International Patron, Ms. Miller was recognised in the U.K.’s New Year’s Honours’ List. Mrs. Olive Miller began Girls’ Brigade in the Cayman Islands in 1946 and she is currently GB Cayman’s President. She was awarded her OBE for her ‘many and numerous contributions to the people of the Cayman Islands’. However, she is reported to have said that she is ‘most proud of starting the Girls’ Brigade.’ She added that all of her accomplishments were ‘made possible through her faith in a higher powers.’ She will receive the award during the Queen’s Birthday celebrations in June 2018. We remain thankful to God that at the age of 96 Mrs. Olive continues to be active in contributing to her country and in particular to Girls’ Brigade.
Girls’ Brigade International wishes to send their congratulations and thanks to this faithful servant!
GB has played a large role in my life since the age of 9. My life in GB has become a special journey where I have developed and grown from a young leader to the mature and confident adult I am today. I have gained many invaluable and inspiring lessons from the weekly badgework lessons. I thank God for blessing me with the gift of music as it is an honour to serve and glorify Him through playing the piano, violin and singing during GB worship sessions. I was inspired to compose The Girls’ Brigade International 125th Anniversary Theme Song, ‘Celebrate in Girls’ Brigade Together’, to testify God’s fruitful and overflowing love throughout the past 125 years as girls’ lives have been transformed and enriched all around the world. As we celebrate with this song, may we all remember His love for us will guide us through every situation in our lives.
GBI is a family and one of the best things about families is the ability to talk, share together and support one another both in times of celebration and in times of challenge.
One of our major events in this our birthday year, will be our gathering for ICGB in Livingstone, Zambia from 21-28th July. During ICGB 2018 members of our GB family will make strategic decisions regarding the ongoing mission of GB. We will also share meals with friends from other parts of the family, experience worship from around the globe, sit next to family members who we’ve never met before and hear about their joys and share their challenges.
Time is running out to book your place and share this experience, but there is still time. Find all the information you need here and come and join us.
This year’s international competition will focus on the hope that GB brings to those around us as we seek to enrich ‘God’s world.’ We anticipate that the entries will be posted on our website and Facebook page to publicise GB. We hope to share many of your entries to help tell the story of GB’s impact around the world. All GB companies are invited to submit entries. You will need to:
Choose a project, initiative or social action in which you have been involved which has blessed or enriched others and tell us the story of your involvement using power point.
In 2018 we will be celebrating 125 years of fruitful mission. Our theme for the year, based on Jesus’ words in John 15 v.1-7, will be ‘FRUITFUL & OVERFLOWING’.
Wherever you are, whatever part you play in GB, take every opportunity to share all that God has done through GB over the last 125 years. But, more importantly let’s make sure that everyone knows that GB is alive and well impacting lives and enriching communities every week in 2018. We would love to hear how you celebrate our ministry. Send your pictures and stories here.
‘You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly.’ Romans 5:6
It does not seem possible that another year has passed and we are in Advent once again, with Christmas almost here! Advent is, of course, the time when we are waiting, expecting, hoping, anticipating the coming of Jesus.
This Advent it has struck me anew that it was only when the ‘time was right’ that God came down to earth in the person of Jesus. His people had been waiting for centuries and then God stepped in and what a difference it made! History changed. The time was right, the waiting was over and God was at work in a special way!
Those first century bystanders, were changed by their experience of ‘Emmanuel’ and it was then that the anticipation, excitement, hopes and dreams came to fruition. When the shepherds saw the baby they were so impacted that they left ‘full of joy and praising God.’ For the wise-men, their journey to Bethlehem resulted in a new perception and understanding. We are told they returned ‘a different way,’ as they left Bethlehem and they were no doubt ‘different’ spiritually too because of their encounter with the Christ Child. When Mary saw her new born son, the Saviour of the world, it caused her to meditate ‘on all these things.’
Let’s take time, over this Christmas period, to ‘treasure these things in our heart’ Then we, like the wise men, may return from the Christmas experience ‘a different way’ with new understanding and enthused, like the shepherds, ready to make known His story – after all that’s what GB is all about!
