Laura Todd spent some time with us on her placement from Stranmillis and experienced a close up view of life in the National Office as well as following a few different CEF workers around their various ministries. We asked her how she found it…
- Who are you, where are you from?
Hi! My name is Laura Todd, I’m 21 years old and I live in East Belfast. I am in my final year at Stranmillis studying to be a primary teacher. I love to drink coffee, go for walks and play hockey!
- Tell us about how you became a Christian
I am very thankful to God that I was brought up in a Christian family and I was taught about the good news of Jesus from a very young age. At four years old, I realised I had this problem of sin and knew that Jesus died on the cross so I could be saved, so I asked God for forgiveness and to be my Saviour. I tried my best from that point on to live my life for God and although it wasn’t always easy to be a Christian, especially in school, God has always been faithful in my life, continually teaching, guiding and strengthening me.
- You’ve been on a two-week placement with us – what all have you done?
I have been involved with CEF since I was a child and it has had a great impact on my faith, so I was really looking forward to doing placement! Those two weeks involved a variety of tasks and it has been great to experience a wide range of CEF related things. I helped with some of the direct children’s and youth ministries, including Good News Clubs, JYCs and school assemblies. I’ve spent time in the National Office, packing Hope for Ukraine bags and helping with some general administrative tasks. I also got to sit in on the Conference Planning meeting and online global training meetings so seeing this side of CEF that I had never seen before was really interesting!
- Any highlights of your two weeks?
That’s a tough question as I’ve loved all of it! However, I just love being directly involved in children’s ministry so the Wheatfield and Blackskull Good News Clubs were definitely two highlights. Even though I was there for a very short time, the children at these clubs were such fun to be around and seeing how eager they are to hear about God is so encouraging. It is a great privilege to teach children about Jesus and I was certainly reminded of this at these clubs. Going into school assemblies was also a highlight. It was amazing to see so many children in the one place learn about God and His love for them.
- Have you learned anything about CEF ministry that you didn’t know before?
I knew that a lot of work goes into CEF but those two weeks have made me realise just how much hard work goes on behind the scenes and has given me a greater appreciation for the workers.
I had the opportunity to work a bit on the website uploading information for JYC weekends. I am used to being on the opposite side where I just click a button to book a camp, but it was interesting to see the work and time it takes to have the website running smoothly so that children can easily book for camps. Usually, I just turn up to camp and don’t always appreciate how much work goes on in the background in preparation for camp. Even what seems like a small task of helping Colin pack envelopes of summer information to send the young people or seeing the time it takes to register the names that come through for camp has shown me the work and different elements that goes into making ministries like camp happen.
- Finally — would you encourage others to do a placement or internship with us? And why?
I would absolutely encourage doing a placement or internship with CEF! I have learnt so much about children’s ministry and it has been so eye opening to see how CEF is run. There is so much to learn and see from behind the scenes in the National Office, meeting alongside different workers and getting to teach children first hand in different settings and contexts. In spending time here, I have seen what is at the centre of all that is done in CEF, which is that children are reached with the gospel and discipled in their faith. This is very clear not only in the direct ministry, but through all other parts of the work and I have been so encouraged and challenged by this within the very short time I spent with CEF. So, if you have a heart for children and young people hearing the gospel and being discipled in their faith, and are considering a placement/internship with CEF, go for it – you won’t regret it!