Alison and Sarah have joined us for three months in CEF, working both in the National Office and with local workers. Here are some get-to-know-you questions!
Who are you, where are you from, etc…?
Alison: My name is Alison Watson, I’m 19 years old and I come from Clough, Co.Down. I did my A-Levels in June and I’m currently on a year out before hoping to go to University next year. I love to paint and play guitar and when I’m not interning I work in a Café and a Special School which I really enjoy.
Sarah: Hello! My name’s Sarah and I’m originally from West Tyrone. I’ve spent the last 7 years in North East England first as a medical student and then working in a hospital. I’ve just returned to Northern Ireland and I’m looking forward to settling back into life here, moving to the big smoke of Belfast and finding out where the best spots for brunch and afternoon tea are!
Tell us about how you became a Christian
Alison: I thank God for my Christian parents who raised me going to church and Sunday School. I remember being about 9 or 10 when God spoke to me through the minister at a Church one Sunday. I realised that I was lost and how sinful my heart is. It hit me for first time the magnitude of Jesus’ sacrifice for me on that cross and how I needed His forgiveness. I went home that night and gave my life to God.
Sarah: I grew up in a Christian home which was a great privilege and from a young age heard the gospel message many times. I have a really clear memory of the night I became a Christian as a 5 year old — understanding that I was a sinner and that Jesus had died for me to take the punishment for my sins. My walk with God has changed somewhat in the last 20 years. I guess one of those biggest times for growth was moving away from home to university when I had to put all my trust in God to provide with nothing familiar to fall back on. I had never planned on leaving NI but doors closed at every university except Newcastle so off I went. Looking back I can see what a blessing this was on my life with the many opportunities, great Christian friends and a wonderful family church that God placed around me.
You’re both on a year out — why use part of it to do the CEF Intern Programme?
Alison: Ever since I was little something that was always guaranteed to get me excited was reading and hearing stories of missionaries — it’s something God has given me a passion for. The plan was to go and get a degree and think about mission later once I have some life/work experience but after an interview to get onto the university course I had planned to, God closed that door for this year. I’ve had the privilege of being able to go to CEF camps when I was younger, helping at 5-Day Clubs these past couple of summers and absolutely love the work of CEF. So I decided to see if I could spend this year out volunteering with CEF and learning more about mission work. I heard about the Intern Programme, decided to apply and here I am!
Sarah: I had been planning a year out after my first 2 years of work but hadn’t been too sure what I wanted to do. Shift work made it difficult to be involved in kids and youth work at church which is something I really missed. I grew up going to Good News Clubs and camps and I’ve led on a few camps since so when this internship came up I really felt that this was an answer to prayer as to what part of my year out should be and it’s a great opportunity to be involved in more kids and youth work.
What sort of things will you both be doing over the next couple of months?
Alison: I’ll be spending one day a week in the National Office helping with different tasks/projects and getting to see how all the different aspects of running a mission organisation work. Then I’m spending a couple days a week in the Mourne area with David and Olivia Crutchley helping at things like Good News Clubs, JYC and school assemblies!
Sarah: I’m really looking forward to the next few months getting stuck in and involved with the Belfast team. I will be helping with Good News Clubs and will hopefully get to see school assemblies and some youth challenge things as well, alongside some time in the National Office. We have a reading list of some good Christian books which I’m looking forward to specifically dedicating time to read (as often I have to admit they just stay on the bookcase!).
Any final words of wisdom?
Alison: A friend reminded me while I was still unsure about what to do this year, to remember His ultimate purpose for us is to glorify Him in everything we do wherever we may be, in the little things day by day. Proverbs 16:9 “In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines His steps.”
Interested in applying for the Intern Programme? Visit cefireland.com/intern for more details!