There’s a wonderful parable, where a man says to God, ‘God the world is falling apart – Do something?’ To which God replies, ‘I did do something, I made you!’
God does have the whole world in his hands, but he also made us part of a wonderful partnership, where we also have the responsibility to use our hands.
In the Old Testament reading this week, David meets and slays Goliath – with small hands, but big plans and faith in his Heavenly Father, he goes out and fulfils his calling
In the Markan reading which is also from the Lectionary, we see something of the ever-present Jesus and his ability to achieve far more than we could ever dream.
Like the disciples, we too sometimes forget that we have the Spirit of Jesus working with us.
During the storms of life, when disaster strikes – both natural and man-made – Jesus goes with us, while we act his hands and feet – he tells us, as he told the disciples, to have faith that he can calm the troubled waters.
Uniting World, that Laura is speaking about today, is not a different part of our church, it is part of our church, it is part of you and me, indeed part of the DNA – that our Christian founders worked with and therefore it is dependent on you and me to effect its working, like part of our very own body.
Laura works as the Coordinator of Uniting World’s Experience and In Solidarity Exposure Visit Program, bringing to the role her own experiences of volunteering, studies in development and a passion for connecting people across the world to strengthen meaningful and long-lasting partnerships.
Laura spent the year after finishing school volunteering at a high school in the South African township of Khayelitsha. While studying Development Studies and Culture Change at university, Laura again spent time in Africa, volunteering at New Life orphanage in Accra, Ghana in 2010. Following her studies, Laura spent 12 months in Indonesia as an Australian Youth Ambassadors for Development, working with the Widhya Asih Foundation of UnitingWorld’s partner church, the Protestant Christian Church in Bali.
Working collaboratively with stakeholders in Australia and overseas to identify, select and manage volunteer placements according to partner and organisation strategic directions Laura’s responsibilities include:
• Managing the process for volunteer placements: promotion, recruitment, application, assessment, placement, support, review, debrief and reintegration into Australia
• Establishing and managing budgets relating to the Program and funded volunteer placements
• Making improvements to the Experience Program’s policies, procedures, strategy and documentation according to best practice in development and volunteering
• Liaising with in-country supervisors in maintaining regular contact with volunteers
• Organising travel logistics including visa arrangements for volunteers
• Updating and maintaining database of volunteers
• Leading InSolidarity Short-term Exposure Visits to Asia (Indonesia and India)
• Overseeing the management of processes related to InSolidarity Short-term Exposure Visits.
So with all those responsibilities we are delighted that she could take out some time to come and share with us today.