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Meet our new chairwoman

After many years of faithfully serving our persecuted family, Gavin Wood has stepped down as Open Doors Southern Africa’s chairperson to start a new chapter in his life. We extend our deepest gratitude for his unwavering dedication and leadership, which have been instrumental in guiding our organisation to where it stands today.

As we bid farewell to Gavin, we also warmly welcome Kerusha George as our new chairwoman of the board. Kerusha brings a wealth of experience, passion and fresh perspectives to the role, and we are thrilled to have her leading us into the next phase of our journey.

We are excited to introduce you to Kerusha through a Q&A with her, where she shares a bit about herself, what inspired her to take on this new role and what message she would like to share with you.

Can you tell us a little about yourself and your background?
I am first and foremost a child of God. By way of profession, I am an attorney, conveyancer and notary, born and bred in KwaZulu-Natal.

What inspired you to take on the role of chairperson at Open Doors Southern Africa?
This was not an easy decision to make, given the responsibility and the huge shoes that needed filling. There was much prayer over the role and eventually I left the decision totally up to God. Everything fell into place, with all obstacles being cleared and the road clearly pointing in this direction. When God says you go, you go, with Him leading you.

What are your goals or priorities as the new chairperson?
Prayer, prayer, prayer, for our brothers and sisters in Christ. To support the leadership in the organisation. To hold up a mirror and be a sounding board to the executive director in order to take Open Doors Southern Africa (ODSA) to new and greater heights, for us to fulfil our God-given purpose.

When thinking of our persecuted family, is there an encounter you have had with them that has helped you in your faith journey?
I have travelled to a few countries and each trip has been different and had a different and long-lasting impact on me. I am often reminded of how complacent we can become in countries where we are free to worship, and I often must remind myself to not take our privilege for granted. Seeing our persecuted family laying down their lives literally to serve our Father God has made me change the way in which I serve Him, and my praise and worship is different. One cannot be the same once you have visited our persecuted family.

What message would you like to share with our partners?
Firstly, thank you for partnering with ODSA, be it in the form of prayer and/or financial support. I pray God’s 100-fold blessing over you for partnering with and supporting our persecuted family. Brother Andrew often said that our prayers go where we cannot go, so I encourage our partners to continue to pray for our brothers and sisters. If you ever get an opportunity to do so, I encourage you to take a trip with ODSA. You will never be the same. You travel to be a blessing, but you are the one who also comes back blessed. Thank you once again for your continued support.

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