Yes I am back from the road trip! I know it’s been quiet….thanks for all your concern as to whether I’m safe or stuck in a Pacific craft cupboard somewhere…….(o yeah that’s right no-one missed me!!)
Anyhow I survived my billing on the pacific agenda as the conference ‘motivational speaker’, and was thrilled to see God at work amongst us as we shared leadership stories and were open together about some of the issues that motivate/de-motivate us as we seek to lead others.
It really resonated with me when one of the delegates mentioned that she gets de-motivated when she sees other leaders failing to empower younger leaders in church and GB……because they are worried about whether they themselves will still be needed and have a role. So, this challenge is faced in many places around the world eh?
The brief insight and inspiration I gained through the GB Pacific conference was genuinely great, and I am so very grateful to the group for their welcome and care.
Chatting afterwards with the Commissioners/Deputies of NZ and GBA plus Jennifer Box, our International Vice President for Pacific, was a real bonus too. We shared our stories of developing structures to serve our purpose in THIS generation. Food for thought!
I must, though, tell you that the road trip was a challenge.
Three very unsympathetic Aussies in a car for 3 days is NOT good when you have lumps in your throat, sneezes and a temperature. What’s worse is that one companion is a nurse. (they are always so harsh!)
From time to time I had to discreetly remind them I wasn’t well……and it was hard to experience their response to my plight ….. “Toughen up princess”…. mmm.
We managed to pack in a few visits to craft shops, coffee shops and a great Thai restaurant…yep I’m back on rice….as well as spending time out chatting about Coral’s ‘topic of the day’!
The Bay of Islands was as I remembered it from my last trip, and just so peaceful and lovely. I even saw a pod of Dolphins in the bay…..and my all-time favourite wading bird, the Oyster catcher!
Shame my companions were more interested in cycle rides, treaty grounds and an ice-cream burger (I kid you not!)
Highlight of the trip for me was two-fold. Infecting my fellow travellers (sorry friends!) and calling in on old friends in Whangarei.
It was just great to see International Vice-Patron of GB, Jill Clarke (President 1998 -2002) and Keith. Not sure I’ll ever get over the way you just drive past the end of someone’s road the other side of the world – and find a note on the door welcoming you by name, just in case they are out on the farm……when (if) you happen to drop in!
catching up as if we meet everyday was lovely, as was the brief opportunity to share GB thoughts, and insights into God on the move in our lives and families. Nice.
I’ll always remember a snippet from Jill’s first ever address to GB as our International President. It was in Australia, ’98 and she talked of the importance of GB, our structures, hearts and actions, being committed to in such a way that the indigenous groups of people in each country where GB is in mission are reached and nurtured in ways that are relevant to their needs and cultures, and that give freedom for them to engage with Jesus Christ through a GB ‘way’ that suits their area.
Prophetic and missional words Jill.
What I am seeing in this small trip from England and Wales to Asia and the Pacific is that GB is being re-positioned as a mission tool of God’s church to offer a new (and predominantly never-churched) generation of girls opportunities to discover what ’life to the full’ is actually like !
That thought has just blown my cold and sneezes away….so, now I need to focus on the GB Australia National Council meetings beginning on Friday.
I feel privileged to be standing alongside Coral and Helen as they lead GBA at this time, and to have the opportunity to share with key State leaders from all over the country. We are looking at the same theme as Pacific (and the International Conference last summer) ….what does it mean for GB in Australia to be part of an International mission that is facing God’s call at this time to ‘Cross over and Move on’ .
I’m officially excited…. women in GB, called for ‘such a time as this’ (Esther 4:6)
….now there was a Princess that had to toughen up….to fulfil her calling to stand up for the Godly faith of a nation…Esther. So, that’s why GB’s seeing an Esther Generation of young women being raised up in leadership in various parts of the GB world eh?!
Sydney here I come