It was a brilliant to experience the different styles of worship as different fellowships led us each morning. The creative ways in which the Fruit of the Spirit theme and the exhortations were shared was amazing. It was wonderful having a sense of how each Fellowship had their own special flavour in praising our great God. So many languages, yet in harmony, worshipping one God.
In the evening Rev Dr Kuzipa Nalwamba was an inspiring speaker. She was very clear in her teaching on John 15, having the passage read every night. We received new insights daily without Christ we can do nothing, we need to be constantly abiding in the vine. When we are available to serve Him in humility, we will produce fruit which will last. We must not fear the pruning as this helps us to bear more fruit. Fruitfulness is the outward proof of being connected. We cannot allow division to come into our midst. When we are divided we cannot be fruitful. Each one is called for His work but we must allow God to lead us all.
The voices and singing of the African choir (some with babies on their back!) who enhanced our worship throughout the week, was beautiful. God was very present in our midst. I loved the spontaneity of dancing and the singing. Very African! It’s always amazing to be in the midst of GB Officers from all around the world but all worshiping the same Lord with one voice & one heart.
During the 2018 Conference in Zambia, we went the Livingstone Central Hospital to not only visit the patients but also to plant trees. This was an opportunity to give back to the community and was indeed apt to have the Community Service of the four-square program so clearly demonstrated at ICGB 2018. This fit perfectly with the theme for ICGB 2018: Fruitful and Overflowing.
The mahogany trees planted, are not only resilient and grow very large thus providing shade, but will also enhance Livingstone’s nature beauty. What a blessing it was to give back to the community that welcomed us with open arms for this Conference while learning the W‘s to consider when planting a tree:
What kind of tree are you planting?
Why do you want to plant it?
Where are you planting it?
After a few words by the Immediate Past International President who explained the Girls’ Brigade values of being able to serve others we started to be fruitful with the tree planting activity.
We were overflowing with joy from the visit with the patients at the Livingstone Hospital. The experience reinforced for us to be grateful for life, health and strength. It opened our eyes to the reality that anyone, regardless of age, can be sick and ailing. At the same time, it was rewarding and great pleasure to see the proud faces of and the smiles of gratitude from the nurses, doctors and patients at the hospital. The appreciation was very evident. Girls’ Brigade is really impacting lives all around the world whether it is in something small or something big.
We went to the Maternity Unit where we interacted with both post and antenatal mothers and mingled with the nurses. We placed balloons in the corridor and lobby areas and this certainly made both sections welcoming and jolly. Before leaving the Maternity Unit, we left the nurses full of material blessings for the patients with toys, clothing and cosmetics.
The group then split into two with one set visiting the Women’s Ward to distribute pillows and blankets and the other going to Paediatric Ward where clothing and toys were distributed to the children.
The Paediatric Ward was the most solemn. There we met children who were unable to do anything for themselves as well as those in the Intensive Care Unit. Upon seeing their situation, we moved to pray with them, having received approval from the nurses and parents. Of course, we interacted with the children who were able-bodied and the distributed toys certainly turned their frowns into smiles. That was the highlight of the day.
It is always great to bring joy into the hearts of people. The patients in all the units showed a sense of appreciation for our visit which proved that we were fruitful and overflowing.
I believe that this experience was a desire of those of us who visited the Hospital as we got to meet one to one, expressing God’s love through the service of the Girls’ Brigade.
Is an among you afflicted? Let Him pray. Is any merry? Let him sing psalms. James 5:13
My name is Aruk O Omori (Mrs), a Nigerian from Calabar in Cross River State. I’m married with 3 children. My key skills are strong work ethics, team building and supervision, effective use of social media for communication and work advancement. I’m a team player, dedicated, loyal and committed to working with existing facilities and personnel towards the attainment of organisational goals.
I’m currently the Principal of Government Secondary School, Akpabuyo Local Government Area in Cross River State, Nigeria; the Vice-Chairman of All Confederation of Principals of Secondary Schools (ANCOPSS) in Cross River State and Chairman of the same professional body in Akpabuyo Local Government Area in Cross River State, Nigeria; and a member of the Nigerian Union of Teachers.
I’m an Alumnus of the University of Calabar and I hold a Bachelor’s Degree (B.Ed) in Adult Education/Religion and a Master’s Degree (M.Ed) in Community Development.
I’m a committed Christian woman with a passion to improve, preserve and strengthen the vision and integrity of the Girls’ Brigade on behalf of the Girls’ Brigade International Council. I’ve been involved in the education of children, youth and women for over a decade; a member of the Christian Women’s Guild (CWG) of the Presbyterian Church of Nigeria; and a mother/mentor of Christian Girls In Training (CGIT).
