Greetings in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ!
As we are approaching the end of the first half of the year 2018, I would like to share with you some updates on a number of developments that have taken place over the past few months.
International Council Elections about to Complete
Coming out of the meetings we held in Ft. Lauderdale in March, the International Council (IC) decided not to wait with elections until the General Assembly but to hold an electronic process of nominating and voting for a new IC this year. We are grateful that after the cancelation of the 2014 General Assembly (GA), many of the current IC members have continued to serve faithfully in their roles. But we recognize that it has been an unexpectedly long term, so the IC wanted to give the WEA constituency a chance to give the governing board a renewed mandate.
The election process that has taken place over the past two months is about to be completed, and the newly elected IC members will be announced soon. The terms of this election will be until the GA at the end of next year when regular elections will take place.
General Assembly 2019 Taking Shape
Having mentioned the GA, I would like to remind you to save the dates of November 6-13, 2019. The Fellowship of Indonesia Evangelical Churches and Institutions (FIECI), our national member body, invites us to come to Bali, Indonesia, for a time of celebration and fellowship. The GA Organizing Committee is working diligently on all the preparations and we will share more information and details in the coming weeks and months. We look forward to seeing you there!
Structural Changes in the Organization
As I have shared with you before, the WEA is continuing to undergo some structural changes. Most recently, the IC has come forward with a new layout for the Office of the Secretary General that includes two Deputy Secretary Generals (DSG), for Ministries and for Operations respectively. This triumvirate seeks to strengthen the core leadership of WEA and give oversight and coordinate the activities of the various departments.
Godfrey Yogarajah, who has already served in a slightly different DSG role earlier, has been appointed by the IC as the DSG for Ministries who will lead the programmatic side of WEA. For the operational side, we are currently in the final stages of the recruitment process, with an appointment anticipated in the coming month.
Opening of Development Office
At the beginning of this month, we have opened a development office at the Billy Graham Center at Wheaton College in Wheaton, Illinois, with Valerie Perry as first staff. Together with the incoming DSG of Operations, Valerie’s work will focus on strengthening WEA’s financial base for the future. We welcome your prayers for her and the work of this office, and that God may open doors and provide the necessary financial resources for WEA to fulfill its mission.
Lastly, I would also like to share with you some transitions in the Senior Leadership Team that will take place at the end of this month.
Amanda Jackson who has helped start the new Church in Community Department two years ago will be stepping back from her role as department head. She will continue to lead WEA’s Women’s Commission and has a number of regional events lined up already. Core focus is on seeing women leading at every level in the church and empowering them to use their gifting for the Kingdom of God. You can read more here.
Comm. Christine MacMillan has expressed her desire to retire as Associate Secretary General for Public Engagement and instead focus fully on her involvement with WEA’s Global Human Trafficking Task Force, while also continuing to be involved in our United Nations work. We are also still discussing some other areas where we would welcome her continued leadership. You can read more here.
And finally, Dr. Christopher Chou, our Chief Operating Officer who has helped establish WEA’s office in New York and build an operational basis for a number of our departments over the past years, will move on to assume a new role as head of the Evangelical Center. The Center which runs as an independent entity has the vision of serving evangelicals around the world with information and data on global issues. You can read more here.
I am very grateful for their faithful and dedicated service as part of the senior leadership team and look forward to continuing working with them in their areas of specialty. Please join me in prayers of gratitude for them and that God will continue to bless them in their work for His Kingdom.
In an interim transition period, Dr. Deborah Fikes who has served as our representative to the UN for many years will give oversight to the Public Engagement department. The Church in Community department will be led in the interim by Rev. Esme Bowers, who chairs The Evangelical Alliance of South Africa (TEASA) and has already served in various capacities in the WEA spheres on national, regional and global levels. Please also pray for them as they assume their new roles in the coming days and weeks.
As we head into the second half of this year with many changes and opportunities at hand, I would like to express my thanks to God for his faithfulness and guidance, but also my appreciation for you – our valued members and partners – who together make up this body of believers. It is your prayers and support that allow the WEA to continue to serve the unique purpose that God has called it to fulfill.
Thank you and God bless you,
Bp Efraim M. Tendero
Secretary General / CEO
World Evangelical Alliance