Dr Duewel gave himself to missions for 75 years. Following 25 years in India, he became President of OMS International (1969–1982). His writings on the Holy Spirit, revival and soul winning call people back to prayer, the source of all power for ministry, and express his hunger and passion. More that 2.5 million copies of his ten books are in circulation in 58 languages.
Called to be a missionary to India at the age of five as he played in a sandpit in his parent’s garden, Wesley arrived there in 1941 and served in India for 25 years, the first years being hard and slow. When travelling between India and the USA, God gave Wesley an idea – to challenge 1000 people to give 15 minutes of their time each day to pray for India and let God work. Over 1500 people responded and prayer increased. His initial vision for the growth of churches in India got many supporters of OMS fired up to pray for the set goal of 1,000 churches. When this was achieved we continued to pray for the next 1,000!
On one of his subsequent visits to Allahabad Seminary while he was President of OMS , the Indian leaders shared how mightily God was working. One of them turned to Wesley and said “All of us are seeing results beyond anything we have known.”
“Praise the Lord” Wesley said. The leader responded “Are you surprised?” “Yes, praise the Lord!” Wesley answered. To which the leader said “You ought not to be! Didn’t you go and get over 1000 people to pray fifteen minutes a day for us? Then why are you surprised?”
WHY SHOULD WE BE SURPRISED WHEN GOD ANSWERS PRAYER?
We in the United Kingdom appreciated all the leadership and challenge that Dr Duewel exposed us to on his many visits. It was a tremendous privilege to have known Wesley and to have shared so many experiences and conversations with him during his visits to our country and to sit in the meetings he conducted in various centres.
Two memories stand out of his times here. He spoke at a large Christian conference in Bangor, Co Down on Prayer. He had recently published “Touch the World Through Prayer.” So many came to hear Wesley that the church could not hold the people and several nearby halls had to be used. For some it was standing room only.
The second occasion was a few years later when he was researching for his book “Revival Fire”. He was absolutely thrilled to be able to visit some of the sites of the 1859 Revival in Ulster as well as going to Slemish mountain where the patron saint of Ireland, St Patrick, had tended sheep as a young man before God used him to spread the gospel in Ireland.
Dr Duewel’s legacy to One Mission Society has been a network of prayer groups meeting in homes here, especially in N. Ireland, working out in practice the theme of his several books on the importance and effectiveness of prayer.
For those of us who were able to visit Greenwood, Indiana, it was a special privilege to be able to sit down with Wesley and be enthused by his passion for prayer and his interest in our own ministry.
God alone knows the impact he has had on many believers in the United Kingdom and Ireland and we join with others all over the world in giving thanks for the blessings received through God’s hand on Dr Duewel in his ministry in public speaking, personal contact and inspirational writing.
He lived by the words he used to sign his letters: “All for Jesus”.
OMS UK ED Retired