Where has the time gone? We are in the last quarter of 2023, and we have a lot to be thankful for. I am sure most of us have gone back to face-to-face meetings. All our Fellowships have had their first face-to-face meetings post COVID-19 and I am sure we all enjoyed the reunion and fellowship.
This year marks 130 years of mission among girls which began in 1893 with Margaret Little who answered the call to join God in His mission and here we are, trusting God where we are and believing that we are right where God wants us to be.
IPC also met in person for the first time since the pandemic. Thank you for prayers and I am sure you have by now got a bit of an update as to what went on at IPC 2023. Taking notes from ICGB 2022, the IPC set out to respond to what you said in order to move GB forward. We identified three key areas that required our immediate focus: advocacy, resource mobilisation and capacity building and leadership development. We looked at the IPC skill base and agreed that in order for GB to grow and be effective and remain relevant, we needed to engage professionals who could work with IPC to drive the identified focus areas. Recognising that we do not have the financial resources to pay for the services, we are trusting God to give us individuals who are willing to offer their services as volunteer team leaders. We believe, The Girls’ Brigade is rich in human resources and together we can take GB to another level.
Resources are always an issue and hinder us from embarking on sustainable projects for our girls in order to economically empower them. GB Alumni, GB Friends and members who are professionals, please jump onto the wagon for resource mobilisation, advocacy and leadership Development! Get in touch with your National leaders, IVP’s or contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Spread the word and encourage/invite someone!
On 4th June, 2023, we launched 130 days of prayer to mark 130 years of mission among girls. Post a prayer of thanksgiving or an encouragement on our Facebook page between now and 11th October 2023. Let’s celebrate God’s faithfulness together. On 11th October, we will join together in prayer as we also observe The International Day of the Girl Child. Under our theme, ‘Rise in strength, for such a time as this’.
As we are in the last quarter of the year 2023, IPC is preparing 2024 resources to help our leaders and girls. The theme for 2024 is ‘Rise in Strength… make disciples’. The Great Commission, based on Mathew 28:16 – 20.
Priscilla P. Penny
The International President
International day of prayer – 10th June 2023
Come and join The Girl’s Brigade as we come together in prayer as a family on 10th June 2023.
It was on 10th June, 1968 when the three organisations, The Girls’ Brigade (Ireland), The Girls’ Guildry (Scotland) and The Girls’ Life Brigade, from a journey of pioneering that began in 1893, came together to form The Girls’ Brigade! The Girls’ Brigade has been and still is a Responsive, Relational and Relevant Christian Mission focused on the Girl Child. The world has evolved since 1893 and there is a desperate need to introduce the Gospel and make disciples in this very challenging world.
So on this our Birthday, please join us as we pray for each GB Fellowship.
Wherever you are, take time on 10th June to join the GB Family in prayer, take time to reflect on the story of GB, 130 years later, we are still relevant.
Launch of brand new Climate Change resource for GB leaders
As part of our 2023 theme, The Girls’ Brigade International have launched a free resource for local Girls’ Brigade leaders called Climate Change.
This new Climate Change resources kit, prepared by the Asia and Pacific fellowships, has been created to help our members to know more about climate change. It contains links to up-to-date and relevant information. One GB member from Papua New Guinea shares her how her country has been affected by climate change.
To protect our living home for our next generations, let’s join hands and act now.
New research published in March 2023 in the journal Geophysical Research letters found that carbon emissions are halfway to a tipping point of the melting of the Greenland ice sheet, once people have cumulatively emitted approximately 1,000 gigatons of carbon in total, then the southern part of the Greenland ice sheet will melt, eventually causing the sea level to rise by almost six feet. And right now, now we are at approximately 500 gigatons of carbon emissions released.
There are more and more warnings from scientists and extreme weather recorded such as persistent high temperatures, strong and frequent typhoons and tornados. This all shows that we are in a critical time to protect our living earth, as it is under the great influence from climate change.
We would love to see how you use this resource and how your group is helping to tackle climate change. Please share your stories by emailing us at email@example.com so that we can share them with our GB family.
