It may be March, but it’s never too late to meet some of the people who have been volunteering with us this year. Claire, Erin and Esther have joined us for a year, and have been working on a variety of different projects. We asked them to tell us what they’ve been up to.

Claire Moorcroft    Erin Wilson    Esther Graham

1. What led you to spend this year with CEF?

Erin: I study Graphic Design & Illustration at UUB, and as part of my degree I have the opportunity of a placement year. After a lot of prayer and many conversations with Andrew I decided that this was something I would like to do with CEF.

Claire: I’ve been involved with CEF for quite a few years now, and I enjoy both the behind the scenes work as well as direct ministry. I knew that Esther had already started in Youth Challenge, and there was still lots of work that I could do, so I left my job in November and started part-time.

Esther: I graduated from university in June last year and wanted some time to settle back into life in N.I. before rushing into a (hopefully) long-term job. I had been involved with CEF during the summer holidays for the past few years, so it felt like quite a natural next step to look into doing a gap year with them.

2. What has been your role? 

Erin: My role varies from day to day, but most of the time you’ll find me in the National Office working on graphics for Multimedia, the National Office and Youth Challenge. If not, I’ll be in DV or Sandy Row!

Claire: My role changes depending on the day. The easiest way to describe it is helping out in the Youth Challenge department (and sometimes National Office) in whatever way I can. On the administrative side I’ve been redrafting and editing material for various talks and projects, pulling together the information for the Testify booklets (and adding them to the website), working on the Youth Challenge praise book and so on. My direct ministry includes GNC, JYC, SYC, helping at various youth events and just generally communicating with Colin…

Esther: My role this year has been very varied — no two weeks look the same, which has been a nice change from the monotony of days spent in the library! One of my tasks is to look after the Youth Challenge social media and blog. So, if you have been wondering why Youth Challenge has been so active on social media, you have me to blame! Otherwise, I have had a nice mix of talk writing/redrafting, working on teaching materials for SYC, doing a Good News Club and a JYC, working on the CEF praise book, writing the Monday night prayer email, and helping at a variety of events and weekends away. It’s been busy but I have loved every minute.

3. What has been the highlight?

Erin: I have absolutely loved this year, but my highlight has to be Sandy Row GNC! My love for the kids aside, it has been so fascinating to go from being a part of the Irish MAG meetings where the GNC material is discussed, to then teaching the material at the clubs.

Claire: That’s a tough question. I’ve enjoyed so many aspects, like New Year Camp or the feeling of sending the Testify booklets off to print. But I think my highlight was our JYC weekend this year, and in particular watching some of the young people (and Beulah McMullan) snorkel for stars in a big bowl of baked beans!

Esther: There is no one thing in particular that stands out, but I have really enjoyed getting to see so many aspects of Christian work, from the behind-the-scenes admin to the up-front ministry. We also get to go to Germany for CEF European Conference in May. It will be my first time in Germany, so I imagine that will be a highlight!

4. What is something you’ve been learning this year?

Erin: I have learnt so much this year, from indesign shortcuts to the in workings of children’s ministry. Obviously, the purpose of my placement year is to gain some practical experience in the real world, and I have certainly received that! But alongside this experience I have been challenged and encouraged in my faith. I have been learning a lot about the importance of glorifying God in everything that I do.

Claire: I’ve learned how frustrating it is when young people don’t reply…just kidding! I have learnt two main things. I’ve seen just how vital all of the background work is. And I’ve also been learning to trust God more; it’s amazing how he provides at just the right time, in the most amazing ways.

Esther: I’ve been learning a lot about the comfort of God’s sovereignty. It’s tempting to react to the idea of God being in control with fear, but there’s no need—God is good, just and kind; he can be trusted with every little piece of our lives. I’ve seen very clearly over the past few months that God is worthy of confidence, so I’ve been learning to rest in the knowledge that he can’t and won’t let us down.

If you are interested in doing an internship, gap year or placement with us, please feel free to get in touch!