I’ve held the position of Company Captain (GBN, 13th Calabar Company), State Secretary (GBN, Cross River State Council), Assistant National Secretary (GBN, National Council), and Zonal Ex-Officio (GBN, Zone 5).
I’ve been involved in the planning and execution of Annual General Meetings (AGM) and also at girls and officers’ retraining camps etc.
In my new role as African Fellowship President, I hope to, among other commitments, set key strategic direction for the growth and development of the ministry of The Girls’ Brigade in Africa. I hope to stimulate National Councils within Africa to engage with key issues facing the Church and Christian ministry in their environment. Finally, I hope to accomplish the continuous unification of the Girls’ Brigade family in Africa and beyond.
I first joined the St. Johns Kirk Girls’ Guildry Company in Garden section when I was 8 years old and remember learning the laws and motto, Wise Unto That Which is Good. We did Bible study, drilling, playing games, and learning about the Girls’ Guildry. I went up the rank to Greenwood on to Guildry Girl. I can remember on 10 June 1968 attending the service to mark the merger of the three groups that made up Girls’ Brigade at the inaugural service held at Torrington Dis. Of Christ Church. My first Guardian was Mrs Thomas who kindled my enthusiasm for the work and that enthusiasm has continued even to this day.
In 1981 I started the 6th Kingston Company at the St. Andrew’s Scots Kirk United Church of which I served as the Captain for 36 years.
Girls’ Guildry teaching gave me a firm foundation for, and an opportunity to, share my faith and to be trained in leadership. I’ve learned so many things during training sessions, but above all I thank God for His faithfulness, giving me health, strength, ability, and enthusiasm to share His love with young people for so many years and that so many have committed their lives to serve our Lord.
In 1984 I served as adjutant for many years for my District and then as commandant for 4 years during this time I became deeply involved in new officer training at District level – a challenge I enjoyed. When I was elected to the position of divisional commissioner in 2004 it brought a whole new dimension to my Girls’ Brigade work – attending more meetings and visiting the company meetings, the girls and their officers. I’ve also held several national GB roles.
In addition to Girls’ Brigade work I’m Co-Founder and Artistic director to the Jamaica Youth Theatre, a group of young thespians who have entertained and delighted audiences of all ages, at home and abroad, for the better part of 10 years; I’m also Chairperson of Secondary School’s Drama Festival and the Caribbean Secondary School’s Drama Festival.
I also run a local theatre costume design and rental shop. I’m one of Jamaica’s leading collectors of period costumes and theatre props. I’ve served as costume designer for several of Jamaica’s national events, film and theatre productions such as Marcus Garvey, Don’t Look For Me In The World Wind, and The Ity and Fancy Cat show to name a few.
I’m an active member in my church where I serve as Technical Consultant, Chairperson Fundraising and member of the Property Committee.
I was awarded 2nd place for Kingston for Nation Building through Voluntary Service, For Council of Voluntary Social Services (CVSS), and, in 2017, The Government of Jamaica Badges of Honour for meritorious service BH(M) for Voluntary and numerous contributions to Girls’ Brigade in Jamaica.
I’m really looking forward to this new post. Your prayers and support would be appreciated during this time so that God will help me to carry out my duties.
As to the future of Girls’ Brigade – I believe it’s as strong now as ever and will survive for a long time as long as we have offices for the vine year, for me I can think of no better way to serve the master and I pray that I will enjoy with good health to continue for a few more years.
Finally, I must close with some verses from the scriptures;
1 Chronicles 28:20
Then David said to Solomon his son, “Be strong and of good courage, and do it. Fear not, be not dismayed; for the Lord God, even my God, is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you, until all the work for the service of the house of the Lord is finished (RSVCE).
On 10 June 1968 the Girls’ Brigade as we know it today was born. Of course, its roots go way back to 1883 when Margaret Lyttle first had her vision that led to the foundation of The Girls’ Brigade of Ireland. As we hold our International Day of Prayer this year, we celebrate 125 years of FRUITFUL & OVERFLOWING ministry, and we ask you to focus your prayers on three things:
Remember the past: Give thanks for Margaret Lyttle and other faithful pioneers who started GB in different parts of the world
Celebrate the present: Pray that all the girls and young women who are part of our GB family today will be blessed through their contact with us
Commend the future into God’s hands: Ask that we may continue to hold fast to our values and foundations whilst adapting our methods and mission as we continue, with God’s help, to bring hope to future generations of young women
10 June falls on a Sunday this year so as well as bringing your own prayers, why not ask your churches to support us with their prayers in this our 125th celebratory year!