Who is the resource for? We hope this resource can be used by all members of our Girls’ Brigade International family. Please feel free to adapt the content as needed to be suitable for the girls and young women you work with.
We have also created an editable PowerPoint for you to use which you can download here.
You can see all of our 2023 themed resources and reflections here.
Disaster Appeal 2023
The Girls’ Brigade International is a family and as such we care about one another, learn from each another and support one another.
Last week we heard of the absolute devastation that has been caused in Malawi. On 14th March 2023 it was heavily hit by Cyclone Freddy.
Malawi is one of the countries in Central Africa and is part of The Girls’ Brigade African Fellowship.
It affected mainly the southern part of Malawi which comprises of 14 districts. After seeing how devastating and heart-breaking the situation was, the Malawi President declared Malawi as a State of Disaster.
Many people (approx. 476) have lost their lives due to big rocks or being buried by mud and being swept by swift running water. The figures might rise as the search continues for missing people in the districts where there was landfall like Blantyre, Chiradzulu and Mulanje.
There are some who were injured. Most of them are hospitalised while some are being treated where they have camped.
The Cyclone has made a lot of people homeless. Over 79,000 households are left without homes. Their houses have been swept by this storm. These people have been put in camps.
Our African friends are grateful for our prayers and our messages of love and support. GBI have made the decision to also help practically by making a donation to help them recover.
We are now launching an appeal to raise money for the disaster fund so we are able to help other GB countries should they need it in the future.
If you, as an individual, or your company, or group, or church is able to send a small gift it will be gratefully received and put to good use when needed.
You may send donations via your fellowship, or donations can be made to Girls’ Brigade International simply by clicking here. Please reference your gift ‘GBI Disaster Fund’.
Thank you in anticipation for your generosity.
Launch of Fun & Games – a brand new resource for GB leaders
In recognition of International Women’s Day (8 March 2023), The Girls’ Brigade International have launched a free resource for local Girls’ Brigade leaders called Fun & Games.
The Girls’ Brigade International wants to equip GB members to transform the lives of girls and young women across the world. Whilst the expression of this varies in light of the different contexts we work with, the desire to create a fun and engaging programme is universal. One way many achieve this is through games.
Created by a team of GB leaders from around the world following a workshop at ICGB 2022, this resource aims to provide inspiration for new activities to try.
Who is the resource for? We hope this resource can be used by all members of our Girls’ Brigade International family. The games included are designed for a variety of different ages and use equipment we hope is available to most. Please feel free to adapt the content as needed to be suitable for the girls and young women you work with.
How is the resource structured? The resource features a variety of games (listed in alphabetical order) which can be used in isolation. Each game contains the following elements:
You can see all of our 2023 themed resources and reflections here.
Merry Christmas & a Happy New Year
Christmas bells are ringing! Yes, it is that time of the year again.
Is Christmas the gifts and the abundance of food and drink?
This is a holiday that is observed and celebrated by everyone and sometimes we lose focus on what it is all about. As we get busy with the preparations, for some it’s maybe the only time they get new clothes or get to eat good food. For business people, it’s a time for economic boom as people spend more on luxuries. This is all good and makes life enjoyable BUT, what are we celebrating?
Christmas is a time of spiritual reflection on the important foundations of the Christian faith. It’s also a celebration. It’s when Christians celebrate God’s love for the world through the birth of the Christ child: Jesus.
So, as we celebrate this year, let us go deeper than the gifts, the food and the drink.
Jesus Christ must be at the centre in our hearts. Let us find time, just to be quite and be thankful to God for giving us His Son and to truly take in the wonder and awe of the season. Such love and sacrifice.
May I take this opportunity, on behalf of my husband Claudio and my family, to wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
Let us continue to rise in His strength as we serve Him for the growth of the Kingdom.
Priscilla P. Penny
The International President
International Day of the Girl Child
Today, The Girls’ Brigade International joins in commemorating the 10th anniversary of the International Day of the Girl (IDG).
