As a representative voice, addressing concerns on global issues, and its engagement in the United Nations, the World Evangelical Alliance (WEA) also serves to connect and collaborate with others for greater impact which many times, consist of expressing thankfulness and admiration.
On the evening of January 14th 2014, the WEA held their first Appreciation Dinner at the Harvard Club of New York. The organization welcomed many leaders and ambassadors of Africa to manifest their appreciation for their works and to synchronize ideas for possible future partnership. Deborah Fikes, WEA’s United Nations’ representative, hosted the complimentary dinner.
Guests at the Harvard Club of New York before the dinner
Around 7 pm, guests were greeted by WEA Staff at the Cambridge Room and had the opportunity to meet, network, and fraternize with each other. Among them, were also, many UN representatives, Rev. Aiah Foday-Khabenje, General Secretary and CEO of the Association of Evangelicals in Africa, and Dr. Geoff Tunnicliffe, Secretary General of the WEA.
Mrs. Fikes welcomed the audience by revealing the reason for this initiative and encouraging the possibility for WEA to offer assistance and services to others considering the fact that the organization is a dynamic global structure for unity and action, committed to assist and seek transformation. She then introduced Dr. Tunnicliffe, who elaborated on what the organization is about, the essence of this global ministry, its mission and works across the world, wanting to provide help to others and seeking a way for the voice of the community and of those of the world to be heard. He also gave a special thanks to the guests for joining the dinner and for their great works.
Prayer was offered by Jonathan Granoff, President of Global Securities Institute and Senior Advisor of the American Bar Association's Committee on Arms Control and National Security, to thank God for this gathering and blessings of the food. Guests were then invited to enjoy dinner, buffet style; and were pleasantly entertained by musical group: Mecca Bodega, a world known percussion band, which presented a refreshing instrumental and cultural ambiance for the evening. While dinner and dessert was served, guests continued to engage in affable conversations with each other at their table.
After dessert, Mrs. Fikes introduced Rev. Aiah Foday-Khabenje who made a short speech about his function in the organization and the works of AEA. Then, guests welcomed Ambassador Thomas Graham: Senior US diplomat, expert in nuclear non-proliferation, involved in many negotiations on major international arms control, to address the audience. He elaborated on disarmament and his relationship with many African leaders and their contribution to this very issue. He also mentioned a short story on how he met the great leader, Nelson Mandela who inspired many nations on the African continent and the importance of the United Nation’s work on peacekeeping solutions.
Rev. Foday-Khabenje concluded by presenting his gratitude and honor to be part of this event on this rare occasion while he is visiting the US for a few weeks. Mrs. Fikes offered salutations and special thanks to guests, speakers, band and WEA’s staff for the realization of this event and there, ended a great evening.
After the event, Rev. Foday-Khabenje commented: "This is a great initiative of the WEA! Thank you for hosting a dinner in honor and with appreciation for the many leaders of different nations of Africa and those who advocate for peace and growth to join the WEA and work together towards a common goal. We hope to experience many more events for appreciation and support from the World Evangelical Alliance."
AEA General Secretary, Rev Aiah Foday-Khabenje (right) at the dinner.