The Gathering – one year on
Published on December 17, 2014
This time last year 120 GB women travelled to South Africa to celebrate GB’s 120 years of action as a Christian mission. They had fun, made friends, shared news and experiences and grappled with their concerns for girls in their countries. And the Gathering story continues. Be inspired by what God is doing in the lives of three of the women who attended – Sam, Natalie and Sarah
Natalie Lawrence, 22, attended The Gathering 2013 as part of the South Africa planning team.
God spoke to me at The Gathering 2013 by…
Calling me to go and make more disciples for Him. I was also amazed by the amount of representatives that were there from places I didn’t even know existed. I left The Gathering 2013 knowing that I have 120 sisters across the world who are praying for me. That’s what drives me in my everyday life.
The last twelve months has been an incredible growth experience…
Where do I start? My spiritual life has grown immensely and I’ve also grown as a leader in my company, district, region and even fellowship. I believe that God has a plan for my life. Therefore when I get asked to do something where I can grow and expand His kingdom, I can’t refuse. I was asked to be the African Fellowship Prayer Wave Co-ordinator and it’s really awesome getting to work with all the countries in my fellowship.
I was also elected by my company to be the Captain starting in January 2015. I’m excited to lead my company forward for the next few years. I was elected as the Commandant for my district as they felt that it was time for someone younger to take over and to learn in the process. This will also start in 2015. I’m quite excited to serve in these new roles and give it my all no matter the difficulties.
Please pray for my future roles in GB and also for my studies. Pray that God will give me the endurance and courage that I need to complete it.
Samantha Cree, 28, attended The Gathering 2013 as part of the GB England & Wales team and was a District Team Leader in her local area. You can read her reflections of The Gathering 2013 here.
God spoke to me at The Gathering 2013…
Through messages and images of the hands collage, God reminded me that we’re the hands and feet of Jesus – put on earth to do His work. Our giftings are unique, like our fingerprints. We all bring different things and can serve God in different ways.
My life has changed significantly since The Gathering 2013…
The past 12 months have been very action-packed. The start of 2014 began with much preparation for a lengthy working visit to Australia, a country that holds part of my heart. I was excited to begin this adventure in July by attending ICGB. It was inspirational and lovely to be with my GB family again. After ICGB, I had weeks of travelling before settling in Melbourne. I was reunited with friends, my second GB company and I found a nice job. I was loving life!
But just three months into my trip, God threw me a curveball. GB England & Wales released news that as a result of new government funding, it was looking to employ people to work as full-time development workers in different regions of England and Wales. After doing some project work for GB in a similar role and being so passionate for GB, I knew I wanted to do the job.
This posed a huge challenge for me. I knew that working for GB was my dream job and I’d get to help others, make a difference and transform lives. On the other hand, it meant leaving Australia much earlier than I planned. After much thought and prayer, I decided to go for the job. So, recently, after four and half months in Australia, I returned home to take on my new role as Development Worker for the Durham and the north east of England.
This experience has taught me that God’s plan for us is always bigger than our plan for ourselves!
As I start my new role, please pray that God directs me and helps Girls’ Brigade develop in the places of need.
Sarah Ratcliffe attended The Gathering 2013 as part of the GB Australia team.
God spoke to me at The Gathering by…
Challenging me to accept myself for who He created me to be. He also encouraged me to help my girls and leaders at GB to accept themselves as God created them, and to see their value as a person. We live in such a crazy mixed-up world with so many messages telling us who we should be. Sometime it can be hard for me to understand my own true value and worth. I’m so grateful that God spoke to me at The Gathering about revealing how He values me.
2014 has been full of blessings and challenges!
Just over 11 weeks ago my life was changed in so many ways. Unfortunately I fell and fractured my back on 17 September 2014. The Sunday before this, I gave my life back to Jesus and I’m so glad that I did. I went to circus training on an ordinary Wednesday night for a little bit of fun and to escape my own reality of being crazy busy. It was just a normal crazy fun night when everything changed so quickly. At first I was learning a new drop (which I chose) then I was lying on the ground scared to death after I took a fall from at least two metres. Laying there unable to breathe or talk and in a world of pain I was scared!
I remember people asking me questions. One of the things that I remember the most is my teacher never left my side and comforted me when I needed it the most. The night was long and scary. I went for scans of all sorts to find out I had fractured my vertebrae and was so lucky to be walking still. God was definitely watching out for me. What was to come taught me that I can’t do everything on my own. God taught me that it’s ok to ask for help because it takes a lot of strength to do life on your own but even more strength to ask for help. In the hospital, He reminded me just how blessed I am – I could still walk and I had people to care for me. This experience really changed the way I see life. I don’t know how I would have gotten through it without my friends and family. I’m so thankful for them.
Please continue to pray for a full recovery.