Meet our trustees

Chris French portrait-web

Chris French

Chris was born in Yorkshire in 1944 and was converted to Christ in 1964. He attended Cliff College in 1966, finally settling in Leeds, the family home. He is married to Shirley; they have three daughters and a son, and five grandchildren.

Living in a part of Leeds with a dubious reputation, but also within five minutes walk of the university, has been excellent ground for experience in mission work. Today the church that he attends, Holborn Church, continues to see people from all over the world and from many religions turn to the Lord Jesus.

His duties for the mission include overseeing the day-to-day running of the office and travelling around the world visiting mission workers. His testimony is that it is a joy to serve Christ and His people, and to proclaim the wonderful news of Jesus the King of Kings.

Dave Vine-web

David Vine

David was born in Eastbourne but moved to Liverpool to study medicine, qualifying in 1974. He worked as a General Practitioner in Wirral for thirty-one years prior to retiring a few years ago.

He has been involved in mission and local church all his life. Among his earliest memories are his parents’ home being full of visiting missionaries, and of their family’s deep commitment to their local church.

David was aware of the Lord’s call on his life from his early teens.

For forty years he has been involved in the leadership of Longcroft Church, Wirral, which has a passion for overseas mission born from a prophetic word at its beginning.

He has traveled extensively, especially since retiring, in support of mission and for Avail in particular.

He is married to Ann and they have five children and three grandchildren.

David also enjoys all forms of sport, reading and coffee!

Tom Patkai-web

Tom Patkai

Tom is married to Naomi and they have three grown-up children. Born in 1957 to Hungarian parents who had escaped to England from communist oppression, Tom grew up bilingual. He attended a multi-racial high school in London, where he had many foreign friends, and his interest in other cultures developed through his father’s extensive church work with people from all over the world.

He was saved at the age of 15 and immediately set his sights on serving God. Despite his eagerness in responding to the mission call at an Open Doors rally, his hope for personally working abroad was never realised. However, at university, where Tom became president of the Christian Union, and later as a church leader, his interest in people and love for God’s work found ample opportunities for expression. He continues to enjoy serving Hungarians in Britain in their own language and now working with Avail.

Tom lives in Exeter and currently runs an insurance risk-management consultancy business.

Dave Medlock Trustee

David Medlock

David is married to Yvonne; they have two children and six grandchildren.

David was involved in the planting of a church in Reading in the 1970s, when God was bringing many young people to salvation and fulness in the Holy Spirit. He was one of the elders in the church as it grew as well as being in full-time secular employment.

For a number of years, he was principal of the Church Life School based in the church, with students coming from many parts of the world to study. This resulted in a number of overseas involvements.

In the mid-1990s he was released from responsibility in the local church to travel overseas to encourage mission workers and indigenous believers who had links with the home church in Reading.

In 2002 he joined the mission as a trustee and has continued to travel and encourage Christians around the world.

Caitlin Mbewe-web

Caitlin Mbewe

Caitlin first heard the Gospel in her teens from a teacher at school and soon afterwards gave her life to the Lord.

She moved to Zimbabwe in 1992 and taught Physics in secondary schools for three years. She married Shephen, a Zimbabwean, in 1994 and they worked with Youth With A Mission (YWAM) in Zimbabwe and Mozambique for 13 years, where she home-schooled their three daughters. Together with a team of Mozambicans she also developed a Sena literacy scheme for remote villages on the Zambezi Delta.

After the family moved to Liverpool in 2012 she continued to home school for a few years and has now taken up private piano and cello teaching, while enjoying her ongoing involvement in mission.

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