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Foundation for the Nations


Find out more about our staff and those who govern us.

Dr Ajith Fernando, Colombo, Sri Lanka

Dr Ajith Fernando, Colombo, Sri Lanka

Author, speaker, former National Director of YFC Sri Lanka

Ajith Fernando is Teaching Director of Youth for Christ in Sri Lanka after being National Director for 35 years. These days his main responsibilities are counselling, mentoring and teaching YFC staff and volunteers and Christian leaders and pastors. With his wife Nelun he is active in a Methodist Church just outside Colombo, most of whose members are recent believers. His grassroots ministry is primarily with the urban poor. He is an adjunct lecturer at Colombo Theological Seminary.

Ajith is an award–winning author of 17 books and several booklets and articles, and these have been published in 23 different languages. The Call to Joy and Pain was awarded the Christianity Today Book of the Year Award for church and pastoral leadership. Deuteronomy: Loving Obedience to a Loving God was released by Crossway in May 2012 and Reclaiming Love by Zondervan in April 2013. The Family Life of the Christian Leader was selected as one of the best 16 books for 2016 by the Desiring God website. Acts in the NIV Application Commentary was published in 1998 by Zondervan. Ajith serves on the translation team of a New Sinhala Bible done by Biblica.

Ajith and Nelun have a son Asiri who is a singer–songwriter and Youth for Christ staff worker. His daughter Nirmali, son–in–law Refuge, and daughter–in–law Cheryl are YFC volunteers. They have four grandchildren.

For relaxation Ajith likes to walk, listen to different kinds of music, read biographies and mystery stories, watch cricket on TV and enjoy his grandchildren.


Andy Harrington, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Andy Harrington, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

CEO, Canadian Foodgrains Bank, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
Former Director of Greater Vancouver YFC and CEO of The Wellspring Foundation, British Columbia.

Andy Harrington is the Executive Director of the Canadian Foodgrains Bank [], a Canadian top ten impact charity that works in over 35 countries around the world, with a mission to end global hunger. Previous to this, he was CEO of the Wellspring Foundation for Education, an organization with a vision to show the love of Christ by being a catalyst for transforming education in Africa, and to foster vibrant communities that address poverty in all its forms.

Andy has over thirty three years of experience working in development and with youth and young adults around the world, including twenty three years in leadership with Youth for Christ in the UK, Croatia and Canada. He has also led YFC projects in a number of other countries, including as part of the relief efforts for the Asian Tsunami disaster. Andy travels, writes and speaks extensively on a number of issues including Biblical social justice and the need to release a new generation of justice and poverty minded leaders.

Arlen Nordhagen, Denver, Colorado, USA

Arlen Nordhagen, Denver, Colorado, USA

National Storage Affiliates Trust (NYSE: NSA) – Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board of Trustees

Arlen D. Nordhagen is a co–founder of NSA and serves as Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board of Trustees. Mr. Nordhagen has 30 years of experience in the self storage industry, beginning in 1988 when he co–founded NSA’s predecessor, SecurCare Self Storage. He served as President and Chief Executive Officer of SecurCare from 1999 to 2013, where he remains the majority owner and currently serves as its Chairman of the Board.

In addition to SecurCare, Mr. Nordhagen was a founder of MMM Healthcare, Inc., the largest provider of Medicare Advantage health insurance in Puerto Rico. He has also served as managing member of various private investment funds and held various managerial positions at DuPont (NYSE: DD) and Synthetech, Inc. (NYSE: GRA).

Mr. Nordhagen graduated with high distinction from Harvard University with a Masters in Business Administration and graduated summa cum laude from the University of North Dakota with a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering.

David Smith, Sydney, Australia

David Smith, Sydney, Australia

President and CEO of The Genesis Foundation

David Smith is Chairman of the Australia–based Genesis Foundation – with about 150 projects; their vision is to help Christian organisations with strategic planning and seed capital in order to multiply their work and implement growth projects that become self funding.

David has established about 20 businesses and associations. The businesses operated on various continents and have funded Genesis.

Dr Gerry O Gallimore, Kingston, Jamaica

Dr Gerry O Gallimore, Kingston, Jamaica

Ambassador–at–Large for YFCI

A Jamaican by birth, Dr. Gerry Gallimore is a veteran of Youth For Christ (YFC) ministry, having served as National Director of Jamaica YFC for 16 years; Area Director for YFC International/Americas for 6 years; President/CEO of YFC International for 6 years; and currently as Ambassador–at–Large for YFCI.

In addition to his work with Youth For Christ, Gerry Gallimore has given leadership to major events in evangelical witness within Jamaica and the Caribbean. He…
– Served as National Chairman of 2 Billy Graham crusades in Jamaica;
– Served on the executive of Jamaica Association of Evangelicals for years;
– Served as Vice–Chairman of Kingston Keswick Convention for several years;
– Was one of the founding fathers of CONECAR (Congress of Evangelicals of
the Caribbean) and served on the Planning Cmttee for years;
– Served as evangelist for many evangelistic crusades
– Serves as conference speaker at many conferences/conventions:
– Youth For Christ Conventions
– Keswick Conventions (Jamaica, Barbados, Trinidad and South Florida) –Spring Harvest convention in England;
– At several Brethren conferences
– Was a plenary speaker at the Amsterdam 2000 Conference for over 10,000
– He is currently Chairman of South Florida Keswick Convention.

