A season for honour
IN APRIL and July 2012, World Outreach International (WOI) held two significant gatherings in Asia and Africa, that brought together our missionaries from across the globe, to celebrate God¹s blessing on WOI over the past 80 years of ministry. Many wonderful stories and testimonies were shared during this very special time. We also took the opportunity to publically honour our missionaries who have spent over 20 years of ministry with WOI.
However, one couple was not mentioned: John and Mary Elliott, the International Directors of WOI. 2012 marks both 35 years of ministry in Asia for the Elliott’s and 40 years of marriage.
John and Mary began their ministry journey as youth leaders in New Zealand in the mid 1970s. It was there that they responded to the call of God to join a team of 12 young missionaries headed for the Philippines during which time John¹s leadership skills came to the fore. John was instrumental in organising ministry seminars as the charismatic renewal broke out across the nation.
This season was followed by four years as associate pastors at an Assemblies of God church in New Zealand. During this time John and I (Grahame) travelled to Indonesia several times to begin meetings with pastors and establish leadership seminars throughout the country.
In 1985, John and Mary joined WOI, working alongside Bill Molenkamp, the International Director, to oversee the Life in Christ pastors’ seminars conducted throughout Asia, Africa and the Middle East. When Bill stepped down in 1995, John was appointed the International Director of WOI.
Today under John¹s leadership, WOI is a vibrant movement of dedicated and anointed missionaries and ministry teams, laying down their lives in the service of Christ in over 60 nations.
John has focused the efforts of all WOI workers on training, equipping and releasing more workers into the harvest to win and disciple those who have never heard the name of Jesus. He has also maintained a critical focus on mobilising and making room for the next generation of leaders.
A major reason for God¹s blessing resting on WOI has been the Godly example set by John and Mary, both in their public and personal lives. They have been exemplary in their servant leadership even in their home life; raising three children, each of whom is serving God today. Their burden is to see our missionaries and workers succeed in their personal lives as well as in their ministries. John and Mary speak from years of experience and understand many of the family and ministry challenges that face our personnel.
The following comments best articulate the honour and esteem in which John and Mary are held across the family of WOI:
“John’s speaking style has always encouraged his listeners. He is energetic and passionate about missions. John and Mary have portrayed strong and faithful leadership of the mission and the missionaries. May the Spirit of wisdom and revelation be the hallmark of your ministry in years to come.”
Lilian and Abe de Fin
(Daughter of the late Harold and Alice Berry – WOI South Africa)
“I had the privilege of inviting John and Mary to Hong Kong to work alongside me, overseeing the ministry of training pastors in the developing world. I then appointed John as my successor as International Director of WOI.
John and Mary are real, passionate, loving people with a big heart for God’s kingdom. John was definitely the right man, in the right place, at the right time to replace me. I congratulate them on the occasion of their 40th wedding anniversary and their leadership of WOI as it celebrates its 80th year of ministry.”
Honorary President, WOI
“John and Mary were appointed International Directors at a critical time in the existence of WOI. From the outset they have led by example, nurturing a team approach and a culture of upskilling and personal development. Above all, they exhibit a strong reliance on the leadership of and sensitivity to the Holy Spirit in all that He seeks to accomplish. It has been a privilege to be a part of their team.”
Peter and Bev van der Westhuyzen
“Congratulations to WOI on reaching 80 years of ministry! It has been our privilege to know both John and Mary for many years. Thank you for maintaining the prophetic foundations of WOI and giving freedom for the many ministries to continue to grow the Kingdom of God.”
Harvey and Glenda Walker
(Son of the late Dorothy Walker – Tawangmangu Bible School, Indonesia)
What about the future of WOI? John and Mary have a vision to see an organisation made up of people who truly know the call of God on their lives, who love the person, power and presence of the Holy Spirit, and therefore know how to walk and work with Him.
WOI is in good hands.
WOI ‘soldiers of the faith’ honoured for long-term missionary service.
- Wim and Fanny Molenkamp – 52yrs
- Jane White – 50yrs
- Robert and Eliana Mambu – 43yrs
- Sam and Carol Soukotta – 40yrs
- Allen and Charlotte Teal – 40yrs
- Lorraine Dierck – 34yrs
- Vijaya Chowdhuri – 34yrs
- Valerie Bateup – 33yrs
- Graeme and Lucy Fawcett – 28yrs
- Kay and Trevor Weavers – 27yrs
- Max and Dorothy Chismon – 27yrs
- John and Nola Mickan – 24yrs
- John and Yolande Leroy – 20yrs
- Grahame and Philippa Orpin – 20yrs
- Peter Smith – 21yrs