Cheering you on: Petra from Zambia.

Published 22/04/2014 by Petra Chikasa

Thank you!

The GB Gathering 2013

It is hard to believe that it has been FOUR months since The Gathering 2013. How are you getting on? How have you shared your experience? What is God doing through you? Petra from Zambia got in touch with us.

petra1The Gathering has truly transformed me, particularly The Because I’m a Girl Challenge. I’ve been blessed to be born into a home where I can go to school and be educated. I’m very passionate about education so I did a small survey to find out how much it would cost to send a girl to school that can’t manage because of financial circumstances. It broke my heart to know it is as little as $40/year for primary education and some people can’t even afford that. So my friend and I have been saving up some money and when we have what we feel is enough, we will help as…

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Because I’m A Girl…. In Zambia (I Have The Right To Feel Safe)

Published 17/02/2014 by Petra Chikasa

Many girls like me face the challenge of not being able to express themselves as freely as boys would because they fear that they may be seen in an immoral light or become a victim of our patriarchal society.

Women and girls are not free to wear short dresses or skirts during the summer for the fear of being stripped in public which is a very common practice in my country, sadly some women are usually in the forefront of these cruel practices. They believe that when a girl steps out of the house in shorts it means she wants men to see her body, so they strip her in public to “help” her achieve her goal.
Many times when a girl is rapped, the first question she is asked is, “what did you do??” It is almost always assumed that as a girl there is be something that you must have done. The victim is the one who is blamed. Questions like “why did you wear that dress?” “Why do you walk like that?” Are often asked. Excuses are always found for men who rape girls. Why doesn’t anyone ask the rapist “why couldn’t you control yourself” “what if this was your sister/daughter?”.

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There is a myth in my country and most sub-Saharan Africa that if one sleeps with a virgin then they are cured of HIV and AIDS.

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This has increased the number of defilement cases in my country. Girls are not safe in their own homes,Sometimes young girls are even defiled by their own fathers. Even though Civil Society, The Church & Girls Brigade are doing a lot to sensitize society about the rights of girls, there is still a lot to be done!

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Between 2011-2013 there were many stories that were reported in the media of young girls that would be attacked, killed and the skin of their face peeled off as well as their private parts removed. This it was believed was being done by a group of men as a satanic ritual for people to become rich quick. A lot of young girls were afraid to go out in the evening or out with friends. I for example would have my dad pick me up everyday until the stories had died down.

Being a girl in my country is not easy. There a many challenges that one has to face. Young people need to rise to understand their world, society and rights and well as the laws of the country and advocate for a more girl friendly world.
Inspite of all these challenges that girls go through, Girls Brigade Zambia offers a safe space as well as programs that bring hope and transformation to many young girls by enabling them to find their true worth and potential. The outreach programs embrace girls of all background irrespective of their social or economic status. It is a true sisterhood movement that reaches across the four corners of the country, changing lives of young girls.
The future is bright for every girl who passes through girls brigade because they are really touched by the experience of finding God’s love and grace and having their lives fulfilled!
GB is truely a movement of transforming girls lives Inside Out

The A-Z of The Gathering 2013

Published 08/01/2014 by Petra Chikasa

R 😊

The GB Gathering 2013

It is hard to believe that it has been a month since we first joined together as a community at The Gathering 2013. Have you had a chance to reflect on the legacy of The Gathering 2013 in your life? Reflection is crucial as a growing disciple; God uses it to refine, challenge and transform us.

 
Here’s our A-Z Reflection of The Gathering 2013. We hope that it makes you smile as your remember some fantastic moments and also challenges you to go deeper with God and put into practice some of the thing that you learnt.

 
A – Arrival day
One month ago today, the venue of The Gathering 2013 was being reawakened by your voices and footsteps. The air was full of excitement and anticipation. Can you remember how you felt? What your hopes for the week were? For the planning team, it was amazing to…

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THE GB GIRL DECLARATION

Published 03/01/2014 by Petra Chikasa

Glad to have been a part of this!

The GB Gathering 2013

tEAM 2

Yesterday, the International President tasked us to explore this question:

For GB to continue to transform lives from the INSIDE OUT for the next 120 years, what does GB globally need to reflect on, discuss and action?

We explored this question and articulated a response according to our giftings – posters, collages, presentations, creative writing and drama. Excitingly one group decided to create The GB Girl Declaration which could be brought to ICGB for discussion. Here is the first draft – it will give you goosebumps!

        I am NOT just any girl, I am a GB Girl

We were not given TALENTS and GIFTS to be invisible. We have TALENTS that we will use.

We want to be known and loved, for to be known is to be loved and to be loved is to be known.

To shine and show how the spirit of GOD is working in our community.

I CAN…

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Inside Out: Being An Influence

Published 10/12/2013 by Petra Chikasa

20131210-123810.jpgIn learning to become women of excellence today we had a very interesting discussion. It was really fast so I tried my best to get as much as I could to share with you guys.
Our main scriptures of focus were 1st Timothy 3:1 and Philippians 1:9-12.

For spiritual growth and greater levels of maturity, scriptures often calls us to abound or excel in Christian character.

How can you be a good leader?
*A quest for superiority- keep on growing!
*Prayer is important- always seek Gods guidance
*Do Not be limited by the nature of the task- go out of your way! Think outside the box
* put in your best! Not mediocrity – not perfection- not just seeking to impress.

