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A Season of Transition


35 years ago when Jackie was a student at ETSU we could not have guessed that she would become one of GFC’s first missionaries and serve so effectively through these decades. Gifted in developing other leaders, Jackie has spent the last seven years in South Africa with CRU. While there, she helped launch a growing ministry to fatherless children – Hope of Glory. This is now her major focus of ministry. We look forward to see the fruit God will bring in this new chapter of her life!

 

It was June 2011 when I first sensed in my spirit that I would soon embark on “a season of transition.” This movement wasn’t new to me because throughout my career it had become a regular part of my experience.

But this particular “shift” would be one that would surprise many. On January 5, 2015, I retired from 32 years of employment with CRU (formerly called Campus Crusade for Christ). No, it wasn’t for any negative reasons that I left. I had come to a point where I had finished the various tasks I had been doing and felt it was time for those indigenous leaders in the South African ministry I had been developing to step up and be given an opportunity to lead.

In the late 2011, several realities had surfaced that would become my new ministry opportunities. Firstly, my father was declining in health as a result of his diabetes. We knew as a family that due to his diabetic neuropathy he’d eventually be wheelchair bound and would need total care. Secondly, in partnership with one of my disciples, I had launched an after-school program involving evangelism and discipleship to orphans and at-risk kids in a rural area north of Pretoria. This program is called Hope of Glory Ministries. As of January 5, 2015, both my father and Hope of Glory are my current ministry focus!

As I look back over the past 32 years of serving in full time ministry I can see how all my experiences, training, travels, and mistakes have prepared me for what I’m doing now. I would never have guessed I’d be helping take care of my dad on a regular basis when I’m in town/country. Nor had I ever imagined I’d be the co-founder and co-director of a ministry in South Africa and the US. But I do know that God’s sovereignty is such that in this season and with the ministry opportunities I’m engaged in, He will use them to continue to transform me into the image of His son Jesus Christ.

Recently, I’ve been thinking about how Jesus didn’t come to be served but to serve. Serving others has never been a strength of mine. Honestly, I don’t know if it will ever be. But I know that I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me (Philippians 1:13). Meditating on this verse, along with many others, has truly allowed me to experience a different level of walking in the power of the Holy Spirit moment by moment (Ephesians 5:18).

I’m thrilled and excited about this new journey and adventure of mine. As I walk by faith I’m looking forward to “being led more by Jesus and to lead more like Jesus in order to lead more to Jesus!” (Quote from Arrow Leadership Ministry)

 


Jacqueline Bland

 


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