Mr. Victor Thomas, Incumbent Executive Director of Living Hope

Dear Partner,

After a robust and lengthy search process throughout the last year, the Living Hope Board of Trustees are delighted to announce the appointment of the Incumbent Executive Director of Living Hope, Mr. Victor Thomas!  We hope you will join us in warmly welcoming him and his family! 

Many of you will already know Victor as our current Executive Director John Thomas’ son, but I’m sure you want to hear more! Victor has accepted the call to take over as the next Executive Director starting in January 2022. There will be a short time of transition thereafter for John to handover his responsibilities to Victor and be available for advisement. John has been asked by the Board of Trustees to stay on as a Trustee and to be involved in Donor relationships.  

Against the backdrop of busyness and the crisis of COVID over the last year, as a Board of Trustees we have become even more aware of how integral our Founder and Executive Director John Thomas is to the smooth workings of Living Hope and its adaptability. We have also been very aware of his impending retirement from the day-to-day operations of Living Hope which has long been planned for October of this year! Therefore, a good deal of our last year has been spent on seeking God for a successor to take over as Executive Director of Living Hope.

One year out from John’s retirement date the Board met to discuss how to manage the process of replacing him. The Trustees decided that rather than to widely advertise we would seek suggestions from the Board, the Living Hope Managers, the King of Kings Executive and the Immerse Network so that we could find someone who already knew and loved Living Hope, or someone who we thought could fit with the vision of the organisation, based upon this referral network. By last November we had 8 names that had been suggested. As John and Avril Thomas were related to one of the suggested names, they withdrew from the recruitment process. 

After initial processes were completed, the list was narrowed down to 3 possibilities. Further to additional interviews and tours in February of 2021, we were able to get to know the candidates and what God was doing in their lives. We then narrowed down to 2 candidates for the final selection process which was quite grueling! 

After these multi-phased interviews, it was agreed by the Board that Victor was the best fit. Over and above the comfortable naturality of this succession, there were many convincing reasons to choose Victor for this post. Over the past year, God had also been guiding Victor and his family’s hearts to return to South Africa to be serving in His Kingdom work. In particular, they had been feeling the Lord’s stirring in their hearts around restorative work in people’s lives: physically, emotionally, relationally and spiritually. We agreed with Victor that this calling and the work of Living Hope were aligned.

In addition to his Master’s degree in Environmental & Geographical Science, Victor comes to us with 14 years of pastoral and chaplaincy experience at The Point Church and Simon Fraser University, serving a population of 32,000 students across 3 locations in Vancouver. With the Lord’s help, Victor built a small group of six people into a diverse church that has over twenty-four nations represented. This church has grown, thrived and stayed faithful to Scripture in North America’s most secular city (2-3% church attendance) and on a secular university campus. The church is well loved by the community and has a good reputation.

The church has been supported by relationships with partner churches Victor developed in the United States and Canada. These will be invaluable skills for the next Executive Director, and we are so thankful that Victor can bring these skills to leading Living Hope, including his familiarity with many of the Living Hope existing partners.

Victor is a strong relational and Kingdom principled leader who can articulate direction which will be critical for the years ahead for Living Hope. This has been a lengthy process which was done prayerfully and cautiously. We are excited to see what God will do in this next phase of Living Hope’s story, Bringing Hope and Breaking Despair where God has placed us.

Please be on the lookout for the invitation to our upcoming Annual General Meeting in August, in which you will get the chance to meet Victor over Zoom! In the mean time you can send a warm word of welcome to which we will forward along to him. 

Tracey Uganja
Chairperson of the Board

Victor and Candice were around at the start of Living Hope! This is in 2002 and they are in the foreground on the left, along with some other notable folks! Spot yourself! 

More about Victor, Candice, Caleb & Rebecca: 

Both Victor and Candice are originally from South Africa. Victor was born in Cape Town and Candice was born even closer to Living Hope, just down the road at False Bay Hospital! Both went to school in Fish Hoek and lived here for 24 years of their lives.

Victor and Candice were married in 2007 and shortly afterward, they moved to Metro Vancouver, BC to do a research exchange project at Simon Fraser University. Although they were committed to returning to South Africa to assist with poverty issues, God began to work in both of their hearts concerning the spiritual poverty that surrounded them in Metro Vancouver. As they surrendered to God’s calling, He opened the door for Victor to assume the role of pastor of The Point and SFU Chaplain where they have been serving for the last 14 years. Candice is a wonderful, supportive, encouraging wife. They both enjoy coffee and then more coffee!
Caleb turns 10 next week and Becca turns 8 in August.  Both of them have a great sense of humour and enjoy pranking their parents!  They are really looking forward to living in South Africa.  Caleb, although born in Canada, is a great braai master.  Becca is very creative and enjoys drawing and painting. 

We are looking forward to having Victor and family here at the end of the year.