“I am careful not to confuse excellence with perfection. Excellence , I can reach for; perfection is Gods business” Michael J Fox

Definition
Extremely good
Outstanding
Exalted merit
Distinction
Brilliant
Exceptional
Excel
To go beyond
To surpass

Christian excellence
Ecclesiastes 9:10

What qualities do we need?
*Diligence
*Commitment
*Dedication
*Faithfulness
*Loyalty
*Sincerity
*Perseverance
Also…
Be prepared
Be equipped
Be informed
Have background experience and insight
Be called by the Holy Spirit

“It is not what he has, or even what he does which expresses the worth of a man, it is what he is” Henri Frederic Amiel

What is expected of us?
To do our utmost, to do our best, to make every effort, to try, to do all we can to go the extra mile; to surpass, to empower ourselves!
To have the proper attitude
Remain humble

Life is all about choices
We all face a myriad of choices daily- about careers, home, love, marriage, children , life in general .these are all influenced by cultural expectations of how women are supposed to be.
Many of us are programmed to believe that we don’t have the power to chose what we want

We do!
We can move beyond the prescribed limits, constraints and restrictions placed upon us by others.

We can!
It’s difficult to see a bright side of a difficult situTion. It’s difficult not impossible! We are powerful enough to move beyond barriers I order to do the impossible when WE choose to. Iris in each one of us!

Why do we fear?
Some of the answers given were failure, feeling like we aren’t good enough, laziness etc
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It our light not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented? Actually who are we not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not save the world! There is nothing enlightening about shrinking to other people so that they don’t feel insecure around us. We are meant to shine as children do. We are born to make the manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of. Us, it is in all of us. And as we let our light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. as we are liberated from. Our fear, our presence automatically liberates us”

Do we choose to be satisfies with the least?
Do we strive to render our best at all times?

We are each responsible for own lives through the choices we make.
Deuteronomy 30:19

The most important Traits of a good leader
*Faith
*Love
*Relationship with God
*Be an example
*Prepare to sacrifice
*Be humble
*Be inclusive

How do we equip ourselves?
*Attend meets regularly
*Use opportunities to attend workshops, presentations, talks, devotions etc
*Prepare yourself
*Ask if not sure
*Be prepared
*Be honest

“hold yourself responsible for a higher standard than anybody expects of you. Never excuse yourself” Henry Ward Beecher (I love this one)

How do we prepare ourselves?
*Pray about it
*Research
*Make notes
*Be informed
*Gain experience

“With regard to excellence, it’s not enough to know, but we must try to have Nd use it” Aristotle

“If you are going to achieve excellence in big things, you must develop the habit in little matters” Colin Powell

“Excellence is to do a common thin in an uncommon way” Booker T Washington

Always have a plan B! Sometimes in life things go well , other times not so well and a good leader always has a backup plan for the rainy days.
God bless and let go God transform you from the INSIDE OUT into a woman (or man) of influence

Inside Out: The A21 Campaign: Abolishing Human Trafficking In The 21st Century

Published 09/12/2013 by Petra Chikasa

20131209-152548.jpg Todat at The Gathering we were blessed to have a representative from the A21 campaign, Katie Sheel give us some insight on human trafficking. My heart broke and I feel like not only as a Christian but as a human being I NEED to do something!

Human trafficking is alive and kicking and each one of us can do something to help a victim or prevent ourselves from being one. Here are a few numbers that will blow tour mind.
There are currently 27 billion slaves in the world which by the way is a higher number than when slavery was legal. Out of 27 billion only 1% is rescued 😦

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How to spot trafficking
Recruitment
opportunities. If something is too good to be true it probably is! Jobs that don’t require any experience but are willing to fly you walk way across the world shout be a major red flag!

Transportation
If something requires you to be transported from one point to another, that should raise a red flag! Recruiters or traffickers take you far away so that you are away from your support system, from familiarity and then become vulnerable and begin to rely on them.

Exploitation
Contrary to popular belief Trafficking isn’t only about taking girls and turning them into sex slaves, it’s also about forced labour, domestic servitude, street begging or peddling, removal of organs/ body parts, children trafficked for adoption, forced marriage. So both men and women need to be aware and alert at all times!

How to protect yourself (& others)
– does it seem too good to be true?

Research!– ask the right questions! If you get a job opportunity that requires you to travel to another country, find out as much as you can! Visit the country’s embassy and ask about that company.

Talk to someone! – get advice! Explain your situation to people you trust and get their opinion! Get as much advice as you can

Call a hotline– call the company and find out what they do, what they are about and as much information as you can.

This is just a short blog with very limited information but if you want to know more visit theA21campaign you’ll find so much information on what you can do and how tou can help.

20131209-174719.jpgsome of the things we can do to help stop human trafficking.

Be aware and take care of yourself and each other. God bless!

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Inside Out: My Little Tree

Published 07/12/2013 by Petra Chikasa

I have never really taken time to think about what kind of relationship I have with God. Today I was blessed enough to have bible study with some amazing girls from different parts of the world.
I was challenged to define my relationship with Him, something for reasons not known, I am (was) afraid to tap into.
I was always the girl that liked to put a label on EVERYTHING! I believed defining something was the easiest way to organize your life and the things/people around you, till I was in a situation where defining something brought more hurt to me than I thought. I have hated labels ever since and have lived my life just “going with the flow” even with God.
After reflecting today I am ready to let go of the fear of labels and publicly declare what the status of my relationship with God is.
Relationship Status : Getting there

20131207-210204.jpgThis tree is how I define my relationship with God, it’s a tree that hasn’t blossomed to its fullest but it still has some of it’s leaves, the winds comes and blows some of the good leaves out but it never stays empty, from season to season the leaves increase and decrease.
I don’t know if if there are people that have a full beautiful tree through out the year, if there are, I pray and aspire to be like them, to have a great relationship with God always.
My prayer is that I always walk with God Feeding my heart and soul with things that will make my leaves grow, and stay fresh! God is the pillar that holds my life together.
I’m not perfect, my tree isn’t full but that’s okay because God isn’t done with me yet!