John Dudley Woodberry, was born to missionary parents in China. When he was five years old, he fell into the freezing waters of Yantai Harbour and suffered severe pneumonia. However, he survived the illness and realized the divine providence in his regard. Two years later, when World War II broke out, Dudley and his siblings were separated from their parents and taken as prisoners. After much trouble, they finally were reunited with their family.
Through all this, Dudley was starting to perceive that God was keeping him for something. He says, “I had a sense that I had been saved for a purpose.”
Thirteen years old Dudley heard the missionary Samuel Zwemer say, “If you want the most difficult but most rewarding work in the world, minister among Muslims…” That is when he understood the ‘purpose’ for which God was keeping him.
J. Dudley Woodberry ministry in Arab countries
After attaining formal education in Islamic Studies, Dudley went to Pakistan for full-time missionary work with his wife, Roberta. He studied the culture and piety of the Muslims and explored indigenous ways of reaching them. He worked at Christian Study Centre in Rawalpindi and put great efforts into building bridges between Christians and Muslims.
Dudley was a master negotiator with deep knowledge in Islamic literature that saved him and his co-workers several times. Once when two missionaries were arrested for distributing Luke’s gospel in Afghanistan, Dudley quoted verses from the Quran that called for a peaceful coexistence of Christians and Muslims and saved his friends’ necks.
His persuasions initially laid the foundations for mutual respect and then eventually leading the Muslims to the Christian faith. After 11 years of service in Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Arab countries, Dudley returned to Michigan. There He began teaching and training missionaries to work in the Islamic world. Dudley, who still is active in his Christian missionary journey, is a perfect embodiment of Jesus’s words:
“Be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.”
John Dudley Woodberry
Beloved, are you living in God’s purpose?Take away from the article
“Lord, open my eyes that I may realize your purpose in my life and live for it. Amen!”Word of Prayer
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