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Meet the Northern Irish research assistants

We find out more about the emerging leaders in Northern Ireland

For the past seven years, our team at the Evangelical in Northern Ireland have developed a year-long Research Assistant programme for emerging leaders who would like to develop experience and expertise as they integrate with our work in unity, advocacy and mission.

As we welcome three new research assistants to the team, we wanted to introduce them to you as they look ahead to an exciting year of serving the church in Northern Ireland.

Richard Lewis, 25

Who are you?

Hello. I was born and raised in East Belfast. I am extremely passionate about God’s truth, how it is handled, and how it is perceived in our 21st century society. I love engaging with people of all ages, challenging their thinking, and digging deep into God’s Word. To help me grow, refine, and develop this passion, I embarked on a Theological Studies degree at Belfast Bible College, which I have recently completed.

Why the Evangelical Alliance?

There are multiple reasons why I have joined the Evangelical Alliance as an intern, but here are two. The Evangelical Alliance Northern Ireland is actively engaging in the public square in a wide range of expertise. It is a privilege to be part of the process of shaping that sphere of influence. I love studying and writing, and to actively pursue this for the edification and encouragement of the local church is an excellent opportunity.

Secondly, my ambition is to be involved in full-time ministry. The Evangelical Alliance Northern Ireland is exposed to various cultural issues. Daily involvement within this team and environment will help structure, articulate and develop the necessary intellect in a wide range of areas for future ministry.

I aspire to develop, grow spiritually and be part of a fantastic team, but also to form new friendships, contacts and connections, ultimately to make a difference with and for the church. I dream of seeing a church that has a roar.

Contact Ricky if you have any good news stories about people coming to know Jesus or sharing their faith — r.​lewis@​eauk.​org

Hazel Macaulay, 22

Who are you?

Hi. I grew up on a dairy farm between Banbridge and Castlewellan, County Down. I was raised in a family of seven, and I’m the third of five children, and quite possibly suffer with middle child syndrome. Since birth I have attended Drumgooland Presbyterian Church, I have been following Jesus since I was 14, but I’m hoping to join a church based in Belfast as it’s my fifth year living there.

After finishing school, I took a gap year with Youth For Christ Northern Ireland, where I worked with young people, and I’ve just finished a degree in Social Work at Queen’s University Belfast. My degree encouraged me to grapple more deeply with the concepts of human existence, flourishing and restoration, and starkly illuminated the truth that the principle need within us is to know and love our creator God through what Christ achieved.

Why the Evangelical Alliance?

I want to see the church rise, by obeying its command to love Jesus and represent Him to the world with humility, wisdom and faithfulness. I want them to excel at being the hands and feet of Christ in the multifaceted arena of social justice. I want to see the church equipped to wrestle, with courage and sensitivity, with issues in the public square, and extend God’s kingdom. I hope that being a part of the Evangelical Alliance will provide me with a clear role to fulfil in this vision.

Contact Hazel if you have any good news stories about the Church providing hope and care in pregnancy crisis, adoption or fostering — h.​macaulay@​eauk.​org.

Holly Taylor

Who are you?

Hi. I’m from Portadown and I’ve been living in Belfast for the past three years while at university. In June 2018, I graduated with a degree in History and International Studies, and I am currently studying a masters in Conflict Transformation and Social Justice at Queens University Belfast. I go to Cara, a new church plant in Craigavon, where I’m a worship leader and work alongside young people.

Why the Evangelical Alliance?

I applied for this internship because it’s an amazing opportunity to practically combine my interests in Northern Ireland politics and social justice, with my faith in the public square. Additionally, it enables me to develop my =passion and interest in social justice and equipping the church to work effectively with young people, particularly by combatting sectarian division and developing positive cross community relations.

Through this internship, I would like to learn more about Jesus and His heart for this society. I hope to grow in understanding of how I can utilise my faith in the public square in the most effective way possible, in areas ranging from politics to advocacy, by sharing God’s love and grace with people from all backgrounds and walks of life.

Contact Holly if you have any good news stories about how the Church is helping to welcome and care for refugees and migrants in their local area — h.​taylor@​eauk.​org

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