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Operation Mobilization Founder George Verwer Dies at 84

Photo from Wiki Commons

Operation Mobilization Founder George Verwer Dies at 84

By Movieguide® Staff

George Verwer, founder of the global Christian mission organization Operation Mobilization, died on April 14 at the age of 84 years old, surrounded by his family.

In February 2023, Verwer shared his diagnosis of Sarcoma cancer in a newsletter, requesting prayer: “Please ask people not to pray for total healing as I really am looking forward to heaven. Ask for prayer for grace for the rough journey that daily will be ahead.”

Religious News Service reported of Verwer’s ministry:

Verwer was born in New Jersey, USA, and committed his life to Christ at a Billy Graham meeting in New York City in 1955. Driven by the cause of world evangelism from then on, the teenage maverick went on to have immeasurable global impact. He has been described as “the most outstanding North American missionary statesman of the last 60 years.”

“George changed the face of missions in his generation,” said Andrew Scott, president of OM USA. “When the mission agencies of the late fifties were looking for highly trained individuals with seminary degrees who would commit to going for a lifetime, George invited young people who simply loved Jesus to come for a summer. This was new. This was different. Thousands came.”

Operation Mobilization began with three students in a worn-out van distributing Christian literature in Mexico, then branching into Europe and across the globe. Today, more than 5,000 OM workers are active in almost 150 countries, in a huge range of ministries.

Verwer’s daring vision in the 1960s led to ships being used to transport and train international volunteers while carrying a cargo of literature and aid supplies. Fifty million people have climbed the gangways of OM’s four ships, and at least double that number have come into contact with the “good news” through outreaches and projects in port cities worldwide.

OM International Director Lawrence Tong added: “George was passionate about Jesus, passionate for God’s word, and passionate for the lost. I believe he was God’s man for the 20th century, who changed the course of modern missions.”

Greg Livingstone, the founder of missions group Frontiers, said of George’s ministry: “We should have thought he was a ‘nutcase,’ but because of the Holy Spirit, we just knew this was a man you could follow to the ends of the earth, and we had real confidence he was getting the mind of the Lord.”

Verwer attended several Movieguide® Award galas over the course of his 45 year ministry at the helm of OM. A longtime supporter of Movieguide®, Verwer, is survived by his wife, Drena, their three children, plus grandchildren and great grandchildren.

In 2015, Verwer reflected on God’s calling for his life.

“I’m still mega-motivated to see everyone in the world being given the gospel at least once… [to] have the opportunity to hear about saving grace through our Lord Jesus Christ, and I hope I can, right to my last breath, continue to share that message.”

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4000+ Faith Based Articles and Movie Reviews – Will you Support Us?

Our small team works tirelessly to provide resources to protect families from harmful media, reviewing 415 movies/shows and writing 3,626 uplifting articles this year. We believe that the gospel can transform entertainment. That’s why we emphasize positive and faith-filled articles and entertainment news, and release hundreds of Christian movie reviews to the public, for free. No paywalls, just trusted, biblically sound content to bless you and your family. Online, Movieguide is the closest thing to a biblical entertainment expert at your fingertips. As a reader-funded operation, we welcome any and all contributions – so if you can, please give something. It won’t take more than 52 seconds (we timed it for you). Thank you.

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