Thomas Bucher hands over the leadership of the European Evangelical Alliance to new secretaries general, Evangelical Focus
The European Evangelical Alliance officially changed direction on October 5 in Sarajevo (Bosnia and Herzegovina), during the Hope for Europe 2022 rally which brought together around 300 evangelical leaders.
“When I speak to all of you, it shows something of the richness of relationships in the EEA. It makes my heart grateful and humbles me. So many people travel togethersaid Thomas Bucher, the outgoing General Secretary, responding to words of thanks from AEE President Frank Hinkelmann. “So many people come onto the dance floor and dance together. So united in the task of build the kingdom of God in Europe and beyondadded Bucher, highlighting the efforts of AEE staff and the support of his wife Margrith throughout the decade he led the evangelical body.
Thomas Bucher, speaking at Hope For Europe 2022. / Photo: EEA.
“To my successors, Connie [Duarte] and January [Wessels]I wish joy, wisdom and strength and the knowledge of the presence of our Almighty God. The one who entrusted the AEE with a unique task, the one who supported us and who will open up new horizons for us”.
In their opening statements as new Secretaries General, John Wessels began by saying, “We always strive to see movements of disciples of Jesus glorifying God and serving people together across Europe, because Jesus has not only given us the Great Commandment and the Great Commission, but has also left the Great Engagement; to be one, for the world to see and believe in Jesus like Christ”.
A family photo of the participants of Hope For Europe in Sarajevo. / Photo: EEA.
Connie Main Duarte added: “We are extremely grateful to Thomas and the staff team for working hard on AEE’s mission and making it a reality. Our task now is to deepen the mission by looking closely at three areas; Connect, equip and representand ask key questions that will help us move forward in the year ahead.”
At the Sarajevo conference, the EEA also presented its Hope For Europe Aware yearbook, which went Jeff Fountain. The non-monetary prize is awarded annually to an individual, group or project in Europe who embodies the biblical message of hope and the values of partnership, networking, transformation and integrity.
“Although born in New Zealand, Jeff Fountain has lived in the Netherlands since 1975 and has traveled and spoken in almost all European countries,” says the AEE. “He is a man who knows European history well and who is capable of trace the European Christian heritage and relate it to today’s values and behaviorsor the absence of”.
Jan Wessels said: “Jeff is the one in our European evangelical family who has defended the strongest and longest hope. He constantly reminded us that if Jesus asked us to pray ‘Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven’, then it is His will that it be done”.
Connie Duarte pointed out that “Jeff is a pioneer in the defense the importance of European Christian networks to create synergy as well as networks within nations. Networks of specialists. Networks crossing boundaries of denomination or type of organization”. Thomas Bucher emphasized Fountain’s “great expectation that God has yet another Christian chapter in store for Europe.”
Hope for Europe emphasised the need for Christian leaders from across Europe to connect and work together. / Photo: EEA
Hope for Europe 2022
Hope 2022 was a special gathering, organized by the European Evangelical Alliance, which normally takes place every three years (the last one in Tallinn, Estonia in 2018, Covid caused a one-year postponement) and brought together hundreds of evangelical leaders from across Europe to share strategies, best practices and valuable information and to collaborate. The motto of HOPE 2022 was “Builders Connecting – Celebrating the Kingdom of God”.
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– Thomas Bucher hands over the leadership of the European Evangelical Alliance to new Secretaries General