World Council of Churches

A worldwide fellowship of churches seeking unity, a common witness and Christian service

You are here: Home / Resources / Documents / WCC general secretary / Tributes / Condolence on death of Samuel Isaac

Condolence on death of Samuel Isaac

Condolence letter from the WCC general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit to Mrs Prema Isaac, Mr Paul Isaac and Mr Andrew Isaac, on the death of Samuel Isaac, deputy director of the WCC’s former Commission on Inter-Church Aid and Refugee Service.

21 August 2014

Letter to the family of Samuel Isaac

“Peace I leave with you: my peace I give to you; I do not give to you as the world gives. Therefore, do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid.” John 14:27

Beloved in the Lord:

May God bless you and keep you, and consecrate your remembrance of our brother Samuel Isaac.

The prayers of so many people are with you: the prayers of Christians, and of others whose lives were touched by his work, ministry and love.

On behalf of the World Council of Churches, I am writing to convey our thanks – both to God and to your whole family – for sharing this gifted man with the universal church to aid in its search for unity and its determination to respond to the needs of people.

We know that you remember him from the perspective of family and the intimacy of your relationships, and we pray that God is blessing those private memories. Meanwhile, we in the WCC are deeply grateful for the witness and service that he demonstrated through his life in both the church and the wider world.

We recall particularly the years from 1980 to 1996 when he served at the World Council of Churches in Geneva, mobilizing a workforce for change and progress within the one ecumenical movement, sharing resources among church-related agencies of caring both large and small. Perhaps his greatest impact came as deputy director of CICARWS, the commission on inter-church aid, refugee and world service. His critical thinking and managerial skills were crucial as the churches worked together in proclaiming the Good News while alleviating poverty, violence and suffering.

We owe a great debt to Samuel Isaac for his unrelenting honesty in analysing where both churches and societies went wrong in their actions and activities, especially in his outspoken critique of the churches’ and government’s role in the tragedy of Rwanda during the 1990s.

Giving thanks to God, we celebrate his life. May the sure and certain hope of the resurrection to eternal life comfort and encourage you in these days.

In the love of Jesus Christ our Saviour,

Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit
WCC general secretary