Farewell to GCU
This summer, across the UK and Northern Ireland, thanksgiving services were held to mark the end of the Girl Crusaders’ Union (GCU) after 95 years of faithful work evangelising and discipling young women.
The London service, held at Greycoat School, Victoria, saw around 200 former GCU girls, together with leaders, prayer partners and friends, come together to hear testimonies of how the Lord had blessed the mission, and to give thanks for the work.
There were people from Lancashire, Ireland, Glasgow and even Pakistan gathered to sing praises to God for the impact that GCU has had on many lives.
First established in 1915, the mission started to go into schools and bring young girls into contact with the Bible. Many of these were converted and found a calling to the mission field. More than 800 missionaries went out from among GCU ‘alumni’ during those years.
One of those missionaries was Dr Helen Roseveare, who served for 20 years in the Congo and endured suffering during the Simba rebellions. Now an author and speaker and last ever president of the GCU, she gave a moving speech via DVD to the attendees at the thanksgiving service.
She said, ‘It was a shock to hear that there were no applications from young women wanting to become leaders. It was a heartbreak. And yet we must look forward not backwards. God has already planned good works for us to do, as Ephesians 2:8-9 says’.
In addition to Scripture readings, prayers and worship, two women gave personal testimonies at the London service – Anne Taylor, who has worked for GCU for 22 years since 1988; and Mrs Myers, who was converted through the GCU and has been until lately a missionary in Japan.
The speaker for the London event was Rev. Roger Carswell, a long-time friend of GCU and a member of the joint council of reference for the mission. He gave a talk based on Romans 16 – the litany of ‘thanks’ to a host of people whose help to Paul may have been small in the world’s eyes, but for which the apostle was so grateful.
Mr Carswell said, ‘There is significance in every life lived and in every deed done. Importantly, there is significance in every soul saved’.
Poignantly, the last GCU camps, this Easter and Summer, heard of many souls saved as young girls made a stand for Jesus. The GCU may be at its end, but God’s work still goes on.