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Celebrating our 140th Anniversary

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Life is a gift. A precious gift…

Tuesday 11th August 2015

From the day we arrive on the planet And blinking, step into the sun There’s more to see than can ever be seen More to do than can ever be done There’s far too much to take in here More to find than can ever be found But the sun rolling high Through the sapphire sky Keeps great and small on the endless round

Now if I told you the next line, you would instantly recognise where these lyrics come from. Some of you may have figured itout already – “It’s the Circle of Life…” from the Lion King. As I have a deep love for Africa you will not be surprised to know it is my favourite West End show of all time. I am writing this the day after the new royal baby was born so the first line is pretty apt too!

Life is a gift. A precious gift. The words above pretty much sum up my philosophy. There is so much to see, so much to do, there’s far too much to take in and there’s more to find than can ever be found… What an amazing creation our God has entrusted us with.

Coming back to Christian youth work is a bit like coming around in the “circle of life” for me – as I started my career (after a few years of fun in the French Alps) at the Methodist Association of Youth Clubs HQ in 1988, having come to faith in Christ at an International Methodist Youth Rally in 1980. In those days I used to chomp at the bit, itching for more travel and an opportunity to “see” more of the world. Well, 30 years on, almost 100 countries visited, I have travelled across the continents and I can say that that itch has been well and truly scratched!

One conversation I had in Sri Lanka last October led me in a way to The Boys’ Brigade. A Buddhist colleague said to me, in the middle of a conversation about my own Christian faith, “It is such a shame that the UK is no longer a Christian country”. How our country needs the BB like never before. I wrote on getting back from Africa two weeks ago: “Home at last. I wish Africa had more of what we have materially, but I wish we had more of what Africa has spiritually. Which is more important? Perhaps they are actually richer than us…”

So here I am. Here to serve you. Here to learn from you. Here to step into Steve’s big shoes and to take forward the great work he did. Here to share my faith and my life’s journey and learn from yours and here to proclaim the brilliant work that the BB does. If you had told me on January 1st I would be taking up a role as CEO and Brigade Secretary this summer, I would have asked, “Are you crazy?” But as that old saying goes, “God works in mysterious ways, His wonders to perform.” Let us all be ready to hear His call to us in the BB.

Do get in touch – I would love to hear from you.

God bless

Andrew Johnston
Brigade Secretary

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