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Journey of Hope
Seasons of Womanhood
Joyful in Hope


Endorsements

Journey of Hope

This is quite simply one of the very best books I have read about Africa. Jean has a remarkable gift of painting pictures in words. You will feel as though you are there, smelling the smells, meeting the people she has met, and sensing something of the heart of God for their needs and situations. In each chapter we are introduced to a person or a couple of people. We enter into their world on their terms, and go away knowing we have been on holy ground. I have long since realized that this particular gift of entering fully into the situation of others, and remembering people in detail, is most often given to women, and am grateful to Jean not only for her having seen situations so clearly, fully and warmly, but for taking the time to share them with us in her profound words.
The Right Rev Harold Millar, Bishop of Down and Dromore

'I loved reading this book. Jean's stories interweave heartache and hope in a way which challenges me about the devastating impact of extreme poverty, inspires me about the response of the global church and enthuses me to become a stronger, more Kingdom orientated Christian.'
Tim Magowan, Northern Ireland Director, Tearfund

God speaks to us primarily through stories. The bible is the great story book. Jean Gibson follows that pattern in these moving accounts of people’s lives in the beautiful and complex continent of Africa . In this ‘journey of hope’ we are introduced with sensitivity and realism to the harshness and joy of those who against ‘the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune’ remain resolute. The God consciousness, which is almost tangible throughout Africa , is captured as each incident and experience is retold with the eyes of faith. When you have read this book you will begin to understand why the grassroots church, often without mission statements or five-year strategies, is not just growing but exploding in this, the Global South. Here you encounter ordinary people who not only believe but who live their lives ‘in step with the spirit’.
The Very Rev Dr Trevor W.J. Morrow, Presbyterian Church in Ireland

Jean Gibson combines her gift of story with her heart of compassion as she bids us listen to some of the people she met when she and her husband, Brian, returned to East Africa for a short visit. What we hear will disturb us. Each person’s true story is filled with challenge, struggle and pain far more intense, even brutal, than most of us in the West will ever have to face. But these are not tales of despair. On the contrary this is a book filled with the faith, hope and love of Christ. We are helped to understand something of the role of those from our culture who go to share as partners in God’s mission in Malawi and Kenya. Even more, we learn afresh from our African sisters and brothers in Christ what it really means to love, follow and trust him.
Rev Donald Ker, Secretary of Conference, Methodist Church in Ireland

“The book Journey of Hope is a raw account that puts a human face to some of the untold real life stories of sacrifice, courage, hope, resilience, faith, empathy and living the gospel. It is also a portrayal of the co-existence of contrasting cultures brought together by a strong belief in God’s faithfulness and social justice.”
Margaret Zondo, Program Administrator, International Ministries, Life & Mission Agency, Presbyterian Church in Canada

Joyful in Hope

 
"Jean Gibson has an extraordinary ability to draw us into the lives of the women  whose stories she tells. I was completely absorbed, touched and challenged by the  way they not only came to terms with a host of difficult situations, but faced them  with courage, dignity and hope. This book is indeed a treasure trove of surprising  joy in unexpected places."
Michele Guinness, author and speaker
 
"In his letter to the believers in Ephesus 2:10, the Apostle Paul wrote, For we are  God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared  in advance for us to do. As Jean traces the story of one courageous woman’s  life after another, she invites us to wonder at the beauty of God’s workmanship  which shapes lives that, in the midst of the brokenness of our world, shine with  His goodness. Read and be inspired to run with perseverance the race that is set  before us."  
Mike Treneer, International President, The Navigators
 
"What a wonderful compilation of personal stories lived in God. As I read, I was  struck again by the faithfulness of this God who breaks into history and into our  own personal histories. Each of these personal stories told so vividly by Jean,  drew me again into the wonder of our God who is at work in the intimate details  of our lives. Our life journeys are times of graced light and graced darkness. Jean’s  book reminds us we live bathed in grace, and it is this that enables us to indeed  live ‘joyfully in hope’"
Sally Longley, Retreat Leader, Spiritual Director and Hon Assoc Minister;  Sydney,  Australia.
 
