After twenty years as International Director of World In Need, Ron George is moving on. We caught up with him on his last day in his old job and asked him a few questions.
1. You started World In Need from one room in your home, and it has grown into a multi-national organisation. Is there anything you would point to and say, “This is what I am most pleased to have achieved”?
Survival. There have been times when things have been difficult, as they are for many organisations, but God has kept us going. Every day is a blessing.
The vision has become clearer. It is still the same vision that it was at the beginning, but over time it has matured and become more realistic. I feel that the job has trained us. When Lech Walesa became President of Poland, it was not something he had expected to happen, or that he had prepared for. He said the job trained him, and that is how I feel we have been at World In Need.
We’ve also grown in the Lord. As we do His will, we grow in our knowledge of Him.
2. Do you have any special memories?
It has not been an easy road. There have been many ups and downs along the way. At times, I have been discouraged by the behaviour of some Christians, and have had to accept that they are also on the path to maturity but are not quite ready to stay with us. On the other hand, I have been privileged to know many faithful people, especially in the fields. These people have shown good leadership and strong vision.
When we sponsor children, we have no idea how they are going to turn out. It is wonderful to see them grow into mature citizens of their countries, and to see our input in their lives bear fruit.
3. What are your plans for the future?
I am going to do much more teaching, both in the fields and in other places. For example, in September, I am going to a college in Moldova, where there are 70 central Asian students as well as about 400 others. Then later in the year, I am going to Nigeria, where I will speak to the Redeemed Christian Bible College, Lagos Nigeria. I have spoken there before, and the Principal recently emailed me to say:
“ Your teachings on Islamic Faith has been a blessing to us in the Bible College here.
It may interest you that your visit and teaching sessions enhanced our introduction of a course titled: "Understanding Islam As A Religious Faith" which is being taught at our undergraduate level in the Bible College.
The insight you gave to the knowledge of Islam as a religious faith enriched my approach to teaching Islamic Religion as a Philosopher of Religion. Sincerely, your teaching complemented the knowledge I acquired during my undergraduate and post-graduate days in the University.
Thank you and God bless you.”
I have also been asked to go to Sweden, to lecture all mission agencies in Scandinavia on the subject of the Haddith. This sounds boring but is actually a fascinating subject. For a start, I have been able to link the stories of the 1001 Arabian Nights to the Islamic Haddith.
As well as this teaching, I am working on a new website, http://www.worldchristianministries.org This has a media section if you log in, which is already available in Russian, English and Arabic, and will soon be available in other languages. In this section, we have put training materials in subjects such as health, agriculture, Bible teaching and Islamics. We hope to add subjects such as Hinduism and Buddhism. The site means that people can download these materials, for free, in their own languages.