The Need to Respond

Reflecting on Summer Internship Experiences in the Philippines

For many Summer Internship participants, the opportunity comes at a pivotal point in their lives where they are seeking direction, following ambition, or trying to discern God’s voice. Every individual walks away from such an experience impacted, but some end the summer holding fast to a conviction: the need to respond.  

In July we will host a group of students for Summer Internship.  The interns will take part in teaching in local schools, bio-intensive gardening projects, food distribution, youth counseling, and health care alongside  G.O.D. International representatives living in Tacloban City, Leyte.  

Children affected by Typhoon Haiyan in Tacloban City enjoyed daily activities and lessons hosted by Summer Interns in 2015. 

Children affected by Typhoon Haiyan in Tacloban City enjoyed daily activities and lessons hosted by Summer Interns in 2015. 

After her 2015 Summer Internship, Institute student Brianne Botzum reflects, “Summer Internship was the perfect experience to help me see the need in the world, and also how to adequately meet those needs. After each of our service opportunities, our facilitators did a great job helping us talk through what we we experienced in light of God’s Word.”

G.O.D. first took a Summer Internship team to the Philippines in 2006. Jason Carpenter was one of the interns on the trip. Ten years later, he reflects on his experience:

Jason's plumbing skills provided a much needed service to Mercy In Action Midwifery Clinic in Olongapo City, Philippines in 2013.

Jason's plumbing skills provided a much needed service to Mercy In Action Midwifery Clinic in Olongapo City, Philippines in 2013.

“Internship changed my life forever.  I remember being shocked by how close to death so many people were living, everyday. People lacked basic education and fundamental needs like health care, sanitation, food production, and housing. I remember looking in the eyes of children everyday and realizing that the reality of poverty would soon steal what little hope they still had.  I remember watching kids play in an open sewage ditch in a slum area and realizing they do that, all the time. I became aware that people were in need, and I was called by God to do something about it.
Over the past decade,most of my energy has been spent learning the Word of God, and what I can offer to the people in the Philippines. I’ve become a husband and father--I’ve grown up a lot. I’ve also become a plumbing contractor, and on a daily basis I solve problems related to the safe distribution of clean water and the safe disposal of human waste. I learned it here so I can take it there. My experience on Summer Internship has never left me. I am thankful to God that I now have a skill that can meet the needs of the people of the Philippines.”

The needs Jason saw a decade ago remain today. Please pray for our Summer Interns as they work with us in Tacloban City. May their hearts be soft and eyes opened to the great need that exists in our world, and may they choose to respond well.