The words personal discipleship and biblical empowerment are big and lofty when used as a blanket statement to describe ten weeks in a foreign country with a group of strangers. We’ve found it hard to articulate why the Lord faithfully provides transformation year after year and internship after internship. One of our J2015 interns, Becca, explains it almost perfectly in a letter that she wrote to her teammates, so today- we’re sharing her golden-wise words. Journey isn’t all about Africa. The Spring Internship isn’t all about work experience. It’s all about Jesus- the full and faithful provider of transformation.
Spring Internship & Journey applications are both live on the website- apply & prepare for a summer of growth, refinement, and holy encounters. (Read Becca’s Full blog below)
There is something to be said about a summer that is so impactful for so many. But there is more to be said about the One who made it all possible. Twenty-two college students went to Africa for two months this summer. And now twenty-two college students are back in the states.
And with today being the one-month of our departure from each other, the few words I have are for you, Journey family:
Team. Kravery, Nathanael, Kadie, Jana, Mutindi, SB, Jordan, Watcha, Jared, Win, Jake, Bryce, Chandler, Jam, Kassy, Katy, Luebbe, Madi, Krista girl, Gracie Ann Irby Johnson, EA, MG, Allie B, and Stephanie King. Thank you. For allowing me to get flustered over a silly puzzle. To the boys for listening to my benchmarks and to the girls for receiving my full story. For encouraging in truth when days were long and home was missed. For making me laugh 70 days in a row. And for teaching me immeasurably more about Jesus. The word thank you does not say enough. So, Asante sana sana.
The days look a lot different now, but it’s okay. It’s okay because we’ll always have the night we cooked spaghetti and let go of our masks. We’ll always have Kadie’s Ezekiel teaching in the church. And the “guards not goats” night. The wrestling with the Holy Spirit and the mystery of Harun’s turban. iThe feeling of pure joy in East African church. The eleven and a half hour trip. The rich culture. The power of prayer. The rest found in days on the compound. The stars in the rural places. We’ll always have the memories we made and the lessons we learned from our East African friends: Eunice, Agnes, Ezekiel, Rachel, Jane, Julia, Kristen, Evelyn, Johannes, Paul, Julius, Charles, Harun, Peter, Mama Phyllis, Clementine, and the hundreds more.
WE WILL ALWAYS HAVE JESUS. Thank you for showing me what it looks like to care about someone and their relationship with the Lord more than their relationship with you. It’s the most humbling. This summer we shared together was a divine season that I will forever cherish.
And I wish there were words that carried enough weight to express my love for you all and that could explain the weight of this summer on all our lives. But for now I hope you know that I am thankful beyond measure for you. Kristin always said “we’re not promised tomorrow” and now I get it. Coming home, I get it. I’m missing you all like crazy, but everyday I’m reminded that the Lord has us where we are now for a reason. A reason that is just as important and real as the reason He had us in Africa together. We may never feel “at home” again, whether we’re in Athens, Malaysia, Memphis, Iowa, or Africa. But that’s just the most beautiful truth- that the Lord has our home in Heaven. Heaven is going to be sweet, but until then, I’m fighting for you all and praying daily for the lies to cease and for the Lord’s peaceful whisper to be ever present. Ninakupenda (I love you).
For my friends and family at home, I am sorry for my inability to share what the Lord allowed me to experience this summer. I am afraid that the weight and impact of my time in East Africa won’t be communicated well enough. I am afraid to let others into what happened. And I am scared to come back to something so familiar and yet, feel so unfamiliar. Allie’s blog posts express my feelings a lot better than I do, but reading all blog posts from past Journeys still would not capture the summer. The Bible is the only book that I know will accurately explain the love I felt this summer. Take a moment to read it and see what the Journey family is dying to share with you.
-Becca (J2015 intern)