Please login to continue
Having Trouble Logging In?
Reset your password
Don't have an account?
Sign Up Now!
Register for a Free Account
Choose Password
Confirm Password

Your account has been created!

John Powdrill

Missions in Asia
"And I must go forth to the land of His choice."
By Rachel Elwood, Staff Writer, 2014

Born and raised in Kent, England, John Powdrill grew up in the church. Unfortunately, after joining the armed forces during World War II, he turned from his faith. During the war, John served in the Air Force in India, and while he was there, he rededicated his life to God. After seeing the spiritual need in India, John returned to England with a new calling: to reach Indian Muslims with the gospel. He graduated from Emmanuel Bible College and was appointed by World Gospel Mission in 1950 to serve in India.

As John was commissioned for missionary service in 1951, the choir sang: “By day and by night I am thrilled by a voice: the voice of a nation far over the sea. And I must go forth to the land of His choice.…”

The land of God’s choosing was India, but over a span of four decades, John and Edith Powdrill served together in three countries. Edith was appointed as a single missionary to China in 1946. She served there for two years until communism forced missionaries to leave. God then led her to India, where she met John.

A month after John arrived in India, he and Edith both attended South India Bible Institute’s annual prayer band convention. Edith gave her testimony during one of the sessions, and John was struck by her passion and sincerity. He introduced himself to her that day, and their friendship quickly turned into a courtship. They married on May 2, 1953.

For the rest of their careers, John and Edith’s primary objective was reaching Muslims with the gospel. Respecting cultural boundaries of men remaining apart from women, John and Edith served in separate ministries. John worked with literature evangelism and witnessing while Edith worked with women, children, and clinic patients. They moved to Bangladesh in 1975, using an agricultural project and literature distribution to witness to the Bengali people. John also received training in treating leprosy, allowing him to launch and operate a leprosy control program in a heavily endemic area.

In 1985, after serving in Asia for 39 years, the Powdrills moved their ministry to England. For five years, John and Edith lived in east London, ministering to Muslims. They officially retired in 1990 after more than 40 years of service with WGM.

Edith passed away on July 12, 2010, and John passed away on July 19, 2014, at the age of 93. During his missionary experience, John found that being immersed in and completing God’s will was what mattered most. He cited the words of a familiar hymn when he said, “Trust and obey, for there’s no other way to be happy in Jesus.” John’s extended WGM family joins with his family and friends as we celebrate his life and remember his faithful service to Lord.

Support a Missionary
Global Impact Fund
Advancing the Great Commission through your partnership.