New Engagement Support Lead for European Mission Fellowship – Alison Woodrow
Ballymena mum, Alison Woodrow, has just left behind a job in international sales for a very different challenge. The Cullybackey resident has taken up a position with the European Mission Fellowship, (E.M.F) as the organisation’s first Engagement Support Lead.
Founded in 1959, EMF currently supports 93 (mostly) indigenous missionaries in 18 countries across the continent. It aims to link churches in the UK with workers from various regions in mainland Europe so that the latter can access the support – prayerful, financial, and otherwise – needed to reach people in their own locality with the Gospel. Based in Leicester, the organisation has a small UK team which Alison will be joining remotely.
Her task is to maintain interactions with supporters of the mission, ensuring that they are kept up-to-date in the way that suits them best. This means involvement in financial administration, outbound communications (social and print media), and planning, among a variety of other things.
Explaining what attracted her to this new job, Alison told The Church Page: “I have always known about European Missionary Fellowship; my parents are long-term supporters, and the churches I attended – both growing up and as an adult – also supported EMF workers, so the ministry has always been part of my life. My background is in languages, and when I lived in Spain, I went to a church that was pastored by an EMF worker, and I met a lot of the other Spanish workers while there. Then when I returned to NI, I kept going to the NI conferences and stayed in touch with some of the missionaries. So the idea of working alongside them someday has always been in the back of my head – I often said that if a suitable job came up with EMF, I would apply”.
She added: “I am a mother to two young children, so the travelling that was associated with my old job in sales was no longer manageable. The position with EMF allows me to be at home more, so when it was advertised, I felt that God was opening one door as another closed.”
Revealing why it is such a great idea for churches to support EMF missionaries, Alison went on to say: “It is about trying to foster that more personal approach. Rather than saying ‘support us as an organisation’, we are saying ‘support this person in their work, get to know them and build a relationship with them’. Members of the partner church can build a real bond with a particular missionary and their work.”
Speaking about her hopes for her time with EMF, Alison said: “I think one of the strengths that I bring to the role is a lot of experience in building and growing relationships. European Mission Fellowship is experiencing a bit of growth as an organisation, and as this happens, we really need to nurture those relationships with supporters and ensure that they feel part of the journey.
“It would be lovely to think that our work could keep growing and we could take on new workers. The church partnership model is a big part of that, so if I can be a part of making sure that our supporters know about what’s going on and how they can get involved, then that can only help.”
For more information on the work of European Mission Fellowship, contact NI Representative Phil Dunn on 028 276 64214 or via firstname.lastname@example.org
You can also check out the fellowship’s website.