For the 50th anniversary of GEMS this year, the girls’ clubs focused on Micah 6:8, learning together about what it means to act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with God.
Now GEMS is taking the “Walk the Micah Road” theme a literal step farther. GEMS leaders in 23 communities across North America are hosting an intergenerational walk-a-thon.
“The ‘Walk the Micah Road Experience’ is designed to bring families together to see clearly the injustices in our world and understand that each person can truly make a difference,” said Jan Boone, executive director of GEMS.
Along each walking route, girls and their families encounter three learning stations—one to coordinate with each of God’s directives in Micah 6:8. At the stations, participants can stop and get hands-on as they learn about orphans, poverty, and victims of natural disaster, as well as practical ways to reduce waste by recycling and reusing items in their homes.
Mary Jo Vis, a GEMS leader from Hope Community Christian Reformed Church in Riverside, Calif., helped to host an event with more than 160 participants from 10 churches.
“I think seeing the stations and experiencing each activity helped girls see, touch, and feel the concepts they learned throughout the year at GEMS,” she said. “The families and other visitors also learned a lot about how people in other parts of the world live, how much waste we have here, how wealthy we really are in North America, and what we can do to make a difference, even though we are just one person.”
Fostering change is another objective of the walk. The goal is to teach girls that they can actively make a difference for God’s kingdom—right here, right now. At each event, walkers are presented with various ways to get involved in God’s work, to truly be God’s hands and feet by acting justly, loving mercy, and walking humbly with him.
“The participation was awesome,” noted Evelyn Tilstra, a GEMS leader from Maranatha Christian Reformed Church in Woodstock, Ontario. “I know for myself I have a whole new picture and understanding of [Micah 6:8]. . . . Now I’m praying and waiting for how God wants to use me. It was a beautiful, awesome, God-glorifying day!”
Walkers raised pledges. A portion of the proceeds will remain in each community, while a portion will go toward the Esther School that GEMS is building in Zambia.