Associate youth director of the Seventh-day Adventist world church Jonatán Tejel was appointed as the new youth director of the Inter-European (EUD) church region, based in Bern, Switzerland. His appointment was voted at the Mid-Year Meetings of the church region, which took place in Friedensau, Germany, from May 21-23.
Tejel, who was born and worked in Spain before becoming an associate youth director of the world church, will return to his home division church region after twelve years in the United States.
The youth director position was left vacant by the unexpected departure of Stephan Sigg, current youth leader, to become the newly elected president of the German Swiss Conference church region.
“We have lost a really good youth leader,” said Corrado Cozzi, EUD Communication director, “but we are gaining an equivalently capable one.” His words were echoed by EUD President Mario Brito, who thanked Sigg for his service to the Adventist youth in the last seven years.
Jonatan Tejel worked as a church pastor in Barcelona, Spain, from 1996 to 2000, and in Valencia, Spain, from 2000 to 2002. In 2002, he became youth director for the church in Spain, where he stayed until 2005 when he was called to be an associate youth leader, specifically responsible for leading the Adventist Pathfinders (Adventist Scout organization) at the worldwide level.
“During these years, I had moments of joy and tears,” said Tejel. “Tears, because I spent long periods away from my wonderful family and missed many moments as my daughters were growing up.” Tejel told how he would shed tears every time he was leaving for the airport, leaving his family behind while he was traveling to other countries to preach the Word of God. “But I also had joy in the privilege of meeting extraordinary young people and leaders that love the Lord with all their hearts, with all their minds, and with all their strength,” he said.
Tejel shared that he learned much on every one of his trips. “I’ve seen young people giving their lives to Jesus, and every time I had the privilege to be present for a baptismal ceremony, my heart cried with joy,” he said. “There is nothing more exciting and beautiful than watching a person who decides to express his or her love for Jesus publicly.”
Now that Tejel is going back to his home division, he said that he is humbled and happy to serve the people in Europe once more. “I’m going back to Europe, ready to keep on learning from each one of the leaders,” he said. “I’ll do my best to keep on sharing my deep passion for the Lord and His Word,” he said.