2010-2015 / Bachelor of Ministries (Christchurch Campus)
I began my study at Laidlaw in 2010. I was a mother of three (aged three-and-a-half to eleven years old) and during my second semester of study the September earthquake hit Christchurch. I recall that there were several students and members of staff who were practically concerned about the effects of the earthquake on the wellbeing of children. They devised a plan to hold an afternoon of activities that students could bring their children along to, to provide them with an opportunity to have some fun in what was a very stressful time for most families. This event coincided with my daughter’s eighth birthday party, so after lunch with her friends we took her and the special friend staying for a sleepover to the Laidlaw Christchurch campus, for more yummy food, a play on a bouncy castle and to have their faces painted by Alistair Donaldson's lovely daughter and her friend.
Photo Left: My daughter Amy after having her face painted
Photo Right: My son Thomas with face painted
I entered Laidlaw as a newer Christian with many questions about what being a Christian meant. I left Laidlaw with the realisation that there were no black and white answers to my questions, that there is a spectrum of understandings for what our mortal minds can comprehend and that there are many things we will not fully be able to understand until we meet Jesus face to face in the life to come.
I also learnt firsthand that God does his greatest work when we are at our weakest. Sometimes the programmes I ran where I was the least prepared were the ones that had the greatest impact on the children I was working with.
I interned with the Children's Ministry team at Hope Presbyterian Church while I was studying at Laidlaw and continued in this role for a time after my studies finished. I have since realised that I enjoy working with people of all ages, but a suitable church-based role that accommodates this has not yet come across my path. In the meantime, I am part of the mission team for Bible Society of New Zealand working in the Manna retail store in Christchurch. My colleagues are great and I get to meet a diverse range of people daily.
I am grateful that God is always with us regardless of whether or not we can feel his presence. He is always faithful, and I love looking back at the "coincidences" in my life and seeing that he is working all this out for the good of those who love him.