NCS: What is the mission and purpose of your organization?
AT: In one sentence, it is facilitating informed conversations between influencers engaged in shaping the future of Europe. But it’s much larger than that.
NCS: Can you explain more?
AT: Sure. The Quo Vadis Institute is dedicated to helping cultural influencers from a variety of professions find common ground to engage the most demanding challenges facing a fragmented Europe. We’re bringing together individuals across many professions to essentially change the conversation by reframing critical issues from new perspectives - including a thoughtful Christian context.
NCS: How does Christianity figure into what you do?
AT: For starters, we offer we a Christian context for conversation, providing a strong foundation as members from these various professions come together to address issues and problems. Then in our conferences and think tanks, we help them tackle things such as the issues in their profession that are a threat to a biblical view of humanity.
An important part of our strategy is to develop a biblical worldview in the younger generation. We do this through teaching, conversation and developing “spiritual friendships” with these individuals. It involves vulnerability and willingness to walk a part of the way together and has a strong component of sharing about the personal as well as professional aspects of life.
NCS: When and why did you begin this mission work?
AT: The response to some of the most challenging questions facing people in positions of responsibility - especially professionals working in mostly secular environments - has been on my heart for many years. There are many resources available for “professional Christians”, such as pastors and missionaries but very little help for societal influencers, who are mostly on their own in a secular environment. The Quo Vadis Institute began in 2010 to answer this need.
NCS: How did you become connected with NCS Winston-Salem?
AT: One Sunday afternoon a group of men with Jay Helvey visited Salzburg and looked me up. Since then, we have become fast friends and visited each other often – in the US and Europe.
NCS: How has your relationship with the men of NCS Winston-Salem impacted your work?
AT: Although we are thousands of miles apart, the care and interest is not just what we do, but how we are. It’s like being with my closest family. It is good to know we are prayed for and that our relationships matter; this is not a transactional connection at all, but deeply spiritual.
NCS: In what ways do you experience God in the people from NCS Winston-Salem that come work with you?
AT: When we meet, we share the spiritual bond of belonging to the same family. We rejoice together, weep together and hold each other’s hands in prayer. We encourage each other to run the race and finish well!
NCS: What is the one or two things you hope that volunteers will get from coming to work in your organization?
AT: I hope we can provide volunteers a broader exposure to what God is doing in Europe. We share our different understandings of what and how we do things and help enrich our experience by doing life together.
NCS: Where would you like to see your mission work go next - what new direction?
AT: Good question! We want to see our work expand to a larger number of countries and professional groups. For that, we need to extend our infrastructure, which includes “spiritual friendships” with the younger professionals and financial support to establish the new networks. That’s what we pray for right now.
NCS: What would you like our members to know who may be considering coming to volunteer with you?
AT: When you come, bring a humble and curious spirit. Be surprised as how God works and how we fit into His great Kingdom. Be prepared to give as well as receive.
NCS: Is there anything else would you like to share?
AT: Over the last couple years, I have been amazed to find an NCS connection in many unexpected places and situations. On my last trip to California, at the end of a conference, a gentleman came to me and said: “I am a member of NCS, and you are speaking to our group in two days’ time! I recognized you from the picture!”
Another time, a long lost friend connected with me through NCS, so there is a great value added to be part of this living organism, much more than an organization or a network. One of the greatest encouragements to me lately is to be part of this amazing NCS family!