Lives Changed - The Interns' Summer
Amy Nickerson | August 2017
The summer is quickly coming to a close and our 130 or so JV interns are getting back into their regular lives at home and reconnecting with their families and friends in their communities.
While it may seem that everything is normal again, the interns’ ten weeks serving alongside us here in Central and Eastern Europe brought change that could affect life for years to come.
Here are just a few stories of how the interns saw young people’s lives change while at camps:
“There was a girl at the Ukrainian camp we went to who was chasing me for a game and ran head first into a wall. She was going in and out of consciousness, her pulse was bad, and basically we didn’t know if she was going to live…. It was really scary for the campers and everyone. We were all crowding around her. She went to the hospital. She should have had a really bad concussion. She should have had a lot of side-effects like sensitivity to light, can’t read, can’t move around very well, can’t talk, just a lot of those. But she had none of those. She went from almost not living, faint pulse and barely breathing, to totally fine. It was a miracle. Everyone at camp was praying and at the hospital everyone was praying too. The nurses all commented on it saying, ‘We’ve never seen that happen for somebody, that everyone’s praying.’ And then after that they see the girl healed from a really bad injury. After that, the girl wrote a letter to the camp. She was a Christian so she was talking about how she knew where she was going even if she did die. There were around 35 kids at camp and 20 non-Christians, and after that, 19 made decisions to confess. It was really cool to see that take place. God was here and He’s working here and this couldn’t have happened otherwise. So that was a highlight.” - Chris Cox, Edge International Team
“There was one guy who I was pretty intentional about hanging out with at camp. He was definitely open to the gospel and I could sense that, but we would have conversations and he was worried about what other people would think. He was worried that maybe his friends wouldn’t accept him. He accepted Christ at the end of camp, which was really cool for me to see…. I think he realized that the way people were treating him at camp was something he desired, to be a part of that community of believers. It was cool to see him be attracted to the gospel, based on other people. And I played some little role in that.” - Matt Carpenter, Czech
Besides seeing other people change through hearing and believing the message of Christ, the interns also saw God work to change their own hearts throughout the summer. Here’s a small look into what some of them have to say about that:
“I think the Lord just taught me that walking alongside people and discipleship looks the same everywhere. If I can get beyond what I feel comfortable with culture or if I can get over the fact that we may not perfectly be able to communicate, the Lord will use it. He just wants us to be offering our time…. I started realizing I could do something like this. I think we always have in our head, ‘oh maybe someday that might be interesting. We could think about it.’ But I think the Lord moved in me this summer to be like, ‘no, you could actually do this because you are choosing to surrender to me and to trust me in this. It would be hard, but you could learn to live in another culture, you could learn a new language, you could do these things.’…. That’s one of the biggest things I want to take back and live in whether or not that means moving overseas tomorrow.” - Abby Carpenter, Czech
“Seeing the enthusiasm and zeal that the youth have here to spread the gospel and tell people in their own natural environments where it can be difficult for them, really encouraged me to do that back in the US…. There are 17 year olds sharing the gospel at camp, regardless of what their friends think. It’s a really good call and conviction for me as someone who is working. Why am I not as enthusiastic about how Jesus changed my life in the US? Just because I didn’t meet Him at an English camp doesn’t mean that Jesus hasn’t changed my life where I’ve lived.” - Jacob Adent, Communications Team
“I had no idea what to expect in applying as an intern, but I stand here now, having no idea how to express how humbled and honored I am to be able to be a part of it all. My goodness gracious people. I have never seen an organization so fervently carry out their core values and both represent and spread the name of Jesus Christ with such excellence and integrity. I wish I could properly verbalize and express to you what is going on in this volcano in my belly after this experience. But I cannot. All to say, I highly recommend looking into Josiah Venture, especially if you are a college student and are looking for an amazing way to spend the summer serving Jesus.” - Rachelle Grizzard, Poland
This is just a small look into the many stories of change that the interns witnessed and experienced this summer. We’re praying that as they process more and move into the fall, the growth would continue to have a major impact both here in Europe and in their home countries. Please pray with us, and if you have the chance to ask an intern about their own stories of change take it. We’re sure they’d love to tell you all about their summer.