Vogel announces retirement

May 25, 2021 at 6:00 AM

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Vogel announces retirement

By Dan Breen

SIOUX FALLS, S.D.—For the first time in more than two decades, the Luke Society is preparing for a change in executive leadership.

Dr. Wrede Vogel has announced plans to retire this summer after 22 years as executive director. The Luke Society Board of Directors has selected Dr. Brent Van Andel of Española, N.M., to become the third executive director of the Luke Society.

“What excites me most about joining the Luke Society is being able to see lives touched in Jesus’ name,” Van Andel said. “We are a group of broken people whose lives God has touched. His love lifts us up out of our poverty and flows into the lives of others offering each of us healing and grace. He touches us so we can touch others and bring healing in His name. In Luke Society ministries around the world, physical, emotional and spiritual healing is taking place and it is a deep privilege to be part of this.”

He will begin his new role on Aug. 1.

Van Andel, 48, is a native of New Mexico along with his wife, Cindy. Brent has been in family practice medicine with El Centro Family Health in Española since 2004. Cindy works in the same health system. Both have strong ties to the Luke Society, having served on a partnership ministry team in Yacuiba, Bolivia, 2005-07, and in N’Dali, Benin, 2009-21. Cindy has also been a member of the Luke Society Board of Directors since 2010.

The Luke Society Board of Directors saw strong traits in Brent and his ability to lead the organization into the future. Board president Dr. Stewart Odell said Brent is a Spirit-led and respected Christian physician who understands the Luke Society.

“The Luke Society Board is enthusiastic with the choice, and very grateful to God for presenting Brent to us,” Odell said. “He meets the qualifications that the Board has in many ways. Also, Brent waits patiently for the Lord’s direction. He was unanimously recommended by the members of the Board.”

Vogel, who lives in Luverne, Minn., became executive director of the Luke Society in 1999, replacing Dr. Peter Boelens. Prior to his time as executive director, Vogel managed a Luke Society-supported ministry in Dermott, Ark., and was part of a partnership ministry team to Dr. John Oduro-Boateng in Ghana.

“What I did not know in 1999 was how much I would come to love and appreciate our ministry partners around the world,” Vogel said. “I did not know the deep relationships I would develop with our regional coordinators. I did not know how the Luke Society Board of Directors, staff and PMTs would empower and support my calling as executive director. I didn’t realize the depth of dedication our donors had to the Luke Society, faithfully supporting through economic boom and crisis. All of you have been such a blessing to me and the Luke Society family. Thank you.”

Vogel said the Luke Society is well-positioned for the transition.

“I believe this is a great window of opportunity because of the strength of our present staff and Board of Directors,” he said. “I am very excited that Dr. Brent Van Andel was led to accept leadership at this time. He has a long history with the Luke Society and has proven his abilities and calling as he and his wife served as a Luke Society Partnership Ministry team. I remain as excited and engaged in our work at the Luke Society as I have over the last 22 years. And it is with that enthusiasm that I turn over the leadership to Dr. Van Andel.”

Odell said the Board is grateful to both Wrede Vogel, and his wife, Barb, for their commitment to the Luke Society.

“The Luke Society Board has not the words to express our thankfulness to the Lord for Wrede’s 22 years as executive director,” Odell said. “His leading, his working with Board on issues and goals, and his dependence on God’s leading has shown us the way to go. His servant heart, meek spirit and gentle firmness will be missed. He has given his time, life, energy and soul to the ministry.”

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