Volunteer Stories / Staff Updates / TfG news
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December
A highlight from November includes the Final Regional Day as we say goodbye to our 2016 January volunteers and congratulate them on all they have achieved.

We have also launched our exciting online advent calendar. Follow on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter!

Lastly, as we transition into the festive season, we would like to remind you of our Just Giving page (link). Your generosity will help to fund a January volunteer's year of service...what an amazing Christmas gift!
 
Staff news

Phoebe Scott-Green



 

Phoebe is one of our new field officers, who is this year looking after 21 different placements, located all across the country from the Lake District to the South Coast. Here she writes a little bit about how she's getting on:

I am very much enjoying the variety of the work of a field officer. One day I can be completing my admin from the comfort of home, the next travelling to see a volunteer at their placement, venturing to a city I've never been to before. I am very much looking forward to the BIG conference where we'll gather ALL of the volunteers serving here in 2017 together. I'm excited to lead a couple of sessions and hear about the wonderful things our volunteers have been doing!

We have also welcomed Fiona-Jane Bell to our head office in Harrogate as part-time help towards logistics and admin. She has settled in very well, having already booked all the travel for the upcoming BIG conference!
Events/ News
Final Regional Day
Last week we saw 11 January volunteers come together, representing 6 different nationalities, along with 3 of our Field Team, to look back on their year here and look forward to what lies ahead. They are such an energetic, inspiring bunch of people who will be missed as they have together impacted communities up and down the country from the North East to the South West.

Volunteer Christmas Cheer

Yesterday we launched our online Christmas campaign! Each day during Advent, we will be giving you an insight into the Christmas traditions of one of our volunteers, as we seek to celebrate the diversity of our volunteers and also the thing which unites them: their love for Jesus. Please do follow along online - like the Facebook page , follow us on Instagram (@timeforgodvols) and Twitter (@TimeForGod1) to join in the festive cheer.
 
Volunteer Story
Olga Krasylia - Edinburgh, Bethany House


Feeling like I have found a new home… 

My story started later than I expected. Anyway all problems with visas are behind me and I am incredibly excited about my year in the UK!

From the first days in Edinburgh I got the feeling that I am in a right place. I already fell in love with the city. Edinburgh has an amazing historical spirit, it is busy and quite at the same time, and I like to spend time around the city.

From our flat we have a view of the sea. It makes me feel that I did not leave my native city (which is based on the Black Sea shore).

The weather here is unpredictable. People in Edinburgh tell me that there is a joke that you can have every season or weather within the same day – snow, rain, , warm, hot, cold or freezing. Especially as it is windy all year around. However I have enough warmth from people around me.

All my new colleagues are so friendly and always ready to help me. That even in difficulties I feel a huge support from them. Staff members do their job in the best way they can and I want to be professional as they are. Bethany Christian Trust does important things and I am really happy that I can be the part of this organization.

Speaking about my leisure here – just trying to be involved in everything – outside activities, new international fellowship, ceilidh, travelling to new cities and places…sometimes I do not have enough time to sleep but I am so delighted being here! Every morning I have thanked God that I’ve woken up and been able to enjoy every day here in Edinburgh.

EVS News

INTERNATIONAL VISITORS LAY WREATHS AT MORLEY WAR MEMORIAL - WORDS BY ANDY DALTON

The Morley Service of Remembrance saw wreaths laid by two young visitors from Germany and the Ukraine last Sunday.
 
Johanna Schmidt laid a wreath at the ceremony at the Morley War Memorial on behalf of the German peopleJohanna comes from a village in Saxony near the Czech borderThe area experienced invasion by Russian forces in the final months of World War 2 and subsequent rule by communist dictatorships.  The civilian population experienced immense suffering.  Her wreath was dedicated to reconciliation and peace.
 
Khrystyna Strelchenko is from Odessa in the Ukraine.  Like her colleague Johanna she is currently undertaking a Volunteer Gap Year in the town under the auspices of Morley Community Church.  Odessa suffered from a 73 day siege before it capitulated to Axis forces in 1941.  The city suffered horrific casualties and immense damage.  She laid a wreath to commemorate military and civilian victims from cities that experienced wartime sieges.  The civil war in the Ukraine is continuing at the moment producing its own set of casualties
 
This was a unique occasion that wreaths had been dedicated to these particular aspects and spheres of conflict and remembrance at the Morley War Memorial.
Both Johanna and Khrystyna took a full part in the events marching with the Parade from the Town Hall to the War Memorial.
 
They said that they found the Service of Remembrance very moving.  They counted it a privilege to represent their home countries whilst in Morley on such an important occasion.  They said that the cities and towns in their home areas which suffered damage and destruction in both world wars had been rebuilt. They were convinced that their generation needs to link with others across Europe to work for peace.
 
Johanna and Khrystyna are putting into practice what they believe.  They are currently in Morley working as a Youth & Community Workers with Morley Community Church for a year as part of the EU european voluntary service scheme.  They arrived in Morley in late September and are already working alongside many young people encouraging them to take part in positive activities.  They said it was important for young people to have fun and also develop a sense of responsibility.  Forgiveness and reconciliation were some of the keys to good international understanding.
 
They also took part laying wreaths at the Tingley Remembrance Service in the afternoon laying wreaths at the war memorial to the RAF Halifax Bomber which crashed there in 1944.
 
The Morley Remembrance Parade was the biggest ever in recent years with over 2000 people turning up to pay their respects at the service at the War Memorial in Scatcherd Park.

Photos, clockwise from top left:
Khrystyna Strelchenko (left) & Johanna Schmidt (right) with Morley Mayor Cllr Bob Gettings and Mace bearer.

Khrystyna Strelchenko (left) & Johanna Schmidt (right) with wreaths at the Morley War Memorial.

Johanna Schmidt (left) &  Khrystyna Strelchenko (right) by the special display at the parade reception with the banner dedicated to the Morley casualties of the Battle of the Somme.
Khrystyna Strelchenko (left) & Johanna Schmidt (right) with Bob Smith Chairman of the Morley Branch of the British Legion

 
Prayer
We pray for our volunteers as many of them choose to spend Christmas in the UK with their hosts, and for those travelling home to have safe and restful travels.
 
As we rejoice in the gift of this new day,
so may the light of your presence, O God,
set our hearts on fire with love for you;
now and for ever.
Amen.
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