Hello, I’m Ian Rowe. I’m 22 and from the United Reformed Church in the United Kingdom (UK). When my last exam for my history degree ended back in May after I finished partying I started to volunteer internship with CWM. Firstly, in the Europe region based in the London office and then in their head office in Singapore.
When in the Europe region I helped with the Face to Face programme where theological students from across the world came to the UK to experience and learn about Church and the theme of migration from the UK perspective. This was done through a series of conferences run by CWM and placements with CWM partner church the United Reformed Church (URC) across the country. My role was to help the participants feel comfortable and at home in the UK and help with the logistics of the conferences. I also visited some of the participants on placement across the UK with Europe Mission Secretary Wayne Hawkins. The conferences allowed us to form a small international community and to explore faith and migration issues together. Visiting the participants in their placements I was able to see how the URC and other organisations were trying to provide hospitality and support to refugees. This experience allowed me not only to learn more about how my church was trying to serve these communities but also discuss with the participants how hospitality was practiced in their culture. This along with helping out in the office was an enjoyable experience and I was made feel at home in the Europe Region. My thanks go out to Charlie, Wayne and Omo.
In July and August, I went to CWM’s head office in Singapore. This was an amazing experience visiting Asia for the first time. After 2 long flights, I arrived in Singapore on the 16th July, tired but excited and very hot! Over the next month I was welcomed with open arms in CWM’s office and made to feel part of the CWM Staff family, I was taken out for traditional Singapore food often (my chopstick ability as improved a lot!). I helped with the writing resources for the Global Youth Forum and reorganised CWM’s small library to help staff locate resources much easier. These were interesting tasks allowing me to work and build relationships with CWM’s extremely diverse staff team and engage with youth issues which are close to my heart. I was also able to not only experience the very interesting city of Singapore but also different ways of doing church. I am grateful for the welcoming I received at each church and the challenging and interesting conversations I had with people about faith. I would like to thank CWM for blessing me with this experience and the hospitality they provided.