I want to use this time to give a tribute to another special angel heaven-sent to ensure that this pilgrim wouldn’t get lost in the journey. Her name is Josephine Boakye-Mensah and I have faithfully promised not to show her photo here. Although Josephine is her name on our first encounter she informed that she is from royal lineage from her people back in Ghana. Noting her somewhat regal posture and disposition (she is very polite … at first) I immediately recognised my place and referred to her since as Her Majesty (HM for the benefit of this article).
HM works at the North Staffs YMCA as you know I do and was there before I started by about a year or something silly like that. Today (OK technically its yesterday but I just missed the deadline! Sue me!) HM celebrates her birthday and I want to mark the occasion with this tribute to the outstanding qualities and characteristics of this angel.
It is so important to build good relationships in organisations wherever you can find them. In fact when Jesus was commissioning His apostles He informed them that they should look to knock about with a person of peace. Likewise in this challenge of CSD work at the YMCA I needed a person of peace on whom I could depend – HM fitted that bill and more. What has marked the relationship has been her openness, ear to hear, mouth to talk where necessary and heart to really appreciate what’s being shared with her. I’ve often just used opportunities to pour out my heart on certain frustrations and challenges and she has not been judgemental or condemnatory. She hasn’t sought to push her own agenda or side-step the issue, but given me the space to explore the issue and share some of her own insight where needed. She doesn’t have to agree with me either and our frank difference of opinion invigorates the relationship. Not only that but through her I was able to start a relationship with the church in which she is a key member and that has been so refreshing and fulfilling for me.
HM is a good friend in the sense of not only being someone there for me to off-load but also being able to share issues she may have as well. That reciprocal nature of the friendship has made me trust her arguably more than I trust anyone at the YMCA and there are some really quality individuals who work there (remind me to tell you about Simon Lovatt – now there’s a man of peace). When you can talk to someone in confidence and likewise be able to offer room to share in the selfsame confidence good things can come out of that for all parties concerned and that has been the case in the time that HM has had angelic oversight over me.
She has a great sense of humour – she knows when to at least give the impression that she may have laughed at my jokes if it wasn’t for the fact that she’s royalty and it wouldn’t be the done thing to laugh. She has a great sense of discretion. She has bags of wisdom for situations and is gifted in areas of administration and encouragement when she wants to.
In fact I get excited considering all the servant-hearted efforts she puts in, it will be quite something when she identifies for herself the specific vocation that God has in store for her. I know with her real growing relationship with God that she will be a power-house for letting the love of Christ shine through her even more than she presently is. That is my one heart’s desire for an angel who has been so kind and generous to me that she will receive favour from God that will illuminate the path she should take to further her walk with Him and also enlighten her to the other gifts that she has for the task at hand.
She is a blessing to my children who have all met her and rightly acknowledged her royalty (well Abigail still has to get used to that, but then she still has to get used to me actually being dad and not someone she just says ‘no’ to a lot). She is a great blessing to the North Staffs YMCA. I thank God for friends like her and trust that she likewise will be blessed with the angelic support which she has selflessly offered to me.
For His Name’s Sake