George Verwer is the Founder of Operation Mobilization (OM), a ministry of cross-cultural evangelism, church planting and discipleship training. After serving as the International Director from the beginning, George stepped down in 2003 and continues in his ministry with OM, speaking and raising the profile of world missions.
Operation Mobilisation (OM) traces its roots to the prayers of an American housewife. In the 1950s, Dorothea Clapp began to pray faithfully for the students in her local High School. She asked God to touch the world through the lives of those young people. And God answered her prayers!
Mrs. Clapp gave the Gospel of John to one of the students, who later gave his life to the Lord at a Billy Graham meeting. That young man was George Verwer, the founder and former international director of Operation Mobilisation.
At college, George and two friends met regularly to pray. They became burdened by the spiritual needs of Mexico. In 1957 the three friends sold some of their own possessions to raise money and gave up their summer holiday to distribute Gospels and other Christian literature in Mexico. The friends returned to Mexico the following summer and the next…This was said to be the birth of short term mission trips.
When they graduated in 1960, George and his friends travelled to Europe. They began work in Spain, sharing the Gospel and distributing literature. But the task of reaching the whole of Europe seemed overwhelming.
George and his small team realised that God’s plan was to mobilise His church to reach the nations. As they began to share their vision, hundreds of Christians responded. So Operation Mobilisation was born.
By 1963, 2,000 Christians had joined summer outreach teams in Europe. At the same time, the first year teams moved into the Indian sub-continent and the Muslim world. Their commitment was to reach those who had never heard the Gospel.
OM and Verwer’s vision for spreading the Gospel expanded to the seas and a ship with the purchase of the MV Logos in October 1970. OM expanded its ships ministry with the MV Doulos, MV Logos II and MV Logos Hope. The MV Logos II stopped sailing in late 2008.
Such simple beginnings have shaped OM ever since. Today over 6,100 workers in the family of ministries, representing 100 nationalities are bringing God’s unchanging truth to literally millions every year.
(Excerpted from the History of OM and George Verwer’s biographical sketch)
Sister Teo Soke Fung