I trust that you had a good time of rest over the Christmas holidays with your family and friends. But more importantly that you had opportunity to celebrate God’s love for you and your family, through the sending of His Son Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour. A new year is before us, and I pray that you will be richly blessed by God and live in His love day by day.
The new year can also bring about changes in our lives, “seasons” as Solomon called them in the book of Ecclesiastes. I want to take this opportunity to share with you such a season in my life. Over the last two years, I have felt the time approaching when God was speaking to my heart that I should step down from the day-to-day oversight of Global Aid Network (GAiN) and the JESUS Film Church Planting Strategy (JFCPS). I turned 68 in September, and after almost 15 years of leading GAiN, my wife Susan and I felt that the time had come to step aside and make room for a new leader whom God would have to choose to take over the reins. In preparation for this time, I had been working on a transition strategy with the President of Power to Change, Rod Bergen, the Board of GAiN and the GAiN Lead Team.
In June of 2016, this transition strategy was presented to the staff of GAiN and JFCPS. One month later, the transition plans were presented at the Power to Change Staff Conference, after which the job posting for my position was advertised. Over the next six months, many people were praying that God would provide His candidate for the job.
I am pleased to announce to you that God has indeed answered our prayers. He has provided a man who has answered the call to serve. May I introduce to you Ray Sawatsky, the new Executive Director and Chief Executive Office of GAiN Canada and JFCPS.
Ray and his family feel that God has been preparing Ray for this position for some time. I am in agreement with that and fully endorse him in that role. I am so excited for Ray to begin in his new calling, indeed a new “season” in his life and the ministry of GAiN and JFCPS.
Ray has a great passion for international development and humanitarian relief work. Ray and his wife Ginny (and his two teenage daughters) are passionate about serving internationally and showing God’s love to those in need. As the Managing Partner of Hatch, Ray provided consulting services for charitable and philanthropic organizations advising donors on international development opportunities for giving. Ray has served on the boards of multiple non-profits and has significant experience leading mission’s teams overseas. As the former Director of Stakeholder Relations for Cardus, a Christian think tank, Ray worked with experts to provide independent research to the public to matters that would influence our society from a Christian perspective. With his background in education, he has designed courses and written curriculum for Global Education and international development.
I look forward to coming along side of Ray in his new calling and supporting him in his new role. I have also agreed to take on the position of Director of Strategic Initiatives. In this role I will work closely with Ray to take the organization forward into the next stage of growth and help give vision to GAiN in the coming years. This role will allow me to continue to focus my time, effort and talents on the continued strategic growth of GAiN, but without the responsibilities of running the day-to-day operations.
While I am not leaving GAiN, the operations and many of the relational interactions will begin to change and transition to Ray. I want to take a moment to thank you for your partnership with GAiN in making Christ known everywhere God has allowed us to work over the years. I have appreciated your support, friendship, and prayer. Knowing you were on this journey with GAiN and JFCPS has been, and will be for Ray, a blessing beyond measure or words.
With our hands and hearts joined together in this calling “to demonstrate the love of God, in word and deed, to hurting and needy people around the world, through relief and development projects” Ray and I ask for your prayers. God has tremendously blessed the work of GAiN and the JFCPS. Together, many more lives will be transformed today, tomorrow and into eternity through the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
William (Bill) Blaney
Executive Director of Global Operations
Global Aid Network (GAiN) Canada
Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer
Global Aid Network (GAiN) Canada