23 September 2020
An interview with Jenny Hunt
In the last blog post, we were introduced to Alan Butler, WorldShare’s CEO. We hope you enjoyed getting to know him a bit better and hearing about what his role entails. This week, it’s the turn of WorldShare’s Finance Manager, Jenny Hunt…
Can you sum up your role at WorldShare in less than 100 words?
Hi, I’ve been the Finance Manager here at WorldShare for the past 7 years now, and as such, have oversight over all the financial sides of WorldShare’s operations. That covers income, expenditure, salaries and, most importantly, sending out funds to our ministry partners. I am also responsible for providing our board and others with the information they need to be able to make decisions and ensure that WorldShare is operating efficiently and effectively, in line with our supporters wishes and our ministry partner’s needs.
As Finance Manager, it can at times be a balancing act, ensuring that we are financially supporting the work of our partners, but also that WorldShare as an organisation is in stable position and able to continue it’s work. It is a privilege to be a part of the 75+ year history of WorldShare that ultimately is turning God’s love, through the generosity of our supporters, into visible action and a message of hope in Him to those most at need, both physically and spiritually.
What motivates you to do this job?
Growing up in a Christian household that very much showed their faith in action, I have always felt called to help those less fortunate than myself. For me, working for WorldShare gives me that opportunity. I feel privileged to be able to feel like I am fulfilling God’s calling on my life, through my work here.
One verse that particular resonates with me, and gives me reassurance is from Jeremiah 29. “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
I feel, that I am part of God’s plans for those most in need in this world, both physically and spiritually, and that, through my service here at WorldShare, I am acting out His plans on this earth. How could that not motivate me!!
What does a typical day working for WorldShare look like for you?
Much of my work here at WorldShare revolves around administration, oversight and planning. My days can be fairly varied, but usually involve spreadsheets, files and invoices.
At the start of the day, I will usually check on the charity’s bank accounts, then I may be pulling together the month’s accounts, analysing income, writing reports for the board, working on cash flows, budgets or carrying out regulatory tasks. As a small team, I also perform many more roles, so could be processing invoices, paying suppliers, or responding to donor queries. You may well have spoken to me or received a letter from me over the years!
I also put together payment schedules for approval. Here, I not only look at which suppliers need paying, but also what grants we can send to our ministry partners. This is both the most satisfying and also the most difficult part of my job. Our partners are fantastic - they can, and do, work miracles, but there is always more need. Jesus himself said that there will be poor always and so our task is never complete.
My most important task is really advising all financial decisions that are made by our Board of Trustees and our CEO, so that, as mentioned above, we as an organisation are in a position where we can send as much help to our partners as possible, but also ensure that WorldShare is in a position where it can continue to serve.
What has been your biggest highlight of the year at work so far?
This year has been a year like no other. My biggest highlight has been seeing how faithful, thoughtful and generous our supporters are. When times have seemed bleak, speaking to, hearing from, and seeing that generosity in action has been a real blessing. I have seen God’s love in action through our supporters and, for that, you all have my profound thanks.
One moment that stands out for me particularly was when I emailed one of our ministry partners to say that I had sent funds to help. I immediately got a response to say that they were sat at their table in tears, so grateful for all the donors and the work that we were doing, and that they had been praying for assistance. That day, I truly realised that I was an answer to prayer, that our supporters, big or small, regular or sporadic, are all, without knowing or realising, an answer to the prayers of our ministry partners and those they serve.
Have you ever visited one of WorldShare’s ministry partners?
I have had the privilege to visit a couple of WorldShare’s partners over the years. I have visited Beginning of Life in Moldova, and also Medical Ambassadors Foundation (MAF) in Albania.
Both of those ministries humbled me. The dedication and devotion of the leaders shone through all that they did. Their calling to not only spread the Gospel, but to live the Gospel in action, is an inspiration to all. Beginning of Life, and MAF are very different ministries, but in one thing they are the same: they follow firstly the great commission, but after that, God’s calling to help the vulnerable, the poor and the persecuted. Through their ministries, I saw them reaching out in the name of God to bring comfort and hope to thousands.
When you’re not working, what are you doing?
I have a husband and four children, though they are all older now, so outside of work, much of my time is spent with or running around after them. Over the past couple of years, I have also been attending a part time theology course with the Lincoln School of Theology and I am also active in my local church, somehow ending up as treasurer despite my best attempts at avoidance!
Despite all of the above, when I can, which is not often enough, I try to find time and space to be with and listening to God. Over recent years, I have come to realise that for me and my faith, I need to make that effort to just be still. Sometimes that can mean a long walk, alone, in prayer. Sometimes, it may be an afternoon of silence with just my Bible. Further on in that passage from Jeremiah mentioned above, it goes on to say…. "You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you," declares the LORD. What a wonderful reassurance that is!