|Once in a lifetime opportunities|
|Thursday, 19 July 2012 08:05|
It's easy to worry about time, money and the stress of organising when unusual opportunities come our way - but sometimes we just have to go for it, writes Sally Claydon
'Would you be interested in bringing a group of girls to take part in the opening ceremony of the Baptist World Alliance Congress?'
Unfortunately this phone call didn't occur in 2010 when the location was Honolulu - the date was July 2005, the location was Birmingham and my initial reaction was 'No, sorry, the girls will be at school that day...'
I put the phone down and then reconsidered. It's challenging enough getting the day off school for one child, let alone a group of them, but it had to be worth a shot. Thankfully the headmaster of our local junior school was in agreement - 'It's a great opportunity, I have no problem in them having the day off school.'
So, 17 youngsters were able to enjoy a fantastic day out, not only joining in with Baptists from around the world, but parading in front of them with banners representing each country.
One of the things I love about being involved in an organisation like Girls' Brigade is the number of wonderful opportunities we've been able to present to the girls and leaders alike.
In June one of our young adult leaders was able to represent GB as a volunteer for the Queen's Jubilee river pageant; we've taken several groups to the youth enclosure for a bird's eye view of trooping the colour, and the cherry on the royal icing had to be when we were invited to be there for last year's royal wedding.
We held a competition within our group to select who could go and three Juniors created spectacular scrapbooks detailing their knowledge of the royal family and their desire to witness this special occasion. For one girl it was her first trip to London and the excitement was palpable.
The day was superb, especially having 'front row' positions to view the processions. The joy of walking down The Mall and managing to position ourselves in front of Buckingham Palace for the appearance of the happy couple will stay with me forever - such precious memories.
Grabbing once in a lifetime opportunities just has to be done. This month (July) four of my girls will be flying to Kosova to work with GB and Smile International. They'll have the opportunity to work with local children, witnessing the aftermath of conflict and the day-to-day impact of poverty.
As a GB group we had to raise a lot of money in order to send them, but I encouraged the girls not to let money be a barrier. The fundraising in itself has presented new opportunities too - to take the lead in organising events, liaising with their schools and speaking in front of groups.
When opportunities come our way it's so easy to worry about time, money and the stress of organising. However I'm convinced that each opportunity grabbed on behalf of my girls is worth it - all I can do then is encourage them to go for it!
Sally Claydon is Girls' Brigade team leader at 1st Hawkwell group, based at Hawkwell Baptist Church, Rochford, Essex. She is writing a monthly column about the Girls' Brigade for The Baptist Times.
By A Web Design
Christians who do not go to church - the fastest growing sector of the Christian community. But their experiences are largely unknown.
Related: Eve's story about leaving the church... John Rackley wonders what a simpler church might look like.
The relationships between local authorities and faith groups are documented in a new report
Even if good always triumphs, children's TV programmers seem more at ease supping with the devil than rejoicing with Christians. Should children's TV make more of the Bible?
New: The June edition of Baptist Voice is ready to download - or to listen (new option)
The Baptist Times produces weekly news round-ups. Click here for more on these free emails.
A new section highlighting how the Baptist Union of Great Britain is changing its way of working.
BMS World Mission
News and views from around the world
Download the latest monthly audio magazine. Produced as a ministry to those who are blind or have impaired vision.
The church planting arm of the Baptist Union of Great Britain
News and views from the 18-30s - the website of the Baptist Younger Leaders' Forum
Baptist Times link on your site
Connect your church website to The Baptist Times by adding this button.
By Plimun Web Design