I would like to introduce you to a vital, warm, encouraging and strong woman, whom I know I am very pleased to call my friend. June Gan-Pain has many roles: she is an Energizer Church board member; Practice manager; qualified accountant; board member/treasurer for Pathways Tasmania; wife and home maker; but her most important job is being a mother to her two children.
June is mother to Rupert, eight, and Isabelle, nine. Her children’s age gap is only nineteen months, which June totally does not recommend, due to the back to back nappies and lack of sleep, but believes is totally worth the effort, as they are the best of friends. Just don’t ask them if they are twins!
June warmly refers to her children as Miss Sunshine and Mr Funny as Isabelle is a happy and fun loving girl and Rupert is a very humorous boy who sees the funny side of everything. June explains “as a mother, every day is a new day, facing new challenges ahead; being with my church family gives me the connection and reinforcement to my faith. For me, the support is crucial, as it take a village to raise a child; my preference is that my church family will help me raise my children.”
June understands that faith is the centre of her being. She strives to lead her life around her faith, to be a better woman. Having read a lot of parenting books, June has gained valuable advice from them, ultimately though her ‘go to’ book is still the principles and teachings in the Bible. Not only is the word of God a good parenting book, it is her comfort, her guidance and her shelter.
June’s favourite part of parenting is to see her two little people enjoy the blessings we receive from Jesus, to appreciate what we have and have compassion for others. June’s maternal heart also flows into other areas alongside her family values; she also loves to empower children in poverty with education, to ensure they are self-sufficient and to shift future generations from poverty. Her heart is for India.
In 2014, by swimming across the River Derwent, June managed to raise much needed money for Vision Rescue, which enabled 12 children to have a hot meal each day and a chance to be ready to attend school.
June was able to gain a greater sense of God in her world through this journey, and the sense that if she is called again to serve the Kingdom in a new way, Jesus is there waiting, swimming beside her. The reward of June’s personal experience far outweighs the money raised. Her bigger challenge lies ahead, and that is to have others feel a greater presence of God, just as she does.
June has also, for the past seven years, been a board member and Treasurer for Pathways Tasmania, a non-profit organisation that operates two supported accommodation services: Launch Youth, which empowers youth without a place to call home, and Live Free Tassie, which helps young men live addiction free. This is an amazing organisation, inspired by a heart for the kingdom of God. Tasmania is truly blessed to have the support of the community for this worthy cause.
June also believes everyone has their role to play in the kingdom of God; each of us is gifted with individual skills and no task is more important than the other. Together we get the job done. June is convinced that her role is to do her part, stay close to God, stay strong with her calling and stand firm in her belief.
June loves that her part in church makes a small difference which, combined with others’ numerous small differences, becomes a big difference. Initially, June volunteered because of her need to be in touch with her skill set while on maternity leave. She never imagined that God would be working through financial statements and turning deficits to surpluses. Time and time again, she saw provisions come at the hardest of times. June has continually seen the faith in others so strong; their continuing commitment humbles her. As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.
June would like to share with us with some advice and encouragement, “To me, serving long term has to come from within; it has to stir a passion. It is a conviction and a calling. Be sure serving is long term and needs to withstand the difficult seasons in order to enjoy the fruit of the good seasons. How do you find that certainty and passion? Talk to people who are currently serving, put your hand up, just give it a go. After committing to it for some time and you find one area is not suitable, have another go at another area. While you are finding your path, you get to build relationships with people with a similar mindset for serving. In doubt, try, try and try again. My advice for motherhood, rather points to remind myself, is not to be too hard on ourselves; we are only human and can only do so much. Do the best we can, the rest: try not to worry so much. We leave that in God’s hands. Remember, He has it under control!”
My advice to you is if you haven’t met, or haven’t spent much time with June, do yourself a favour and have a coffee and a chat soon. June is an intriguing, interesting, purpose-driven and kind woman and I hope you also can call her your friend one day.
Written by Gaynor Mullen