Encouraged and excited is the way that “Joyful in Hope” has imprinted my life. As  I followed their lives and stories of 8 women I was encouraged by their faithfulness  and hope in Jesus as they faced very difficult family and sometimes life threatening  situations. I was gripped by the sensitive way each story has been written and felt  a bond with these people. I was continually reminded that when we become Christians  God promises to be with us in all situations. He never promises, however, to remove  the trials of the world. In spite of the difficulties faced these people have always  felt God standing beside them every step of the way, pouring compassion on them  even in very dark hours( Psalm 103:13). I found it difficult to put the book down  and saw it as a great encouragement for my Christian walk.  
Julie F. Mathews, Head of Education, Wesley Institute, New South Wales, Australia
 
This book is a story of real women living real lives. It shows us that there is  hope in the midst of despair and that God does give inner strength to cope with  life’s tragedies. It is a reminder that faith in God is the greatest hope we have  - here we see the reality of women whose living faith in Jesus carries them through.
Women everywhere will draw much strength and encouragement from this book.
Caroline Hawthorne, General Secretary, Presbyterian Women
 
An accident, illness or trauma can change our lives in a moment. How would YOU cope?  We are indebted to the individuals who have been willing to be vulnerable and share  their warts and all stories in Joyful in Hope. Jean Gibson's gift of sensitively  documenting these accounts brings hope to all of us that God's grace and comfort  takes many forms.  
John Brown, Operation Mobilisation

Seasons of Womanhood
 
"These personal stories will inspire, challenge, and encourage women in all stages  of life. We journey with these women as they, and we, learn to overcome circumstances  with God's help, finding ultimate peace."
Jean Daly, wife of Jim Daly, President, Focus on the Family, Colorado Springs, CO
 
"I was deeply challenged and encouraged by the stories of these different women.  Their lives speak powerfully of God’s love and faithfulness through some of life’s  most difficult twists and turns. Jean has created a lasting gift by bringing to  us, in such a readable and compelling form, the faith journeys of these courageous  women."  
Chris Treneer, The Navigators, Colorado Springs, CO
 
"If it hasn't happened to you, it has happened to someone you know. Marital strife,  affairs, divorce, illness, depression, substance abuse, civil or cultural upheaval,  death of a loved one, abandonment, loneliness. We have all experienced that moment  of fight or flight. How do we cope? What can be done? Jean Gibson shares the stories  of real women in all seasons of life who have faced trauma and found creative and  courageous ways to not only survive, but to thrive. This is one of those inspiring  books you'll want to share with others."
Deanna Haught Kappelmann, Haught Topics, Dallas, TX
 
"Within the pages of this book are some remarkable stories of some remarkable women."
Di Parsons, Care for the Family
 
"I am delighted to be part of this book. As I look back over my own life and the  lives of the other women here, I am overwhelmed by our God’s supreme faithfulness  and love in every circumstance."
Joanne Hogg, vocalist with Iona
 
"Do read this book! I promise it will inspire you, and that you’ll pass it on to  others. These ten very different women captured my imagination and gave my faith  a real fillip. God is at work in our lives, bringing us a future and a hope." 
Celia Bowring, CARE
 
"There are no celebrities in this book; no guaranteed happy endings, comfortable  career choices or stories of star-struck success. Instead, there are real lives  of real faith in a real God who shows up in the toughest of circumstances for the  most ordinary of women."
Wendy Bray, writer, speaker, author of In the Palm of God’s Hand
 
"Jean Gibson understands what happens when we as women struggle on life’s journey.  As our pasts reflect who we are, our futures are determined by embracing “ Whose”  we are. When you meet Elaine, Suzanne, Pamela, Karen and others in this book, imagine  your own name, with your own stories inserted into the pages. Jean’s writing encourages  all of us to discover what is hiding behind our masks and to find the courage to  remove those masks. Read on with courage and hope!"
Yvette Maher, Focus on the Family, Colorado Springs, CO
 
"This book is a real page-turner! The moving stories of ten women are very varied  and the common thread of hope in Christ through their difficulties, is compelling.  All who read them will be inspired and encouraged."
Fiona Castle, author and speaker, widow of Roy Castle the popular TV entertainer
 
"These stories make it clear that Christians are not exempt from the trials and  tribulations of life. The women in this book have shown their true colours of faith  and courage, and have not given up on God even when there appeared to be no hope.  When life threw ugly darts at them, they found a strength to navigate life with  a confidence that God was there helping them with each step. This book is an inspiration  – read it and be encouraged."
Kay Lucas, Executive Director, Jeff Lucas International Ministries