Dr. Gallimore served the Jamaica Baptist Union for many years as Announcer on their radio program, as Chairman of the Bi–Centennial Celebration, among other roles. One of the early members of Bethel Baptist Church in Kingston, he served at that church for 33 years before migrating to the USA.

Dr. Gallimore is an ordained minister in the Southern Baptist Convention and retired over 11 years ago as Senior Pastor of Metropolitan Baptist Church in Hollywood after nine years of ministry in that role. He is a graduate of Denver Seminary (M.A.) and holds an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree from Caribbean Graduate School of Theology in Jamaica. Dr. Gallimore has ministered in over 90 countries. A gifted speaker, he is much sought after as Bible Teacher, evangelist, conference speaker and for regular pulpit supply.

Married to Sonia for 55 years, they have three children, thirteen grandchildren and three great–grands.

Jean–Jacques Weiler, Aspach–Le–Haut, France

Jean–Jacques Weiler, Aspach–Le–Haut, France

Former National Director of YFC France, Area Director of YFC Europe and President of YFC International

Jean–Jacques Weiler has been just about everything in YFC: Camp Director, National Director, Area Director, International Director.

In 1964 he joined YFC France for a year, and never left. He served as National Director for 24 years, developing teams, a camp, music ministry and most importantly of all, people. Under his leadership YFC France also helped to pioneer YFC work in eight Francophone nations in West Africa.

From 1987 he served with distinction as the Area Director for Europe, the Middle–East & North Africa, before being called by the International movement to become their head in 2000 at a time of crisis in the organisation. For the next four years under his godly leadership a Kingdom mentality of interdependence was fostered, the ship was steadied and a new course set going back to the fundamentals of The Word, prayer, servanthood, forgiveness, reconciliation, and an intentionality about allowing younger leaders to come through and develop. Countless hours and days were spent on planes and in airports travelling between his home in France and the Denver HQ and to many countries who needed to hear words of encouragement from Le Chef.

His key values are team work, a conviction that the leader is the servant of all, that he must allow his team members to develop their gifts, must be vulnerable and lead with humility, and must learn to hear God’s voice and the voices of the needs of young people.

Now in well–earned retirement in his beloved Alsace from the day–to–day details of ministry, Jean–Jacques and his faithful wife and partner–in–ministry Elsbeth continue to pray daily for the organisation and to encourage and uphold the younger leaders whom they have done so much to nurture.

Dr John Agnew, CBE – Whiteabbey, Northern Ireland

Dr John Agnew, CBE – Whiteabbey, Northern Ireland

Company Director and charitable Trustee
Northern Ireland

Director of the Henderson Group of Companies. Sales £759M year ending 31/12/2017 employing 3,300

Henderson Wholesale Ltd owns the franchise for Spar and Vivo in N Ireland.

The Company provides a marketing, advisory and distribution service to over 400 retailers

Henderson Retail Ltd own and operates 85 Supermarkets, Neighbourhood and Forecourt stores

Henderson Foodservice Ltd provides a comprehensive range of ambient, chilled and frozen goods to the Catering Industry

Henderson Group Property owns the Henderson Wholesale distribution facilities and Henderson Retail property

Widower with a family of two sons, two daughters and eight grandchildren

Other involvements are Gideons, CBMC (Christian Business & Professional Member), Sandes Soldiers Centres and Compassion in Action (India)

Member and Trustee of Crescent Church, Belfast

Trustee of the Ardbarron Trust

Larry Williams, Brule, Wisconsin, USA

Larry Williams, Brule, Wisconsin, USA

Retired at the end of 2020 as Associate Pastor of Missions/Executive Director, Hillcrest Covenant Church, Kansas City. Former Area Director of YFCI The Americas, and now p/t Regional Director for YFC North America

Larry Williams served with Youth for Christ for 38 years, beginning by leading high school outreach programs in the Duluth, Minnesota area, eventually becoming the Executive Director of the local YFC ministry in Duluth. Leading two YFC Project Serve mission trips to Haiti in the early 1980s gave Larry a passion for helping YFC ministries in the developing world. This led to serving as West Africa Regional Director for YFCI for four years, followed by twelve years as National Project Serve Director for YFC/USA, sending hundreds young people per year to serve YFC ministries around the world. In 2000 Larry was asked to serve as the Americas Area Director for YFCI, which he did until becoming Vice President of Ministries and Field Operations in 2010.

Since Leaving full–time service with Youth for Christ in 2015, Larry has served as the Missions Pastor/Executive Director of Hillcrest Covenant Church in suburban Kansas City, retiring at the end of 2020. Larry continues to engage with the Youth for Christ ministry by mentoring a few younger leaders, and helping to introduce people to Foundation for The Nations.

