Well, our house has felt empty the last couple days. This year's interns have
all thankfully arrived safe and sound back home. They were great and we miss them already.
Since 2007, our team has hosted groups of college interns for six-week period each summer. This year's group of six interns brings the total of interns our team has hosted up to 42! That's hard to believe. Most of them are students from Harding University. They come here because they are interested in missions and while they are with us we give the interns three main tasks:
Be a learner. "This is not a campaign and there are significant language and culture barriers. So, we do not expect you to evangelize or disciple anyone, but we do expect that you will make friends and be a blessing and encouragement to those around you."
Participate. "Try to learn as much Portuguese and Makua as possible. You will pick a topic you are interested in and work with your language tutor to write up a culture study. Job-shadow the missionaries and jump in and participate in activities. Help out in our homes when appropriate and see what missionary family life is like. Spend three days bonding with a Mozambican family that we know and trust. Give your full attention to the survey trip and take seriously the opportunity to explore a different people group or area. Produce a report with the rest of your intern group on that experience to serve as a resource for future teams."
Spend time reflecting and processing. "Carry your Bible and journal with you and reflect on what you are experiencing. Think deeply about questions such as: 'Is God calling me to serve in cross-cultural missions?' 'Could I learn to share my faith with a person like this, in a situation like this?' and, 'Could I raise my family in a place like this?'. Each week participate in an Intern Weekly Meeting led by one of the missionaries by participating in the discussions as you reflect as a group on the following topics: culture, language, wealth and poverty, development and animism."
Having interns is a lot of work but it is a joy for our team to share our lives with young people who are interested in missions. We've realized that we probably spend more time with these interns than any one professor spends with them both in and out of the classroom. We take that responsibility seriously and love getting the chance to disciple them in life and ministry.
Over the past few years, we've noticed more and more the things that interns consistently comment on from year to year. So for your enjoyment, I have pasted below my list of stuff interns say.
Grace and Peace,
Stuff Interns Say:
1. "Check out the tan line on my feet from my Chaco sandals... no, wait... that's just dirt."
2. "Wow, look at that mountain over there, doesn't it look just like 'Pride Rock' from the Lion King."
3. "Isn't it amazing that none of us interns has gotten sick, yet?" (this is immediately followed by half the group getting some kind of stomach bug)
4. "Now that I've survived bonding, I feel like I could do anything!"
5. "Do you know when the power will come back on?" (a question I have no answer for)
6. "Do you know how long this church service will last?" (another question I have no answer for)
7. "Do you know how long the internet will be out?" (ditto)
8. "Is there some place in town where I can buy peanut butter?"
9. "Salama." (the Makua-Metto greeting)
10. "One of my favorite things here is staying in your homes and seeing a Christian family in everyday life."