Book: A Girl with a Mind of Her Own
Commissioner Gisèle Gowans is a familiar face to thousands of Salvationists worldwide who know her as one half of The Salvation Army’s global leadership team between 1999 and 2002 - but fewer people know very much about this quiet woman who stood by John Gowans' side for so many years. Following a series of interviews with the commissioner, Cathy Le Feuvre has pieced together Gisèle’s fascinating story. We learn about her childhood in war-torn France and how aged just twenty she made the move across the English Channel to train as a Salvation Army officer in London. We read how she met, fell in love with and married the inimitable John Gowans, and then served with him in ministry in the United Kingdom, France, the United States and Australia. We are given a rare and international insight into being a married female Salvation Army officer throughout the second half of the twentieth century. Finally, we follow the moving story of how a deep and steadfast faith in God and the wonderful support of family and friends carried Gisèle through a very difficult period as she sought to come to terms with John’s diagnosis of dementia and his subsequent promotion to Glory. Through it all we sense a Woman determined by God’s help to do her best for whoever was in her care, be it her husband, her family her church family or the global Salvation Army.
Written in a light yet thoughtful style, A Girl with a Mind of Her Own also contains a foreword by General John Larsson (Retired) and many previously unseen photographs from Gisèle’s personal collection.