Aglow International (Britain)

Margaret's Story

I very quickly realised that these ladies had something which I did not have – a personal relationship with the living God.

Up until four years ago I thought I was living a “Christian” life, attending church every Sunday and trying hard but failing desperately to be a good person during the week.

I was aware that something was changing in my life, I started to think more about God and really questioning if I was a Christian. I even spoke to my minister about this when I attended an Alpha class after being a member of the church for 40 years. More often than not the people attending our church Alpha class are only there to join the church to have their baby baptized and after the service we don’t see them again. I was different, I was there to learn. I had heard about being saved as a child in the mission Sunday school we attended but never in my adult life – even although I had been a Sunday School teacher myself for many years. I really enjoyed the Alpha class and got lots from it not least some new friends in the church who led the course and opened my blinded eyes to the love of Christ. These were two Aglow ladies.

In November 2007 I was invited to attend the Aglow meeting in the Tontine Hotel in Greenock – I had never even heard of Aglow until Isa McFarlane blessed me with this invitation. I enjoyed the meeting, Liz was the speaker and she told us lots about the Aglow ministry. The meeting was so different to my usual Church of Scotland Service – I was curious to know more.

The next month I went to the normal monthly outreach meeting in Greenock, on arrival at the Waterfront Complex I was greeted with such love by the hostesses Vena and Jean. I particularly remember Ruth coming to sit beside me and chat, the seed was sown and God would soon produce the harvest. The praise and worship time at the meeting was awesome. I truly felt God’s presence for the first time that day.

I very quickly realised that these ladies had something which I did not have – a personal relationship with the living God.

I so wanted this, I began to read my bible daily and pray more earnestly. It seemed so different, in the past I had only prayed when things were going wrong and I made all sorts of promises to God that if he did this, I would be a good person and not do wrong again.... and of course as soon as the bad situation was gone, I forgot my promise to God. Now I was praying to thank God for his grace and for not giving up on me. The bible was becoming real to me and it seemed that I was reading it for the first time. I gave my heart to Christ on November 22nd 2008 and received the Baptism of the Holy Spirit on February 15th 2009.

The Saturday after that we had Isobel Hill was speaking at our Aglow meeting and as I got up to leave she said to me God wants you to know that he loves you and this is a kiss from him. This was such a wonderful confirmation for me that I was following God’s will for my life.

At the Aglow meeting in November 2008 Jean Munn got up to speak about membership and she commented that there was a lady in the audience who would have been better to give that talk as she was overflowing with joy at being a part of Aglow – Jean was talking about me, she knew how Aglow had changed me and she also knew my commitment to the ministry. At the time I thought there was no way I would ever be at the front of the room speaking but as we all know God has his wonderful plan for all of our lives.

Shortly after Christmas I was asked to join the board as treasurer – with my background in accounting the role was a good fit but I did have doubts about whether I was good enough for board membership. After a lot of prayer I agreed to accept the role.

I very quickly settled in at the Greenock board and we really felt that we had a great team. At that time Sheila was acting president, she did not feel that President was the right role for her. It never even entered my head that I would be in a position to take up the president’s role. When Hannah approached me I was in total shock but at a meeting with Hannah and Fraser (one of our advisors) everything became clear for me. They asked me the question “Will you step out in faith and be obedient to God “ – of course I would , how could I refuse after all he had done for me. God would equip me for the job he was asking me to do

I took on the role of president in April 2010 and for me it has been a wonderful privilege to serve God in this way.

I suppose I am a bit biased but at Greenock we have a great team. There is a generation of ladies who have been in Aglow since it started – they are an immense support to the board. They are such Godly women and are constantly encouraging us as we grow and never criticise us when we don’t do things their way. 6-8 of these ladies meet on a Thursday morning for prayer relating to Aglow matters- this is a powerful meeting and they have a lot of answered prayer.

Jean Dobbin has volunteered to hold an evening prayer meeting so that those of us who are working have the opportunity to participate in an Aglow prayer meeting. We have felt a strong presence of the lord in these meetings.

Judy Fraser leads our monthly bible study group where we have 8-10 people attending regularly.

I have been to a conference each year since joining Aglow and particularly enjoyed the Training Day and Regional Day earlier this year, the teaching there was first class.

As I grow in Christ I realise that there had been a number of occasions earlier in my life when God was speaking into my life but I did not know the proper response- this is why it is so important for us to invite ladies for prayer, salvation or baptism at each of our meetings. We should never assume that they have that personal relationship with the Saviour.

Aglow has changed my life – through the ministry I have met so many wonderful sisters in Christ. I hope to be a part of Aglow serving my King until he tells me otherwise. I am so excited about what he will do in the conference this weekend. Praise the Lord!