"The opportunity to volunteer with SU Scotland was God reaching out and bringing me back to him."
I’m Sophie Thomson and I’ve just started a Gap Year with SU Scotland. I’m based at Lendrick Muir and more than excited to get started! Even before I decided to do a Gap Year, I was involved with SU Scotland. My family are associated with SU, so it’s been difficult not to get roped into one thing or another, but I can say for sure I’m glad I did.
2021 was an extremely hard year with lockdowns disrupting my schooling and social life. I struggled with my mental health—it was quite a difficult period. I firmly believe that the opportunity to volunteer with SU Scotland was God reaching out and bringing me back to him.
My first event was cooking with my grandparents during Easter 2022 at Lendrick Muir. It was an amazing experience and showed me how much these camps impacted me as a young person. It really brought my faith back to the centre of my life. It was also my first experience of being on the other side of SU Holidays and gave me real insight to the hard work and dedication behind the scenes.
In the summer of 2022, I got the chance to be a young leader at the Whiting Bay Beach Mission on Arran. There is something so special about that mission. I really grew in faith and confidence during that week.
It was amazing to see kids as young as six or seven be so excited to learn about Jesus and the miracles he did. I believe that we can learn so much from children and the faith they seem to possess so easily, which I find so inspiring.
I volunteered the following year again at Whiting Bay where I was not just a year older but had more mental strength and confidence in myself and what God could do through me. I helped lead games and a talk for the primary children which I never would have believed myself to be capable of in a million years!
Since volunteering with SU Scotland, I have changed completely. This time two years ago, if you were to have met me, I would have been unsociable, self-doubting, insecure and scared. I would have been pinned down by my own inner voice. But God changed my path by giving me the chance to volunteer with SU Scotland, something that completely flipped my life around.
I give all the glory to God for the work he has done through my volunteering with SU Scotland, and I am looking forward to seeing what else he can use me for throughout this exciting year ahead!
Sophie Thomson | Gap Year 2023/24
This article was taken from the November 2023 edition of @SU Magazine.
Editor: Hilary Phillips | cygnus-extra.co.uk
Design: Kimberly Wray | innovivid.co.uk
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