At the start of April, former CEO Andy Read handed the organisation on to Joe Gisbey, after nearly seven years of service, sacrifice and great adventure. Andy reflects on the process that has brought us to this point.

And so this section of my journey with Links International – which started in 2010 – comes to an end. On many occasions I have spoken of the immense privilege of being CEO of Links, and it has not just been a turn of phrase; it has been a sincere expression of what I have felt, and still feel.

Back at the start of 2010, taking on this role was not on my life plan! However, a little while earlier I had offered up a prayer that I wanted to do something new, where I would know that I had made a real difference. Participating in the great work done by Links has certainly answered that prayer.

As I reflect back over these last 6-7 years, whilst I do consider the projects and initiatives, inevitably it is the human stories, the relationships, partnerships and friendships that stick most vividly in the mind. The village chief who gave me his own name, received one from me in exchange and just the other day when I visited him, was still in possession of the name badge I had given him. The overseas partners who work so tirelessly in their own communities, reaching out and serving week in week out – whilst we come and go at intervals. The people who insist on calling me ‘Dad’, and my wife ‘Mum’, and also insist that this will not change if I pass on my official role. So many faces come to mind.

Of course, I also think about our amazing supporters in prayer and finance who, through the entire time, have made it all possible – many of you reading this. There are all those who have taken part in gruelling sponsored events and, alongside those who have supported from home, the amazing task force of volunteers on Links trips, who have been able to travel and train and give out in so many ways. The reality is that most of the exciting new initiatives that we have been able to implement over these last few years have come about through these volunteers. They have brought their ideas, their genius, their skills and anointing – and all I have had to do is release this and help to make it all happen.

Finally, once more, can I thank the Links team – staff and Board – who have been, and remain, amazing. I commend them to you as they carry on under Joe’s leadership. Amongst them is one Board member and trip volunteer, who from my point of view deserves special mention – my wife Lina, who has made it possible for me to carry out my role with her unswerving support and love.

This is the end of this part of the journey, but not of my involvement with Links. But for all that has happened over these last years, thank you and be very blessed.

Andy Read
Former CEO of Links International

We are so grateful to Andy for the years of amazing service that he has given to Links and for the systems and structures that he has built into the organisation.