The Girls’ Brigade is helping girls around the world to achieve their God-given potential through formal and informal education. The impact of informal education in The Girls’ Brigade may seem subtle, but it is a powerful force in the fight for gender justice. As the largest and oldest Christian organisation focused on the girl child, we are well positioned to ensure that NO girl is left behind.
‘Girls are ready for a decade of acceleration forward. It is time for us all to stand accountable – with and for girls – and to invest in a future that believes in their agency, leadership and potential.’ – Unicef
An Easter message from Priscilla Penny
It was finished at Calvary! Happy Easter.
The Easter message is one that will never get old or expire! Easter, that is, the resurrection of Jesus Christ, is the greatest event of all time.
In a few days, we will be starting the Holy week and celebrating Easter. the story of Easter is its life changing message that our sins are forgiven, we have a purpose to live out through the power and promises of Christ, and our eternal future is secured in heaven.
What has particularly stood out for you this Lent/Good Friday/Easter Season? As we pray and meditate this season let us light a candle for the families of Ukraine who have been separated by the devastating war. We pray for divine intervention and an end to the war.
Let us RISE IN STRENGTH and stand in the gap to intercede for this war to end.
I leave you with these words by CityAlight:
“It Was Finished Upon That Cross”
How I love the voice of Jesus On the cross of Calvary He declares His work is finished He has spoken this hope to me Though the sun had ceased its shining Though the war appeared as lost Christ had triumphed over evil It was finished upon that cross
Now the curse, it has been broken Jesus paid the price for me Full, the pardon he has offered Great, the welcome that I receive Boldly, I approach my Father Clothed in Jesus’ righteousness There is no more guilt to carry It was finished upon that cross
Death was once my great opponent Fear once had a hold on me But the Son who died to save us Rose that we would be free indeed! Death was once my great opponent Fear once had a hold on me But the Son who died to save us Rose that we would be free indeed! Yes, He rose that we would be free indeed!
Free from every plan of darkness Free to live and free to love Death is dead and Christ is risen! It was finished upon that cross Onward to eternal glory To my Saviour and my God I rejoice in Jesus’ victory It was finished upon that cross It was finished upon that cross It was finished upon that cross
Priscilla P. Penny
The International President
ICGB 2022 – Equipping Workshops
On Saturday 2nd April 2022 Girls’ Brigade International will be running 4 workshops as part of virtual ICGB.
These are open to all GB members.
All of the sessions can be booked via Eventbrite here.
1 – Governance – a tool or a straight jacket – 1pm GMT+1
Facilitated by Ms. V Aitchison.
Vivienne joined GB at the age of 7years and, through the witness of faithful local leaders, gave her life to Christ at a GB camp. Passionate for the organisation that brought her to faith Vivienne has served as a volunteer throughout her life first as a local officer and then in District, Regional and National Roles. She was privileged to have served as Girls’ Brigade’s International President from 2014-2018, having been VP for Europe from 2006-2014. Professionally, Vivienne is an experienced headteacher, has been an Inspector of Church Schools and a Headteacher mentor. She is still involved in the training and support of newly qualified teachers as well as in Leadership Development. She has served the local Diocese by providing training for School Governors on such things as understanding their role, running effective meetings and managing change.
This workshop is designed for those serving, or interested in serving at Regional or National levels on executives, governing boards, management committees or similar bodies.
All national leaders/executives are expected to attend.
The importance of using good governance as a tool which ensures both legal compliance and strategic oversight of GB in your country.
It will highlight the Governing Body’s role in maintaining a clear focus on the missional aims of the organisation.
It will provide a check list of good practice to examine the potential and actual effectiveness of your governing body.
It will give Practical tips for the management of effective board meetings.
2 – GB the Advocate – 7am or 1pm GMT+1
Facilitated by Dr. Claire Rush.
Unfortunately the world is still an unfair place for many girls.
