The Chairman of the IEF Board is Andy Bathgate. Andy is a long-term friend/supporter of John and his ministry. Andy shared personally about his connection with John:
I first met John back in the late 70’s when I was a young staff-worker with UCCF visiting the then 8 Universities in Scotland and supporting the student leaders of the Christian Union (CU) groups. John was an even younger student who had become the Missionary Secretary of Edinburgh University CU. I was often trying to give ideas to students about CU ministry. Not with John! Typically he would have 15 new ideas every time I met him.
Having initiated the Christian student ministry in Israel, John kindly invited me to the 10th anniversary student conference. He had invited Rev. David Jackman to come and speak but he had to pull out at the last minute. Nothing daunted John asked if I would do the 3 main talks and who was I to say ‘no’. It was such a privilege, to stay with John at the British School of Archaeology where he was Assistant Director; to be able to see at first-hand the pace at which we worked and the number of balls he juggled – at one
moment giving advice over the phone in Hebrew, the next attending an archaeological lecture (at which I fell asleep) Land then making sure the conference was organised – and to see his vision for student work come to reality in a conference reflecting the varied groups of Christians in the country. It was such a token of his passion and commitment. That vision and passion has never left him and it continues to be a challenge to me to try to keep up with him.