From June 14-July 21 summer interns will be serving with our organization both in the U.S. and in one of our international regions. Through their experience, they will get a glimpse into our organization and specifically our third world development strategy.
This weekend we welcomed the interns with a grand celebration. After a meaningful time of worship, each regional team presented a song from their region, sung in the international tongue of course! Interns were invited to clap, sing, and dance in Hindi, Tagalog, Swahili, Luganda and Spanish. They were then encouraged from the Word by Gregg Garner, President of G.O.D. International. He spoke on Matthew 6 and the wonderful release from anxiety that takes place when we seek first the kingdom of God. Challenging his listeners to consider that life is (far!) more than food and clothing, he spoke about what life was about—looking one another in the eye, asking questions and genuinely listening to the response, enjoying children as they grow, valuing elders as they age, and much more. His words previewed the kind of summer that is possible for the interns--a summer where concerns for food and clothing are left behind, and seeking the Lord becomes the most important thing. This kind of pursuit only produces good things.
After their Nashville experience, interns venture abroad to the international region of their choice: El Salvador, Uganda or the Philippines. While there, the interns will be led by development workers who will facilitate their introduction to the extreme poverty that far too many people in the world are experiencing, every day. The interns will have to ask questions like: What can be done for individuals who struggle to receive their daily bread, or necessary water? What can be done for a city still struggling to recover from the biggest typhoon in their history? What can be done for young people whose future is bleak, whose statistics reveal that gang involvement or teen pregnancy are more likely than high school graduation? What can be done for a school of 300 students and 10 teachers?
During their internship, participants will come face-to-face with the heartbreaking situations that plague a large majority of our world. But interns will also get to experience part of the answer to all of the above questions. What can be done? We will show them. We will take them to meet the men who have been trained to repair broken wells, providing water for hundreds of people who need it in Uganda. We will take them to work alongside the faithful social workers educating out-of-school youth in the Philippines. We will incorporate them in the music and arts projects aimed to give different options to youth in El Salvador. They will get to teach the children at St. John’s Primary. They will get to experience both the complete tragedy of poverty and the faithful response of God’s people, sometimes in the same moment.
Please pray for our interns. We are thankful God has entrusted them to us for the next few months, and are prepared to give the Lord honor in how we lead them. You can read updates on their experience via the journals on the Summer Intern Blog.