Setting sail to a hope-filled future

Setting sail to a hope-filled future

By Connie and Jan


During a brainstorming meeting we had with some of the EEA staff members I, Jan, spoke about an image that had I had been working on in my mind and heart. It seemed to be the right narrative for this time that we are moving away from lockdowns and we also have a new leadership team. It is the image of a sailboat embarking on a fresh journey.


Connie and I have been working in our new role as General Secretary for the European Evangelical Alliance for 2 months now. Covid19 made it difficult to come together in person as an EEA which made this year’s Hope for Europe 2022 an exciting experience. It felt like a fresh start. A new journey. We are setting sail to a hope-filled future!


During the last 2 years of the pandemic, we were in a type of harbour. Hope for Europe had to be postponed and travel was restricted. Of course, that does not mean that things did not happen. On the contrary: a lot of maintenance was done, and we thank Thomas Bucher for the way in which he prepared the EEA for a new post-pandemic journey. Systems are in place. The Bonn office has brought a lot of peace and stability. And you, our dear brothers and sisters, continued to work tirelessly for the cause of the Gospel! You have been connecting together so well, sharing best practices, and creating fellowship within Europe.


But now we must begin this part of our journey together. And we begin by getting in the same boat and thinking about a few important sailing lessons. When setting sail, a sailboat must have enough draft. The helmsman must consider wind direction, sandbanks, land masses, wave action, currents, other vessels on the route and even the crew on board. That means that we cannot always go in a straight line towards the goal, but many times we must navigate and ‘tack the boat.’


With its biblical foundations as clearly worded in the statement of faith, the EEA has the right draft for any journey that is ahead of us. As long as we keep our eyes on Jesus Christ who is always in front, navigating uncharted waters, we will find our direction.


That does not mean our journey will be clear or easy. We face the horror of the war in Ukraine, with our Ukrainian brothers and sisters battling the fiercest storm. We must consider waves of secularism and the currents of individualism, materialism, and humanism. This may rock the boat and cause us to drift to where we are not so comfortable going. The challenge to Freedom of Religion or Belief, and other socio-political and cultural debates are often under the surface but appear suddenly like a sandbar. But there are also internal concerns that challenge the journey such as a lack of funding and many other things may cause our EEA boat to run aground. So, it is important to work together as the crew, not only the solid but small staff team but the whole network, needs to work in unity and through prayer.


We believe that the EEA is ready for a new journey towards a hope-filled future! The Spirit is moving in Europe as He is in the world. Yes, the weather has changed, but we will watch the wind carefully together and sail forward. We can hold to the promise that although Jesus never promised us an easy and smooth journey, He did promise us a safe arrival.

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