Young adults find purpose and transform the world through the Mission Intern Program.
Mission Intern Program
In 1999 the Detroit Conference Mission Intern Program began with a three-fold focus: Young adults would develop their leadership skills and discern God’s call in their lives, while assisting congregations in implementing community-ministry that intentionally builds relationships with children and families living at or below the poverty line.
Over its 18-year story, this goal has remained constant. This summer 21 interns are serving in urban and rural areas across the Detroit Conference, from the city of Detroit to The Upper Peninsula, helping local congregations build bridges with communities.
The Mission Intern Program offers life-changing experiences for the young adults who spend their summers as interns. Some former interns felt God’s call to ordained ministry. Others discerned a calling as missionaries or into various lay ministries. Others, still, have gone on to be outstanding and conscientious citizens.
For summer 2017, the Mission Intern Program is operating under a theme of Ripple Effect. Like stones dropped in water, the work that our interns do will create ripples that will be felt well beyond this summer. Placed at seven sites across the Detroit Conference, interns will engage in a variety of ministries, including leading children’s programs, helping with building projects, and working with homeless populations. The sites include: Cass Community Social Services, Detroit: Centro Familiar Cristiano UMC, Detroit: Metropolitan UMC, God’s Country Cooperative Parish, Port Huron: First UMC, Utica UMC, and West Branch UMC.
These are among the young adults who are doing life-changing work this summer.
Samson Kobbah III’s Mission Intern story began when he was a child. He attended a day camp at Second Grace United Methodist Church in Detroit, Michigan, where his leaders were interns through the Mission Intern Program. His time in the Second Grace day camp was life-changing, and when he was older, he knew that he wanted to work for the same program that had such a profound impact on his life.
Samson has been working with the Mission Intern Program for the past two summers. Last summer he was placed at Cass Community Social Services, an experience he credits with helping him open up and get out of his shell a little. This year, Samson is working at Metropolitan United Methodist Church, leading a children’s day camp. His Mission Intern story has come full circle.
The summer of 2017 is Elizabeth Hurd’s fifth summer working with the Mission Intern Program. In 2013 she started her Mission Intern journey as an intern at Port Huron First United Methodist Church with the Kids’ Discovery Network. She spent three summers in Port Huron and a fourth summer at Cass Community Social Services in Detroit.
This year she is a Senior Intern, working to help spread the story of the Mission Intern Program through the Conference by speaking at and with local churches about the impact of the Mission Intern Program. Elizabeth has found that each summer in the program has been fruitful, enriching, and discerning in a variety of ways. Most importantly, through the Mission Intern Program, she heard God’s all into ordained ministry. She thought she was going to be a teacher, but God had other plans. Elizabeth is currently a student at the Boston University School of Theology, with the hopes of pursuing ordination as an ordained Elder in the United Methodist Church. She credits the Mission Intern Program with helping her discern God’s call more clearly, as well as showing her the different forms that ministry can take within the world.
Travis Wesenberg was initially drawn to the Mission Intern Program because he wanted to be able to work with children in the city of Detroit. So, for the summer of 2016, Travis applied and was accepted. He worked that summer at Metropolitan United Methodist Church. The time was both enjoyable and impactful. He loved working with the children in Metropolitan’s program, and learned about himself as well. In his first summer, he learned that while humanity is diverse and beautiful, at a fundamental level humans are so similar. He also became aware that similarity should lead to equality.
While Travis enjoyed working at Metropolitan, he was also excited about all the sites that the Mission Intern Program partners with, and when he applied for a second summer, he prayed he would be placed at a site that would help him grow even more. This summer, Travis is working with Cass Community Social Services. He is grateful for the opportunity to work at Cass and cannot wait to see what God has in store for him at Cass.
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