The 2007 Summer Interns Depart

06/15/07

The money is raised, the bags are packed, and the flights are booked. This summer is a big summer for many college students and staff here at Children of the Nations (COTN).

Over sixty college-aged students are responding to the call to serve in one of COTN’s four countries this summer. Most interns walk into this experience completely blindsided, yet ready to stretch their faith. Many have not traveled to Africa or the Caribbean before; some have never even left the country. Traveling to an unfamiliar culture with people you do not know will take the comfort out of any situation. But, this is what these internships are about—stepping out.

“It’s more than just getting the shots and boarding the plane,” 2007 Dominican Republican intern Jeff Jenkins said. “There are months of spiritual and mental preparation that go into this summer internship.”

The interns’ journey began weeks ago with a 10-week training program. During this time the interns learn how to adapt in working with other cultures, in addition to spiritually preparing their own hearts. Interns have studied topics such as differences in cultures, how people respond to different relationships, intercultural communication techniques, and even the concept of how time and hospitality differ around the globe. “It has been so interesting to fully examine the concept of culture, and now I’m just ready to experience it,” said Jenkins.

Once training is completed, interns board the planes and begin their two-month journey. Working hand-in-hand with COTN staff, the interns’ goal is to fulfill the individual needs of the country they are serving. The needs and ministry opportunities vary in each country. Interns will take positions leading different sports ministries, evangelizing to the surrounding villages, helping with daily chores, assisting the children with school work, and building relationships which open doors of opportunity.

The internship program works to help interns develop spiritually as well as individually through serving alongside COTN to acquire general missions training. Relationship building is a key component to these internships. Building relationships among team members for spiritual growth and support as well as relationships with the nationals to increase cultural awareness, are goals COTN encourages interns to meet.

COTN short-term teams will also join the interns and in-country staff this summer. Every week this summer, Venture Teams (short-term teams) will arrive in each of our countries to offer their gifts of servitude. Our Venture Team program consists of five different types of trips: Vision, Education, Medical, Construction, and Evangelism. This summer Education and Construction Venture Teams will travel to the Dominican Republic, Malawi, and Sierra Leone. “We have every week filled with Venture Teams, some with more than one,” National Venture Team Director, Doug Hanson said. “They have been an answer to our prayers!”

Safe and organized travels, good health and quick recoveries, and relationship-building opportunities are all prayer requests for COTN’s interns, in-country staff and Venture Teams this summer.