Come and join Dr Claire Rush, Vice-President of GB International, to learn how we can be more intentional and strategic in our advocacy skills in Girls’ Brigade. This interactive webinar will equip leaders to understand advocacy and help young women in their GB groups transform injustices in their own communities. It will also introduce the new She Speaks: A Gender Justice resource, a free programme from GB International.
3 – GB in mission – 7am GMT+1
Facilitated by Rev. Dennis Pethers.
Dennis grew up in the East End of London in the UK and for the early part of his life knew nothing of church, Jesus or the Christian faith. He discovered the truth about Jesus while reading ‘Mere Christianity’ sitting on a train outside of London Liverpool Street railway station. Since coming to faith in Jesus, Dennis has always had a passion to see a global movement of evangelism.
Dennis is now the International Pioneer of ‘The Rooftop’ a global movement that is helping churches across the world to ‘Join Jesus in His mission’. They do this as they journey through a process that begins on a rooftop and then helps them to engage with, and make disciples of people who are beyond the walls of the church.
Dennis spends much of his time travelling across the world speaking at conferences and events as well as equipping Christians and churches to communicate the message of Jesus in ways that makes sense to people who ‘don’t know that they don’t know Jesus’. Dennis is a great friend of Girls’ Brigade; he has been national chaplain of GB England & Wales and also spoke at the International Conference of GB in 2018 in Zambia. In addition to his speaking and equipping ministry Dennis is the author of several evangelistic resources and books.
Dennis is married to Lynn and they have three grown up children – Gregg, Scott and Amy. He is a passionate fan of Everton FC and loves to play tennis.
This session will be exploring:
Mission from a biblical perspective
Why are we doing what we are doing?
What are we doing ?…Sharing innovative ways of doing GB
What are some of the things that we can do better and those that we are not doing that we can do?
4 – Fun and games with GB– 1pm GMT+1
Facilitated by the GBI team.
Watch this space for more information.
All of the above sessions need to be booked via Eventbrite here.
Please do not book onto multiple sessions that are running at the same time!
Book before Thursday 31st March to secure your place.
Zoom links for each session will be sent once booking closes.
You can check UK current time and the time in your own country here.
Launch of She Speaks: A Gender Justice resource for GB leaders
This resource was created by GB leaders from around the world including Caitlyn Robinson (GB Australia), Jessie Emms (GB England & Wales), Hannah Morpeth (GB England & Wales), Nelly Banda (GB Zambia) & Ruth Utulu (GB Nigeria) and edited by one of GB International’s Vice-Presidents, Dr Claire Rush. As GB’s Delegation of Hope to the United Nations in 2021, these young women represented GB members and advocated for gender justice by hosting a session at the UN’s Commission on the Status of Women.
This free resource can be used by leaders to facilitate girls and young women (13-25s) and can used at any time during the GB year. Each of the five sessions contains creative activities with a Biblical focus including games, art, team-building, discussions, personal stories and creative prayers. The five sessions include:
Girls in the world today: what is gender justice?
Missing from school: improving girls’ access to education
Being safe: ending male violence against women and girls
Removing taboo: shattering mental health stigma
Girls’ Brigade Raises Hope
The resource also features the voices and stories of young GB members from across the world.
Girls’ Brigade International President Mrs Priscilla Penny from Zimbabwe shares: ‘When Margaret Lyttle established GB in 1893, she was advocating with and for girls. In other words, she was helping shape a different and more hope-filled future for girls. Advocacy – raising hope for girls – is in our DNA. She Speaks features stories of how Girls’ Brigade members across the world are transformers, generations-shapers and hope-bringers! This resource will help enable GB members to challenge injustices in their own community in creative ways and transform lives which will have long-lasting impact.’
The structure of the She Speaks resource is designed to be flexible – it can be used for a one-off GB group meeting (pick and choose the most relevant activity) but it will be most effective when used over a course of five sessions or a residential. This amount of time will empower the young women to understand the issues and will enable them to plan to make a real difference. GB leaders are able to tailor it to the needs and requirements of their GB groups.
Download the new She Speaks: A Gender Justice resource below.