Philippa is a placement intern working with Christ Church Armley.
What are you involved in?
ChristChurch runs two community projects: the Youth Project runs various youth groups for Armley youth aged 8 upwards, whilst Meeting Point is a project supporting asylum seekers and refugees in the area, running a drop-in and advocacy support. I’m involved with both…I help run the drop-in for asylum seekers and refugees on a Monday, where they can come and chill-out, play pool, sit and chat, receive free food and clothes, and eat a hot meal. With the Youth Project I help with the 8-11s youth group and a girls group, where we organise games, crafts, and some more focussed activities for the girls!
On the Church side of things I help with the Church Youth Cell on a Sunday, I’m part of the pastoral team, and I lead a START course (similar to Alpha but simpler) for people from Meeting Point!
What’s been the most surprising thing you’ve learnt so far?
How generous people can be even when they have very little! Many of the people from Meeting Point who are seeking asylum or are refugees are so warm and friendly and so generous. Despite having endured many hardships they are full of smiles, and often people will refuse to take their allotted amount of free food from the food stall because ‘someone else needs it more than I do’. It really has driven home to me what Jesus said about “it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God” (Matt 19:24).
How has God been working in those around you?
At the beginning of November we had a Confirmation Service, where about 10-12 people were confirmed. A couple of them were young people from the youth cell, and the rest were people of various nationalities, many from Iran, who had come to Church through coming to Meeting Point. It was so encouraging to see how God was at work in bringing people to know Him, and how the faithful work…time… energy…prayers …of people in Christ Church had yielded fruit.
How has God been working in your life?
Over the last few months as I’ve been at Christ Church God has been shifting my opinions and perspectives on life. I started out with definite goals for the year, thinking that I was here this year to serve ChristChurch and God’s Kingdom here, and explore different areas of ministry in the Church. But perhaps what I think I’m here for is not the same as what God has me here for. Life isn’t a journey you can split up into nice little packages, and just move from one to the next. It’s continuous and always changing as we let God teach us and transform us. Success as the world sees it…achieving goals, affecting change, is not the same as success in God’s eyes. Success in God’s eyes is simply trusting in Him, and if all I achieve this year is to continue trusting in God, then that’s a successful year in my life.
To find out more about the internship at St George's visit our website.