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GEMS Leadership Conference a Summer Highlight


“The conference not only helped me personally in my faith walk but also encouraged me how I can help young girls learn more about God our Savior. I also learned the importance of being a role model to them. I encourage others to consider going next year!”

That was the reaction of one first-time attender at the 44th Annual GEMS Girls’ Clubs Counselors’ Leadership Conference. In July, more than 350 ministry leaders from all across North America gathered in Vancouver, British Columbia, for fellowship and learning.

Keynote speakers Mark Buchanan and Grace Fox, along with singer/songwriter Carolyn Arends, helped bring in to focus the GEMS theme for the upcoming year—“Who’s the Greatest?” based on John 3:30.

Worship was once again led by Colleen Reinders and Grace Moes, who have been faithfully leading worship at GEMS conferences since 1996.

“I really enjoy the praise and worship. This is a place where I feel God’s love. What a blessing to be part of this ministry,” commented one conference attendee.

Counselors also had an opportunity to meet Kathryn Miller, the new executive director of GEMS, both through her presentation and in one-on-one conversations throughout the weekend.

Post-conference tours included whale-watching and touring Butchart Gardens in Victoria, British Columbia.

“The women and GEMS counselors from British Columbia were so welcoming and hospitable. It was a beautiful location to experience the fullness of God!” said conference coordinator Alecia Van Hulzen.

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