2018 is a special year for GB as we celebrate our 125th birthday. We are going to celebrate because we have a great story to tell, but it is not our (GB’s) story. It is the story of God at work in the lives of so many. But beyond this my challenge to you is this…… in the long story of GB’s ministry what is 2018 the ‘right time’ for us to do with God? Let’s anticipate, expect, hope, dream what He may wish to accomplish through GB in the year ahead and let’s tune in to Him so that our ministry may continue to be FRUITFUL & OVERFLOWING.
Do you have a story to tell? We all have a story that has touched our lives. Well now here is your chance to have your story in print. In 2018 we are publishing a book of stories of how Girls’ Brigade has filled your life to over flowing, or what Christ has done making your life fruitful. We need 125 stories and so far, I only have a handful from the Pacific Fellowship. There is room for your story so please put it down in an email and send it to me.
If you have very good quality photos that you can scan, to put with your story, send them also. The book size will be printed in a A5 size. This book will be launched at ICGB in Zambia in July 2018.
Looking forward to hearing from you all, sharing your experiences with your wider family, in Brigade.
Wednesday 11 October is the UN’s International Day of the Girl. As part of a GB global family, we want to celebrate and champion the value of girls across the world. Unfortunately in many places, it is very challenging to be a girl (statistics are from Plan):
I am more likely to not be able to read and write because I am a girl.
65 million girls are missing from classrooms across the world – yes, 65 million.
Because I am a girl, my wedding will probably not be the happiest day of my life.
Every three seconds, another girl is forced to marry someone she doesn’t want to.
I am more likely not to have a choice about where and when my first sexual experience happens because I am a girl.
One hundred and fifty million girls across the world have experienced rape or other forms of sexual violence before they reach 18 years old. Girls are exposed to sexual violence as they walk to school, go to the toilet, socialise with friends and even in their own homes.
I am more likely to be missing from the face of the earth because I am a girl.
Around 113 to 200 million girls and women are simply missing across the world due to violence, trafficking, neglect or because they have never even been given the chance to be born.
But there is always hope.
God has used Girls’ Brigade to give hope to many girls across the world by providing life skills, a caring family and empowering them to discover ‘life to the full.’ And we, as GB leaders, have a wonderful message of Gospel hope to share with girls:
Because I am a girl, I am loved, valued and have been made to fulfil my God-given potential.
Girls are made in the image of God and He created both girls and boys to flourish and live with freedom and hope.
Wednesday 11 October is International Day of the Girl; a time to celebrate the value and potential of girls! Here’s three ways that you can do this with your GB group:
Share the #iamgb film – Because of being part of the Girls’ Brigade family, girls from across the world have shared that they feel confident, courageous, loved and accepted. What an incredible positive message for GB to share on social media on #IDG2017!
Inspire girls to make a difference – Hope For Girls is a free resource which features stories and videos from across the world exposing the injustices that girls face and empowering GB members to be part of transforming their world in positive ways.
As a GB family, let’s continue to celebrate the value and potential of girls and women across the world so every girl can flourish and live life to the full.
The Girls’ Brigade Singapore Anniversary Celebration Dinner was held at Shangri-La Hotel Island Ballroom on Sunday, 3 September 2017. It was certainly a wonderful time for Girls’ Brigade members, Alumni and friends (all 990 of us) as we celebrated GB, where memories of food, fun, fullness and fellowship abound.
Our Guest of Honour was the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Dr Vivian Balakrishnan. Mrs Joy Balakrishnan also graced the occasion. Celebrating with us were representatives from the Ministry of Education, Heads of Uniformed Groups, Church and School Leaders, our Past GB Presidents, Brigade Chaplains and our partners in the ministry.
We were especially honoured to have with us, the leaders of The Girls’ Brigade International. The International President’s Committee members present were Ms Vivienne Aitchison, International President, Mrs Lynne Rogers, International Treasurer, and International Vice-Presidents of the five Fellowships: Mrs Priscilla Penny (Africa), Mrs Tay Poh Imm (Asia), Mrs Hazelann Boreland and Ms Quindell Ferguson (Caribbean-Americas), Dr Claire Rush (Europe) and Mrs Renelle Neale (Pacific). We also had leaders and representatives from Girls’ Brigade Asia: Chairperson Nancy Shaw (Hong Kong), President Tnay Yong Hua (Malaysia), President Imelda Casuga (Philippines) and Executive Member Mrs Lawan Pitakton (Thailand).
