International Women's Day: Jocelyn Thomson on long phone calls and showing others they're valued | Women

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International Women's Day: Jocelyn Thomson on long phone calls and showing others they're valued

Posted March 3, 2021

Jocelyn Thomson is the Home League Secretary for The Salvation Army Upper Hutt, and her time leading over COVID saw her needing to make space for the older women and vulnerable in her community. As short phone calls became longer as 'COVID loneliness' set in, Jocelyn set aside her expectations and sought to meet the women where they were - so that they might know their value in Jesus through space she made for them.

We invite you to download and share this and our other International Women's Day testimonies with your community (link below). The following is a transcript from the video:

My name is Jocelyn Thomson and I am the Home League Secretary at the Upper Hutt Corps in Wellington.

When the first COVID lockdown hit last year, the ladies were generally very disappointed that we couldn't get together and hold our meetings. Fellowship for the ladies is just as important as the content of the meeting itself and the sound of a lively chatter is wonderful. So when COVID stopped our get-togethers, I got someone to help me ring round to tell them we were all in recess. 

The first week was easy: nice and cheery, each call was about five minutes long on average. 

The next week, the calls got longer and COVID loneliness was settling in. 

By the last week of ringing around, some of the phone calls were now forty minutes long.

It took me three days to ring everyone. It was full-on pastoral care. But it was worth it. 

I knew in my heart that even though I was tiring from it all, the ladies knew they were valued, they were special and they were missed. They came back to Home League in a good space and I know how blessed I am to have been able to make space for them  - and to continue to minister and lead them in whatever way I can.
Thankfully, the second lockdown was nowhere near as long for me and the ladies - and now we're in lockdown again.

Over the Christmas holidays when our officers were on furlough, my husband and I led a Sunday meeting and I spoke about Esther and the words ‘For such a time as this’.

Maybe I am now Home League Secretary ‘for such a time as this’. To make space, to listen, encourage and to continue to nurture my ladies so that they walk in the knowledge that not only someone here on earth values and loves them, but that even as they grow older they can walk daily in the knowledge that God loves them too.

We're celebrating International Women's Day by sharing women's testimonies of leadership during COVID in New Zealand, Fiji, Tonga and Samoa Territory. We will be releasing new videos daily, and joining a worldwide video montage on The Salvation Army International Social Justice Commission's Facebook Page on March 8th. We invite you to share and view these stories with your community, to amplify their voices!