Every life runs a certain course, including yours. To have a sense of what that course is and to stick to it is the making of a fulfilled life.
This story starts with a lady who lived across from the local high school in Wyckoff, NJ. For years, Dorothea Clapp prayed for the students to come to know the Lord Jesus. She prayed for George Verwer by name and mailed some literature to him. Verwer assumed himself to be a Christian since he attended his mother’s church.
One day in a store, he noticed a magazine featuring a young Billy Graham. He read the article and the wheels of his mind began to turn. Soon after, a man in Verwer’s neighborhood offered to bus the local teens to a Billy Graham event at Madison Square Garden. Verwer went and heard the gospel for the first time. “This is the truth,” he thought. “My search is over; this is the most important thing in life.” So it was that in 1955 at the tender age of 16, Verwer received Jesus Christ as his Savior.
That set the course of his life. As a senior in high school, he distributed 1000 copies of the Gospel of John. He led several of his classmates to trust Christ. During his first term in college, he hosted a rally back at his high school. Hundreds of students packed the auditorium. After hearing Verwer speak, over 100 people professed faith, including his own father. The next year, Verwer and friends sold their possessions to purchase and deliver Bibles to Mexico.
A few years later, Verwer founded Operation Mobilization to support churches and indigenous Christian workers in spreading the gospel of God’s grace. Today OM works in 140 countries and has mobilized over 250,000 workers for that purpose. Verwer has said this verse describes the theme of his life: “I do not consider my life of any account as dear to myself, so that I may finish my course and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify solemnly of the gospel of the grace of God” (Acts 20:24).
Verwer had a sense of the course of his life. So did Dorothea Clapp, who had a quiet but vital ministry of prayer and encouragement. Therein lies my charge to you, Christian. God has a course for your life. It is some selfless expression of glorifying God, displaying His love, and advancing His truth. You are “created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do” (Eph. 2:10).
Some pray. Some serve. Some even start worldwide organizations. But all of us can finish well, as did Verwer. In 2023, George Verwer left for the land of the living. He was 84.