to quit casual dating and focus on Jesus alone. He went to Mexico and studied Spanish. Completing the Bible, he understood the meaning of relationship and leadership at only 18 years old. The verse he held on to was, “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” (Matt 6:33)
“That’s what I got to do with all these whole deal of romance, and who I am going to marry, I just gave it to God. So, for two years, no kissing!” said Rev George.
He went to Moody Bible Institute where he met many beautiful girls there.
“How am I going to survive this place? But a lot of them are carrying really huge Bibles, so if you try to kiss them, you get a New King James Version on your head! I didn’t kiss any girl there. I was just serving Jesus and evangelizing of course,” joked Rev George to the roar of laughter from the audience.
But God provided Rev George his wife—a beautiful and quiet woman in charge of an evangelistic film. Rev George fell in love at first sight with his wife, while she took some time to warm up to her extroverted and assertive beau. After much prayer, his wife agreed to marry him, even agreeing to sleep on the floor of a bookstore after marriage instead of an apartment. She sold all her possessions and gave it all for world missions.
However, they underwent a difficult time in the beginning of their marriage.
“We discover we didn’t know each other. And we began to have lots of difficulties and problems but we kept going back into the Word of God. We kept praying. God used one book to expose my ego and my impatience,” said Rev George who realized at that time his ego was cloaked in zeal for the ministry.
“God revolutionized my life in Mexico City by the power of the Holy Spirit,” he added referring to Gal 5:22-26 and 1 Cor 13.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other. (Gal 5:22-26)
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. (1 Cor 13:4-7)
“That’s why in one month’s time, my wife and I have 55 years of Holy Ghost matrimony. Seek ye first the kingdom of God and all these things will be added to you,” said Rev George.
“Mine is a ministry of exhortation, to get people from the head to the heart. We want to urge you to be radical for Jesus. We want to urge you not to seek for the next blessing or the next help you’re asking God for but to seek His Glory. Be willing even to lay down your life.
“But more than anything else, I just want to say God wants to use you. I am just an example of how God can take someone—nothing spiritual, struggling in his faith, even in the area of doubt—and yet somehow, God is able to use me,” said Rev George.
He candidly shared how he fell into lust even in a Christian leadership position. Seeing a free pornographic magazine, the mighty fell.
“I fell big time into lust. But I knew from the Bible—I memorized large chunks of it, which has been built into my DNA—I felt condemned, I felt dirty, I felt God can never use me again. I felt that I should quit this whole Christian thing and go back to the time before Billy Graham.
“But because of the message of radical grace, I know that Jesus still loves me. In the rest of my life, I experienced a higher victory of what could have destroyed me. God’s love, take it deep into your DNA whenever you have difficulty and whenever you are hurt,” said Rev George.
He shared how his wife was deeply hurt by her stepfather. And although she accepted Christ, part of her wounds was unhealed. And as a young fiancée, Rev George felt that he could not meet her emotional needs. He was busy reaching out in Mexico City and studying in the university at the same time. So, he made a disastrous decision to leave his fiancée to study Spanish alone in Mexico City, a frightening experience for a fairly shy girl. But while she took a bus alone from Mexico City, she heard this message from God, “The all-sufficiency of Jesus, in Him, are all treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” She fell asleep in the bus and woke up freed from all her illnesses of fears and insecurities. From then on, she left United States six months from that point onwards and never looked back ever since.
“This is a woman with a difficult childhood—hurt, father killed. And God brought her and me together. I am this happy-go-lucky New Yorker, pain in the neck person. But by God’s grace, we have three children and five grandchildren.
“We are so privileged. I want to urge you to give Jesus your all, one hundred percent. Be willing to go anywhere even though you are kicking and screaming. When you get there, somehow you will discover the grace of God,” said Rev George.
Are you willing to trust God in giving one year of your life in serving him in the ship?
“The ship is not a perfect environment. In fact, it’s the imperfections that teach us more about reality because that’s how life is. Thousands upon thousands have joined the ship and I met them everywhere I go.” The years he and family were on the ship was one of their highlights in their whole life.
“God, help us to go where you want us to go and to do what you want us to do. Pray that verse in Isaiah 6, ‘Here am I. send me!’” said Rev George.
Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I. Send me!” (Isa 6:8)
For more information about OM you can contact:
Mobilisation Fellowship (M) Bhd
356 Block A, Kelana Centre Point, 3 Jalan
SS7/19, 47301 Petaling Jaya, Selangor,
Telephone: 03-7803 5303
Fax: 03-7803 5456
www.om.orgFax: 03-7803 5456
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