Sunday, September 25, 2011

Vision for Internship

One of the main things that I took away from last year was to have and share the vision for internship with people so that they can understand how to support me, both in prayer and financially. Well this will be my attempt at verbalizing my reasoning and vision for internship.

I've been thinking about internship since before I ever stepped foot on the campus of Bethany. I had heard about the school from a few people but it wasn't until I saw the ad on Facebook about the 16 month internship that I considered it as an option. I had been looking for a place where I could get a realistic mission experience, but everywhere I had been looking only had 3 - 5 month periods abroad, which didn't feel like enough time. I wasn't sold on the school until I visited. During the tour some of the faculty prayed over us and I immediately knew that I was supposed to be there.
I came with the expectation of going for the full four year program. I have had many doubts over the last year and change about whether I should go on internship or not. It's a difficult thing for me to think about and I haven't honestly come to a conclusion either way. By the end of this school year I will be 24 and haven't yet completed a program which gives me a degree to take me through the future years. Part of me  understands that there are more important things in life then a college degree, but in the culture that we live in it is highly valued.
I came into this year with a whole summers worth of doubt and see sawing over whether I should come back or not. God continued to reassure me that I should take the step of obedience and return. It hasn't been all roses this year, but God's faithfulness has been extremely evident to me through the first month and a half of school. Thankfully I am not at a point of having to decide whether I should or am supposed to go on internship because I honestly have no idea either way right now. All I know is that I came with that as a central motivation and that hasn't changed.
I am going through the application process for it and will continue to seek God's leading in these months.  If he speaks a direction to me about it then I will follow and trust His provision to cover the cost and take care of me.

My main reason for wanting to go on internship is to get clarity about whether God has it in mind for me to serve abroad for the majority of the rest of my life. The school stretched the time abroad to 16 months to allow for the struggles to be overcome and to just be acclimating to the culture then have to leave. Without ever hearing that from them I had already thought that and it was nice to hear it from the people in charge of the program.
I want to serve God wherever I am. If He speaks something to me I will go through with it. I haven't heard from Him about this yet so I am going ahead with the application until He shuts the door. That's all I can say, that He hasn't told me yet so I am trying to do the wise choice, which leaves me the most options.
Of the four internship sites that are available, Kenya, France, Indonesia and Thailand, my heart has gone from firmly set on going to France to being open to going to any of the four spots. I can see positives to each one and will go where they place me. I still have preferences, but they have changed radically over the summer and since school started. Kenya used to be my last choice and I didn't want to have anything to do with it, but through God's work in me, my attitude has softened significantly. If I had to list it out in order now, Kenya would be at the top of the list, followed by France, Thailand and then Indonesia. I will go anywhere though, since God hasn't given me the thumbs up or down about Internship I'm not surprised that He hasn't told me where to go.
If I go then it's because He didn't shut the door and I will be going through the most trying time that I have had yet. To expect Him to provide every cent of the funding and to seek every person possible to pray for me through the next two and half years. And really that's what I need, prayer. Money is important and I can't diminish how much I will need it to get to the field, but prayer matters much more than dollars at this time in my life.

So that's really all I can say, I'm going forward as if I will be going on internship but will continue to pray for direction in this and every decision that I have ahead of me in the coming months and years.