Dan Wooding, the former British tabloid writer who became a groundbreaking missionary journalist and advocate for the suffering church, has passed to his reward on March 18th. He was 79.
The founder of ASSIST News Service graduated to Heaven following a two-year battle with cancer. A back injury in the last several months left him bedridden and in a state of decline that hastened his homecoming with the Lord.
Once a correspondent for the National Enquirer and a staffer on two of Britain’s sensational tabloids, a powerful encounter with God caused him to devote his writing skills to reporting about the plight of persecuted Christians in restricted countries.
Dan gave me a start as a Christian journalist in 1999 and I will always be grateful for his encouragements. We also recorded a radio program together for many years, “Window on the World,” broadcast over Calvary Chapel’s radio network and through Dan’s personal network of broadcasters in countries around the world.
We met for the first time at his modest office in Garden Grove, California, which he shared with his devoted and saintly wife, Norma, who handled their books. I could immediately tell there was nothing improper going on financially with their ministry because of their humble lifestyles. Dan probably found the least expensive office in the county and Norma counted every penny to make sure it was handled properly.
I also visited their home in Lake Forest, a doublewide trailer that was furnished unassumingly — with Norma’s delicate and refined touch.
Born to missionary parents in Plateau State, Nigeria, in 1940, Dan liked to joke that he was African-American. His bubbly personality and ever-present, infectious humor was endearing to so many who were privileged to call him a friend. Also a gifted raconteur, he could regale his listeners with stories behind the headlines, which often could not be shared publicly.
His parents, Alfred and Anne, met at the Sudan Interior Mission (SIM) language school, fell in love, and were married at the SIM church in the walled city of Kano.
They began to serve as missionaries in a small mud-hut village called Izom.
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SOURCE: Assist News, Mark Ellis