Zonya Bewick began work with es-team in North Edinburgh at the end of October.
Is this the first contact you have had with SU?
My first contact with SU was at CSSM, which I went to as a child, and years later, as a leader. I also regularly attended SU in my school as a teenager, and enjoyed camps and weekends. For the last 5 years I have been a leader at Bonaly Primary School SU Group which I have loved being part of.
What have you been involved in doing over the past few years?
I have enjoyed being at home with our three sons, William (12), Michael (10) and Andrew (8), and getting to know other Mums at the boys' school. In the last few years, I have trained in Christian Counselling. I have been volunteering in the counselling centre run by our church and with Place2be, a schools counselling charity, which offers Play Therapy to children in schools.
What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
Spare time?? Not quite sure what that is!! But I do love spending time with my family, walking in the hills, going on bike rides, watching films, reading books. I love spending time with friends. In my imagination, and sometimes in reality, I enjoy running and swimming!
Favourite food/place visited?
I worked for World Horizons, a missionary organisation for a few years and was fortunate to have the opportunity to do a lot of travelling during that time. Favourite food would definitely be in a Chinese restaurant on stilts in the very south of Yunnan Province where China borders with Laos and Myanmar. Least favourite food would be the fried grub I was given as a delicacy in Thailand! Morocco was my first experience of a developing country, an experience I will never forget. We were trying to take a Land Rover across the Sahara desert to Mali. We got halfway across the border to Algeria when they closed it so we had to sleep in no man's land. We then spent the next 11 days on the border waiting to get in... we never made it!
What are your first impressions about opportunities/challenges in North Edinburgh?
First impression - there are lots of opportunities out there and so much we can be doing! The dedication of the volunteers who give their time week by week to the children and young people in the schools is always inspiring. They have such great opportunities to build relationships and explore the Bible together which is always invaluable, but particularly so in the 21st century. I have been very struck by the fun in each group I have visited, as well as the place of safety and love that each child is welcomed into. SU have so many excellent resources to offer schools through SU groups, in the delivery of the RME curriculum as well as the holiday programme, so I am enjoying forging links with schools in the area and sharing what SU can bring. One of the challenges is to understand how to be appropriately relevant to teenagers in schools in a post-Christian society.
What's your prayer as you start out in this role?
To be led by God in all that I do, to trust Him in everything because it is His work and his Kingdom we are building, to be filled with His Spirit so that it is God I bring into every situation and not myself.