Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina, 11 October 2022
The HOPE Award 2022 was presented to Jeff Fountain, the Director of the Schuman Centre for European Studies, at the Hope for Europe 2022 Experience (”HOPE 2022”). The European Evangelical Alliance’s (EEA) HOPE Award is presented annually to a person, group or project in Europe embodying the message of biblical hope and values of partnership, networking, transformation, and integrity. The purpose of the award is to serve as an encouragement by giving appropriate honor to such people and efforts, and to increase awareness of initiatives, especially across national borders, which in turn can inspire further ‘actions of hope’.
Jeff Fountain is a long time champion of the church in Europe. Though born in New Zealand, he has lived in the Netherlands since 1975 and has travelled and spoken in almost every European country. He is a man who is well acquainted with European history, and is able to trace European Christian heritage and link it to today’s values and behaviors, or lack thereof.
“Jeff is a pioneer in championing the importance of European Christian networks to create synergy as well as networks within nations. Networks of specialists. Networks crossing the boundaries of denomination or type of organization. Networks who are a great support for churches and National Evangelical Alliances.” says Connie Main Duarte, one of the new General Secretaries of the EEA. Her General Secretary colleague, Jan Wessels , adds: “Jeff has been the one within our European Evangelical family who has championed hope the loudest and the longest. He has constantly reminded us that, if Jesus asked us to pray ‘Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven’, then it is indeed His will that it will be done.”
The former General Secretary, Thomas Bucher, who has handed over his role to his successors Connie Main Duarte and Jan Wessels during HOPE 2022 in Sarajevo, adds: “Jeff has exemplified unity in the body of Christ. He has worked tirelessly to ensure that the church lives up to its task of proclaiming the Good News in different ways and channels, in the great expectation that God has yet another Christian chapter in store for Europe.”
HOPE 2022 was a special gathering, hosted by the European Evangelical Alliance, which normally takes place every three years (last in Tallinn, Estonia in 2018, Covid resulted in a postponement of one year) and convened hundreds of evangelical leaders from across Europe to share strategies, best practices and valuable insights and to collaborate. The motto of HOPE 2022 was „Builders connecting – Celebrating the Kingdom of God”.
A video presentation of the HOPE Award 2022 can be seen here.
About Jeff Fountain
Jeff Fountain (b. 1949), a New Zealander holding a Dutch passport since 1985, is currently the director of the Schuman Centre for European Studies (www.schumancentre.eu), and lives with his Dutch wife Romkje in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
Jeff graduated with a history degree from the University of Auckland (1972) and worked as a journalist on the New Zealand Herald (1972-3), and as travelling secretary for Tertiary Student Christian Fellowship (TSCF) (1973).
He has lived in the Netherlands since 1975, and has travelled and spoken in almost every European country. For twenty years following the fall of communism, he was the European director for the international and interdenominational mission organization, Youth With A Mission. He was chairman of the international, trans-denominational movement, Hope for Europe, for which he organized two pan-European congresses in Budapest in 2002 and 2011.
In 2010, he established the Schuman Centre for European Studies (www.schumancentre.eu) to promote biblical perspectives on Europe’s past, present and future, to encourage effective engagement in issues facing Europe today.
He has published several books and numerous articles, both popular and academic, including Living as people of hope (2003) and Deeply Rooted (2010). He has written a weekly blog since 2001, www.weeklyword.eu. Jeff was chairman of the Board of Regents of the University of the Nations (www.uofn.edu), 2002-2008.
EEA website: http://www.europeanea.org
EEA Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/EuropeanEA/
HOPE 2022 website: https://hopeforeurope.org/
HOPE 2022 Program: https://hopeforeurope.org/programme
HOPE 2022 Speakers: https://hopeforeurope.org/speakers/