He is married to Gail, who also worked at the YFC/USA and YFCI Headquarters in personnel, insurance, and accounting from time to time as needs arose, and has an extensive counselling and befriending ministry. They have two children and quite a few grand–children.

Merlin Bartel, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Merlin Bartel, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Pastor of EPIC Vineyard Church in Calgary and CEO of the EPIC group of companies

Merlin Bartel is the founder and current CEO of the Epic Group of Companies and serves in a pastoral role with Epic Vineyard, the missional church he and a number of his friends planted in 2002. The convergence of business and ministry is a natural fit for Merlin and Sigi as their life call is connected to “doing church as a verb rather than a noun”.

Merlin’s roots as a farm boy from southern Manitoba meant that having tools in his hands was a very normal part of life. Following a call to youth ministry, he went to Briercrest Bible College in Saskatechewan where he met his wife–to–be; and after graduating from there and a short stint of running a roofing company in Manitoba, they launched into a season of ministry from inside the traditional church construct – 13 years of serving the younger generation as a youth pastor, professor at Briercrest, which included coordinating one of Canada’s largest youth conferences (Youth Quake) and leading the Student Ministries department at Centre Street Church in Calgary, Alberta.

His call to the marketplace appeared to be an accidental one, as the launching of Epic Roofing in 2001 was solely to help pay the bills for a non–traditional church plant that he and a number of his youth pastor friends launched in 2002, with the aim of training up and releasing the mx Generations to reach the nations. With an entrepreneurial start, this missional community required its leaders to work real jobs to pay the bills as it didn’t have any seed money with which to launch. Since its inception, Epic Ministries found its family within the Vineyard movement, and in 2005 became Epic Vineyard. The small start–up roofing company continued to grow, and currently operates out of 3 cities in Southern Alberta. It has morphed into a diversified construction company with 9 owners and 160 employees. A unique and valued aspect of the ownership group is that they are all Christian businessmen with a huge heart for Kingdom business and ministry, all of whom would rather rebuild earthquake–damaged houses in Nepal than grow their personal empires in Canada.

Merlin also serves as Chair of the board for Vineyard Canada, and in his spare time mentors and coaches college athletes as an assistant volleyball coach at a local university. He and his wife Sigi live in Calgary along with their 3 adult children (plus a daughter–in–law) who all have roles and responsibilities within their local church, and are passionate about finding their way into spiritually life–changing careers. Sigi’s gift of hosting and loving people means that their home continues to be a revolving door of welcoming, loving, and ministering to people; creating a space where it is as much the center of ministry as any church building.

Dr Richard Gibb, Kinross, Scotland

Dr Richard Gibb, Kinross, Scotland

Scottish church leader, Director of EY (formerly Ernst & Young), Wheaton College and St Andrew’s, Rutherford House scholar

Richard has spent his career both in business and in a pastoral role. For over 14 years he has worked with EY, with the majority of the time as Global Operations Director for a division of this global professional services firm. The role has taken him to work in many countries of the world. He is also currently leading a church plant, Loch Leven Church in Scotland, and previously served on the pastoral team at Charlotte Chapel, a large city–centre church in Edinburgh. Having completed his MBA with EY, Richard undertook post–graduate studies in Theology at Wheaton College, Illinois, and finished a PhD at the University of St. Andrews where he was a Rutherford House Scholar and was invited back to teach Theology. His thesis, which focused on the holistic mission of the church in an age of globalisation, was subsequently published by Paternoster. He is married to Alison, with two young children, and they live in Kinross, Scotland. He enjoys all forms of active sports, swims each day, and had a mid–life crisis a couple of years ago when he took up judo!

Sue M Koh, Perth, Western Australia

Sue M Koh, Perth, Western Australia

Former member of the YFC International Board

Sue holds graduate and postgraduate qualifications in nursing and a master’s degree in public health. Her career of working more than 40 years in the health care sector has provided excellent opportunities to pursue her passion of promoting better health outcomes for individuals, families and communities.
Together with her husband, Chuan, Sue has particularly enjoyed the privilege of serving as a volunteer health professional on YWAM’s Caribbean Mercy Ship in Belize and again with YWAM in East Timor. Currently, Sue and Chuan support MongoliaCare which also involved visiting their ministry program in rural Mongolia.
During Sue’s years of management experience in the health system, she managed executive and international projects for a major public hospital. This role included managing and marketing health and education services to several countries in South East Asia. Her following experience as Deputy CEO/Acting CEO of the Nurses Board of Western Australia for over three years provided the opportunity to gain valuable knowledge and experience in board governance and legislative compliance. Subsequently, she has served on a number of boards including Youth for Christ International.
Sue manages Chuan’s medical practice in Perth, where they live with most members of their large blended family of eight adult children and 20 grandchildren.
As members of St George’s Anglican Cathedral in Perth, Sue enjoys playing an active role volunteering to support services of the Cathedral.

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