GEMS Girls’ Clubs Leadership Update

January 2024

Dear GEMS club leaders, ministry friends, and supporters,

Thank you for being a valued part of the GEMS community. I’m writing on behalf of the Board of Directors to let you know of Cindy Bultema’s resignation as GEMS Executive Director as of May 31, 2024. Although the Board was not anticipating this development, we are prayerfully adjusting to what Cindy has discerned to be God’s will, trusting Him to guide her and the ministry too. He is faithful!

We have been incredibly blessed by Cindy as our ED for the past nearly seven years. During her time at GEMS, she has grown the ministry to reach further than ever, embracing the rich foundation established by all those who came before, and creating additional resources to share the Good News with girls today. Because of her visionary leadership, GEMS has produced five new club curriculums since 2018 and exciting, girl-friendly resources like the Shine Brightly Box. In 2022, she initiated the launch of our ReFyne app: a welcoming, safe, and fun digital space to help tween girls truly shine. And in 2023, Cindy oversaw the start of GEMS as its own non-profit and the move into a new and larger office space. All along the way, Cindy has generously used her gifts to further the mission of GEMS, introducing the ministry to many partners and supporters, and determined that girls everywhere need to know Jesus!

Note from Cindy:

Hi friend

It was almost exactly 7 years ago that God provided a “plot twist” on my faith journey and called me to GEMS Girls’ Clubs. I’ll never forget the pure delight of joining a ministry impacting the lives of literally thousands and thousands of girls around the globe!

Although it’s hard to pick the favorite part of my role (Visiting clubs? Assisting with Conference? Reading letters from girls – and their grown-ups – who finally understand they are LOVED by God?), one of my greatest joys has been getting to work alongside amazing leaders like you. I’ve enjoyed many precious moments connecting, praying, and serving together as we invest in this “GEMeration” of girls. Your unwavering commitment to reach today’s girls – even in the midst of a global pandemic – has been truly life changing.

But after nearly 7 years at GEMS, God has made it clear that my time on staff at GEMS is complete. As I prepared for the official ribbon-cutting in our new GEMS office space last fall, I sensed God whisper “that ribbon is actually your finish line.” My husband John and I began a season of intense prayer and discernment, alongside our family and community. (It is not easy to step away from a ministry one adores.) Although the decision was not easy or hasty, I have confidence in God’s leading and fully trust Him as I share that my last day at GEMS will be on May 31, 2024.

I have no doubt that the GEMS ministry will continue to flourish! Thanks to the amazing GEMS staff, the very dedicated Board of Directors led by Grace Moes, thousands of GEMS leaders, hundreds of partnering churches, and countless GEMS friends, the ministry is in strong, capable hands. Most importantly, God’s hand has been on the GEMS ministry for 66 years. We can be confident He has good plans for the future of GEMS.

Thank you for the gift of sharing this season together. As GEMS continues moving forward to help Girls Everywhere Meet the Savior, please know I will be praying for you every step of the way.

Serving Jesus Together,

Cindy Bultema

PS Always remember: you are LOVED (1 John 3:1).

On behalf of the GEMS Board of Directors, we extend our deep gratitude to Cindy for her passion, work, and service to GEMS and the advancement of our mission to help girls everywhere meet the Savior. She beautifully shines the Light of Christ – we know that she will continue to do great things for the Kingdom! Note that a farewell event honoring Cindy will be held later this Spring – look for more information to be posted here soon.

The GEMS staff and club leaders have been at the forefront of our minds as we have prayed about those most impacted by the news of Cindy’s resignation. To that end, we are grateful to know she will continue serving GEMS in her role as ED and work closely with the Board to ensure a smooth and successful transition until May 31. In the meantime, the Board has engaged a recruitment firm to help us find the next ED to continue the work God initiated some 65 years ago. Thank you for joining us in prayer as we anticipate who He will provide to lead GEMS into the next chapter.

The Board is truly grateful to our GEMS community for your continued support and prayers for this important work and mission. We are confident that GEMS will continue to be the go-to ministry for girls’ spiritual growth and provide life-changing resources for girls and their mentors all over the world.

Serving in His strength,
Grace Moes
Board President

On behalf of the GEMS Board of Directors:
Regina Chari
Darcey Cobbs-Lomax
Linda Haverkamp
Linda Hermen
Kim Hofstra
Debbie Janke
Karen Knip
Megan Taatjes
Mary Jo Vander West