GBI was proud to celebrate International Women’s Day with wonderful testimonies and stories from all around our worldwide family. We hope you read them, if you are not linked to our Facebook site why not link up now? Here is another story about GB members engaging with this special day:
In Jamaica, Women’s Day is a day when we shine a light on how women have impacted our country and the world in general. In order to shine our light this year, GB Jamaica launched a video which relates to our awareness of human trafficking one of our main concerns here in Jamaica. GB Jamaica as a Christian organisation has taken a stand against this social evil and at our Young Leader’s Training last year we had a session on human trafficking. This video, among others, was produced by our young women for our yearly National Competition last year.
The Zambia Woman Days’s Board have awarded their Distinguished Service award 2018 to our very own ex International President Mrs Ruth Chikasa. Congratulations to you Ruth! The award is in recognition of her services in improving living standards in rural Zambia and for her role in advocacy work in GB worldwide.
Ruth says, ‘This award is for every leader and young girl in Brigade who dares to dream. I thank GBI for giving me a platform from which I could dance and be noticed! But no one dances without a drummer and singers, so this is to all of us who produce the music, the rhythm and the stage for transformation to take place in the lives of all those we are so privileged to serve! To you my co workers in Christ, this award is for you too! You are my Women of the Year each and every year!
Four years ago we were enjoying the fun, fellowship and faith-sharing that was ICGB 2014. We were served by the smiling, happy, helpful and never tiring Australian ‘GB crew’ who served us so faithfully. They were at our beck and call from the moment we arrived at the airport till they waved us off a week later. Then we, GB Zambia, bravely volunteered to host the 2018 council. Let’s be honest , we probably never really considered the hard work, hours of planning and endless meetings that would be needed to get this event off the ground. But we have been busily beavering away ever since and the last two years have been a whirlwind of preparation. Do you have ‘to do’ lists and ‘post-it ‘note reminders? We’ve got both in abundance! Now the time is getting nearer and nearer as more and more details are confirmed and tasks are ticked off the list. As the date approaches, there is much to do but excitement is mounting as we prepare to welcome YOU! My faithful and hard-working team are looking forward to the moment when our GB family arrives and we will see you face to face. We want to show you our land. We want to give you a true African welcome. We want to share our vibrant worship. We want to meet old friends and new sisters in Christ. Oh, and if you can’t come, and of course many of you won’t be here, we want to share what’s happening through facebook and newsletters. Then you, too, will get a sense of the joy of ‘Fruitful and Overflowing’ ministry around the world.
‘Go quickly and tell His disciples that He has risen from the dead, and behold, He is going before you to Galilee; there you will see Him’ Matthew 28:7
As I’ve read again the Easter narrative, I have been drawn to one small phrase that I must have read many times before, but which has touched me in a special way this year. In the message the angels gave Mary to give to the disciples, we read these words:
HE HAS GONE BEFORE YOU and HE WILL SEE YOU THERE.
The disciples were in a bad place. It seemed that their best friend Jesus had died, His body had been stolen, their leader had deserted them, they were in danger from the Roman authorities, their dreams had been shattered, their so called colleague had betrayed their master, they were fearful and had locked themselves away. We can guess that their faith may have been in a bad place. Then they got this message:
HE HAS GONE BEFORE YOU and HE WILL SEE YOU THERE.
Scripture tells us that the disciples went to Galilee and there He was. He had indeed gone before! There they saw the Risen Saviour and suddenly all was well.
Many of us are eagerly anticipating our planned time together in Zambia for ICGB 2018. Some though, may be a little wary about what it will be like, uncertain about the place we are going to stay, what we will be expected to do, whether our travel plans will work out, if we have packed the right clothes or whether we’ll like the food. Our concerns, however, are calmed by the knowledge that trusted GB friends from Zambia will have gone before us to the venue. They will have organised our accommodation, sorted our transport, and negotiated so many other things. Then when the day comes we’ll see them there at the airport to meet us and all will be well. They have gone before us!
That experience reflects our everyday reticence about our human existence. But turn your mind now to the bigger things that fill your life – scary opportunities, unforeseen set backs, unknown experiences, difficult conversations, unexpected barriers, big life questions and important decisions. All these things can cause us to fret, to worry, to hold back, to fear the future, even to question our faith . But the angel’s Easter message is as true for us as it was in first century Judea. No matter what the circumstances we, as individuals, can hold fast to the Easter truth that we have a Risen Saviour:
HE HAS GONE BEFORE YOU and HE WILL SEE YOU THERE.
Then as a Christian organisation, celebrating 125 years of fruitful and overflowing ministry, let’s face the future of GB, not with fear or uncertainty, but simply rejoicing in the knowledge that:
HE HAS GONE BEFORE YOU and HE WILL SEE YOU THERE.
All we need to do is in obedience, follow where He leads.
International Patron, Mrs Olive 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 Miller 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!
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