How brilliant to hear from Vanessa Riley in our last blog post, particularly seeing the ways she’s using her skills and experience for God’s glory. Today we interview Emily Hobbs, our Marketing Communications Assistant, who joined the WorldShare staff team in September last year. She explains her role to us, as well as a bit about herself…

Can you sum up your role at WorldShare in less than 100 words?

As WorldShare’s Marketing Communications Assistant, my role involves designing, writing, editing and overseeing the communications that you, our supporters, receive from us in various formats. This ranges from managing our social media accounts to designing our printed appeals, from updating the website content to writing our monthly prayer calendar, from sending out encouraging news stories via email to editing these blog posts and our magazine.

It’s a great privilege to be able to turn the amazing stories, prayer requests, photos and videos from our ministry partners into publications that you can engage with and enjoy.

What motivates you to do this job?

As part of my French and Spanish degree at university, I spent 6 months living in Ecuador in South America, supported by a missionary organisation. I worked part-time at a church-run school for children with disabilities and part-time at a Christian orphanage for children affected by HIV. I was blown away by what I witnessed first-hand - the incredible work of indigenous Christians, giving their all to sacrificially serve their neighbour and make Jesus known in their own communities. They were understood and respected by their own people, and they were a brilliant example of what Paul says in 1 Corinthians 7:17: “each person should live as a believer in whatever situation the Lord has assigned to them, just as God has called them”.

When I graduated, I knew I wanted to support local Christians and churches in some of the most difficult, least-resourced and least-reached parts of the world, like those I’d stood alongside in Ecuador. God kindly led me to this job at WorldShare, where I can combine that desire with the communication skills I gained from my degree. It’s a perfect fit!

What does a typical day working for WorldShare look like for you?

I normally begin by checking my emails – I often have news and prayer requests from our ministry partners in my inbox, so I save them to our archives and inform the rest of the staff team. Then, I enjoy meeting with the team on Zoom (for the moment at least) at 9.30am to pray, committing the day into the Lord’s hands.

What follows will depend on what publications are due out soon - because my job includes many different aspects, no two days really look the same. Most days I will schedule social media posts to go out, using the information I’ve received recently from our ministry partners.

Although this season of Covid-19 has been difficult in many ways, I have enjoyed taking on new challenges at work. I have had a go at video editing, enabling us to better engage with people digitally. At the moment, I am planning and looking forward to our next Ministry Meet-up Live with Beginning of Life in Moldova. Learning all about Zoom webinars and how to connect our supporters with our ministry partners has been a great new aspect of my role.

What has been your biggest highlight of the year at work so far?

Freedom Gifts Cover 2020

One of my biggest WorldShare highlights this year has been collating our Freedom Gifts catalogue. To me, the catalogue represents the breadth, depth and impact of the work of our ministry partners, and I found the process of selecting gifts and photos to include inspiring. It has reminded me that God uses so many different people in so many different ways to do His work of saving people through his son Jesus. Despite the devastating effects of coronavirus worldwide and the restrictions this has placed on the Church, the Gospel has not been restricted, but has been proclaimed and believed. Looking through our finished Freedom Gifts catalogue reminds me that God answers our prayers and does amazing things through those who trust in Him.

Have you ever visited one of WorldShare’s ministry partners?

Only having joined the WorldShare staff team last year and having lots of 2020 be restricted by Covid-19, I haven’t yet had the opportunity to visit any of our ministry partners, as much as I’d love to. I think if I could visit any of our ministry partners, it would be the Evangelical Mission for Assistance to Fishermen in Brazil. I already have a heart for South America and am constantly amazed by the determination of EMAF in reaching out to such remote riverside communities which are only accessible by boat. Their dedication to providing practical care as well as preaching the truth of the Gospel despite the obstacles they face inspires me to do the same.

Although I’ve never visited any of our ministry partners, I do feel blessed to be getting to know them well – one of my favourite aspects of my job is being in regular contact with ministry partner leaders. It is incredible to finish the working day knowing a new church has been planted in North Macedonia, or 5 people have been baptised in Indonesia, or someone has been rescued from an abusive relationship in India.

When you’re not working, what are you doing?

I’m married to Matt and we are very excited to be expecting our first child, a baby boy, due on Boxing Day! Much of lockdown for us has therefore been spent doing up our house and garden ready for our new arrival. We haven’t had a kitchen for 6 weeks, but the end is in sight!

I’m very involved in life at my local church, where I enjoy teaching children, both on Sundays and at our after-school club, about Jesus. Music is my biggest hobby - I’m part of Doncaster Choral Society and play clarinet and sing (although not at the same time!) at church. Otherwise, you’ll find me on countryside walks, playing board games with friends or testing out Doncaster’s best brunch spots.