Life is full of divine appointments. Sometimes our goals aren’t specific, but more about striving to make our life matter. I recently experienced this first-hand.
I have had the honor of being in the first-ever GoalFriends group which started eight years ago! Today, I have the privilege of being GoalFriends’ Director of Global Expansion. Our global mission is having women in all 195 countries around the world experience the power of GoalFriends.
Imagine women from all walks of life, from every economic status, having the opportunity to set and reach her goals! Naturally, a woman in Ethiopia or Haiti will have much different goals than her sister in Germany or Hong Kong. But, our GoalFriends workbook crosses all boundaries. Every woman around the world can aspire to “step into their greatness” and enjoy the support of their GoalFriends!
I’m inspired by our global mission because of my past career experience. I have worked as a consultant with faith-based organizations in Asia and the Pacific Islands. In addition, I have worked with similar organizations in Africa and Europe. Over the years, GoalFriends Founder Darlene Whitehurst and I have dreamed about possible global expansion channels. We discussed options such as nongovernment organizations (NGOs), military women, American consulates, American Women Clubs, American international schools, international churches, international university students studying in the U.S., and more! However, we both wanted to be patient and ensure GoalFriends would have the infrastructure for global expansion.
Earlier this year, I felt that my career trajectory was going to change. However, I didn’t know how it was going to change. I made the decision not to take any project work in March. Instead, I was going to focus on the future. I prayed, read and spent time thinking about what might be next. Amazingly, on March 28, 2018, I got a call from Darlene who said the magic words we’ve both wanted to hear for so long, “Gina, we’re ready! The infrastructure is built. GoalFriends has created a non-profit foundation: GoalFriends Global Foundation. Would you consider being the first Director of Global Expansion for GoalFriends?” My reaction: “Are you kidding me? Yes, Yes, Yes!”
Sometimes it’s all about timing.
Little did Darlene know; the timing was perfect. My husband and I had already planned on visiting four Asian countries to meet with NGO workers and missionaries. So, within the first month, I had made contact with women interested in starting groups in the following countries: the Philippines, Taiwan, Vietnam and Thailand! Currently, we have GoalFriends groups in Romania, Nigeria, and Australia. I’m happy to report that through them, we have more interested contacts in more countries!
I hope you all can see the potential in our GoalFriends expansion. I envision Muslim women in Saudi Arabia sitting on the floor, sharing a meal, with GoalFriends workbooks beside them. Imagine a woman in the Congo excited about reaching her goal of purchasing a goat to start her micro-business. I can see women in Hong Kong meeting in a sky-rise apartment laughing together. Also, I’m visualizing international students here in the U.S. being in a group, and then starting one in their home countries after graduation!
Getting input from these women is vital to our growth and sustainability globally. Through the GoalFriends Global Foundation, we now have a funding source to help launch groups around the world. We are also able to explore exciting initiatives including connecting our U.S GoalFriends groups with overseas GoalFriends group so both can grow and learn from each other.
GoalFriends, if you would like to help get a group started overseas or sponsor a country, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. To start a group, we only need a minimum of six women. I believe that in time, we will indeed be in 195 countries!
Director of Global Expansion, GoalFriends