The highlights of the Celebration were the naming of the GB orchid – Papilionanda The Girls’ Brigade Singapore and the launch of our GB Aspirational Values through a meaningful and beautiful sand art presentation by Ms Tan Sock Fong. God’s amazing grace led 11 harpists (from ages 13 to 78 ) to perform together after only six lessons on the harp! Our GB girls also did us proud through their tin whistle performance. Members from the 53rd, 71st and 72nd performed three hymns.
There was a gift of a book for everyone. ‘Rainbows in the Rain’, a GBS 90 Anniversary Publication, is a legacy from the late Captain of 45th Singapore Company, Ms Sally Wong. Girls, whose lives Sally had impacted, worked tirelessly together with their Chaplain, Dr Sandra Tan and Sally’s family, to put together a book, a tribute to their beloved mentor and friend. Dr Low Guat Tin wrote and connected the stories to bring forth a publication that is a compelling read.
GBS honoured two ladies for their sterling work in GB. Mrs Tay Poh Luan and Ms Hee Piang Chin received the Distinguished Award.
The video presentation showcasing the various GBS 90 Anniversary events and achievements of Girls’ Brigade Singapore was an exciting visual. It captured the milestones of the ministry. We thanked God for His faithfulness throughout these 90 enriching years as we raised our voices to proclaim to God – “How Great Thou Art!” Aptly, we ended the night of celebrating God’s goodness with our Girls’ Brigade vesper ’Captain Divine’.
To God Be the Glory.
Mrs Tay Poh Imm,
Chairperson, 90th Anniversary Celebration Dinner
GBS Brigade Vice-President and International Vice-President, Asia Fellowship
Having recently returned from the International President’s Meeting 2017, in Singapore, there are so many good news stories to share. Here is just a taste of what we talked about:
Looking forward to 2018, we planned a range of resources based on our theme ‘Fruitful and Overflowing.’ Your IVP’s will be asking what events you would like our GB family to pray for – do respond so you can be included in our special prayer calendar for the year. There will be a company resource pack which you can dip into for practical ideas to raise awareness of our theme, or you can use it as a holistic six week programme for your girls. There will be the launch of our winning celebration song to unite our GB worldwide family in this year of celebration. Additionally, we are seeking to gather stories of GB’s ‘Fruitful and Overflowing’ Ministry to share. All will be launched on our website , distributed by our IVP’s and profiled on our Facebook and via our newsletter.
Obviously ICGB 2018 was high on our agenda. We are eagerly waiting this wonderful opportunity to celebrate 125 years of mission and to prepare for what God still has in store for us! We know it is expensive to travel but have you considered asking your church if they will sponsor you? You will be encouraged and equipped in the work you do week by week as well as experiencing the strength of fellowship as you meet with GB leaders from all around the globe. Registration has been extended so you still have time. Watch out for news of the International Competition, for discussion papers for our business sessions and draft programmes. They will all be with you before Christmas. Please pray for our friends in Zambia as they oversee the practical arrangements for our stay.
Strategically, we have continued to explore what it means to make paradigm shifts in our thinking and in our way of being, something we were all challenged to do at ICGB 2014. To this end we have been exploring ways in which GBI, can speak out positively for girls around the world. We are conscious, too, of the need to keep our programmes relevant: we challenge all our national boards to review and update their programmes regularly. In addition, we know that to meet the changing needs of the modern world, we need to be creative in the ways we ‘do’ GB, seeking to fulfil our unchanging aim in new and innovative ways. We have plans to share stories of how parts of our GB family are already doing this. It is always good to learn from one another.
So let’s get out there and join God in His mission – let’s see
‘Girls lives transformed; God’s world enriched.’
Vivienne (International President , Girls’ Brigade International.)
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